More Leading Experts Join Scientific Council of Das Progressive Zentrum

Das Progressive Zentrum expands its Scientific Council by eleven new members

Eleven additional experts are now part of the Scientific Council of Das Progressive Zentrum. By appointing scientists from different disciplines, we are diversifying the council and now better prepared than ever to take a stance on all issues surrounding  our core mission: making the just transformation a reality.

The scientific advisory body of our think tank is growing to include eleven more leading experts from numerous disciplines: law, economics and the natural, political and social sciences. We are excited to be working with these excellent scientists. Bolstered by their interdisciplinary expertise, we are confident in facing the many-facetted mission we have set ourselves: guiding politics towards a green and just transformation of society. 

The new members’ appointments are in tune with our think tank’s new strategic focus developed in 2022. Recognizing that key political paradigms of the past have been losing sway – peace through interdependence, prosperity through growth, freedom through trade – we at Das Progressive Zentrum decided it is time for a fresh start and a new vision. The promise of progress, once a pillar of liberal democracies, has come into question and many people today are concerned of what the future will bring.

For this promise to regain credibility, it must be renewed. We are determined to identify the possibilities of progress under the new political and societal conditions and breathe life into the abstract concept of progress through tangible and positive visions for the future,   ultimately renewing the promise of progress in the process. For the 2020s, our mission is to guide politics towards a green and just transformation of society.

This challenge cannot merely be met with technocratic solutions or stop at reducing CO2 in the atmosphere. Instead, to ensure equal and equally good opportunities for all, 

we as a society must address it comprehensively, through a joint political, economic and societal effort on a global scale. It will fundamentally change the way we live.

We are certain that the many new members of our Scientific Council will live up to the challenge and support us in our mission – through meeting regularly, influencing political processes, answering our queries and active involvement in our work.

The new members of our Scientific Council are:

Jens Südekum

Jens Südekum is a university professor of international economics at Heinrich Heine University in Düsseldorf and a member of the Scientific Advisory Board at the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Climate Protection. His research focuses on international trade, the labor market effects of globalization and digitalization, and urban economics and regional policy.

Brigitte Knopf

Brigitte Knopf has been Secretary General at the Mercator Research Institute in Global Commons and Climate Change (MCC) since 2015, where she leads the Policy Unit. Since 2020, she has also been a member and deputy chair of the Expert Council on Climate Issues appointed by the German government. Brigitte Knopf holds a PhD in physics and climate science.

Astrid Séville

Astrid Séville has been a substitute professor for political theory at the School of Politics of the Technical University of Munich since July 2022. She is also a temporary academic councilor at the Chair of Political Theory of the Geschwister-Scholl-Institute for Political Science at LMU.

Christoph Möllers

Christoph Möllers has held the Chair of Public Law and Philosophy of Law at the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin since 2009. From 2011 to 2014, he was a part-time judge at the Higher Administrative Court of Berlin-Brandenburg. As a litigator before the Federal Constitutional Court, he has represented the Bundestag, Bundesrat, and Federal Government.

Michael Werz

Michael Werz is a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress. His work focuses on transatlantic security policy, the nexus of climate change, migration and security, and emerging democracies.

Lamia Messari-Becker

Lamia Messari-Becker is a civil engineer and has been Professor of Building Technology and Building Physics at the University of Siegen since 2013. From 2016 to 2020, she was also a member of the German government’s Expert Council on the Environment.

Matthias Quent

Matthias Quent is professor of sociology at Magdeburg-Stendal University of Applied Sciences. He conducts research on democracy, civil society, social justice, and right-wing extremism in the context of the ecological transformation, among other topics.

Cathryn Clüver Ashbrook

Cathryn Clüver Ashbrook is Executive Vice President at the Bertelsmann Stiftung. She is an expert on EU-US relations and holds both citizenships.

Marius Busemeyer

Marius Busemeyer is Professor of Political Science with a focus on Comparative Political Economy at the University of Konstanz and spokesman of the Cluster of Excellence “The Politics of Inequality”.

Naika Foroutan

Naika Foroutan holds a professorship for Integration Research and Social Policy at the Humboldt-Universität Berlin and heads the corresponding department at the Berlin Institute for Empirical Integration and Migration Research (BIM). She is also director of the German Centre for Integration and Migration Research (DeZIM).

Stefan Kolev

Stefan Kolev is Professor for Economics at Westsächsische Hochschule Zwickau with a focus on economic policy. He is also Vice Chairman of the Wilhelm Röpke Institute, Council Member of the Alliance for the Social Market Economy and Research Fellow at the Hamburg Institute of International Economics (HWWI).

Werner Jann, Gert Wagner, Rita Nikolai and Peter Siller are leaving our Scientific Council by mutual agreement. Also, in January, we received the sad news that Inge Kaul, former member of our Scientific Council, had passed away.


As Head of Communications, Benjamin Lamoureux (née Konietzny) is responsible for Public Relations at Das Progressive Zentrum. Together with his team, he maintains and expands contact with journalists and political parties and ensures public presence.