Goethe University is getting a new press spokesperson: Volker Schmidt, previously head of the Press and Public Relations Department at the Hessian Ministry of Higher Education, Research, Science and the Arts, will become head of the university’s PR and Communications Office on January 15. He succeeds Dr. Olaf Kaltenborn, who has accepted a new professional challenge at ETH Zurich Foundation.
University President Prof. Dr. Enrico Schleiff: “We are gaining an experienced communications expert with Mr. Schmidt, who – thanks to his previous work experience – is already familiar with many of the topics researched and taught at Goethe University. He has extensive experience in both university/higher education and political communication. Together, we want to further develop our university’s science communication, especially in the digital realm, to even better explain the importance of research and teaching for meeting the challenges of our time and to take up impulses and ideas from interactions with society.”
Volker Schmidt: “I am very much looking forward to the challenge of being able to play a key role in shaping the public image of one of Germany’s largest and strongest research universities. I myself studied at Goethe University and have lived in Frankfurt for many years, which is why I am very familiar with the foundation university and its close links with civil society. The fact that I can work with a great team and build on everything Dr. Olaf Kaltenborn achieved in his many years of work for the university made my decision to take on this exciting and creative task an easy one.”
Volker Schmidt worked as a journalist and editor for the daily newspaper Frankfurter Rundschau for many years before, during and after his history studies at Goethe University, most recently as regional correspondent in the federal state capital Wiesbaden. In 2013, he became Head of Communications at EBS University before becoming press spokesperson for the Bündnis 90/Die Grünen parliamentary group in Hesse’s state parliament. Since 2019, he has overseen communications at the Hessian Ministry of Higher Education, Research, Science and the Arts as Head of Press and Public Relations and Press Spokesperson.