Board of Directors

Friends of Freiburg was founded in 2016 in order to support initiatives by Freiburg Alumni in the United States and Canada. As a non-profit with 501(c)3 status, Friends of Freiburg strives to create opportunities for US students to live in Germany and study at the University of Freiburg on a temporary basis while also assisting German students in gaining valuable international experience in the US. Initiatives range from organizing an array of cultural events in the United States to identifying internship opportunities and support of students and alumni with entrepreneurial ambitions.

Jeffrey HimmelJeffrey Himmel, President; retired CEO, Artco Group
Jeffrey Himmel studied abroad twice in Freiburg for both undergraduate and graduate studies and has developed strong ties to the University. He was previously President and CEO of The Artco Group which comprises several steel manufacturing enterprises across the United States. Jeffrey is also the founder of Alumni Freiburg North America and the President of the Board of Directors of Friends of Freiburg. Jeffrey is also on the Board of Directors of the American Institute for International Steel, The Lake Club in Wilton, CT, and volunteers for and supports the Leo Baeck Institute in NYC. He is married and has three children.



Caroll NeubauerCaroll Neubauer, Vice-President;
Executive Advisor, Water Street Healthcare Partners
Caroll H. Neubauer joined Water Street Healthcare Partners as an executive advisor in fall 2020. Previously, he was Chairman and CEO of B. Braun of America Inc. for nearly thirty years. He also served on the B. Braun Global Management Board of B. Braun Melsungen SE in Germany. Until recently, Mr. Neubauer was the Chairman of the German American Chamber of Commerce New York, and is currently a member of the Board of Directors of AdvaMed (the industrial association of medical device manufactures in the US), a member of the Board of the Medical Device Innovation Consortium (MDIC) and of the President’s Advisory Group of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Born in New Jersey and educated in both the USA and Germany, Mr. Neubauer holds a German Law Degree from the Albert Ludwigs-University, Freiburg, and earned his Master of Laws (LL.M.) from Georgetown University in 1987.

Dr. Martin Breckheimer, Treasurer; Head of Corporate and Institutional Banking, LBBW New York Branch
Martin Breckheimer has had an international outlook throughout his life. He attended a German-French high school in Cologne, studied Contemporary History and Political Science at the University of Freiburg and the University of Iowa, graduating with a M.A. in Iowa and a doctoral degree in American and Eastern European history and a minor in Political Science from the University of Freiburg. He did internships with Rep. Jim Leach in Washington, D.C. and the Germany-American Chamber of Commerce in Houston. As an international trade finance and export finance banker he worked first with Commerzbank AG in Germany and then in the US. As a relationship banker he is now heading up the corporate business of LBBW New York Branch which brings him in contact with the top German and European companies active in the US and Canada. He holds dual U.S. and German citizenship and is also fluent in French and Spanish. He is married and has two sons. It is his goal – together with the other active alumni and Board Members – to build an alumni organization here in New York which is intellectually stimulating to a wide range of multinational professionals forming the alumni network. It is another goal to be self-sufficient in this endeavor. These two goals are related, however, since meaningful events lead to the readiness to invest your own time, funds and more.

Jackson JanesDr. Jackson Janes, Board Member; President Emeritus, American Institute of Contemporary German Studies
Jackson Janes is the President Emeritus of the American Institute for Contemporary German Studies at the Johns Hopkins University in Washington, DC, where he has been affiliated since 1989. Currently, he also holds a position as a Senior Fellow at the German Marshall Fund. Dr. Janes is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the International Institute for Strategic Studies, and the Atlantic Council of the United States. He serves on the advisory boards of the Berlin office of the American Jewish Committee , Beirat der Zeitschrift für Außen- und Sicherheitspolitik (ZfAS), the Robert Bosch Foundation Alumni Association, and the American Bundestag Intern Network (ABIN) in Washington, DC. He is a member of the Board of the German American Fulbright Commission and serves on the Selection Committee for the Bundeskanzler Fellowships for the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. He is a member of the Cosmos Club in Washington DC. In 2005, Dr. Janes was awarded the Officer’s Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany, Germany’s highest civilian award.

Katrin KempinersKatrin Kempiners, Board Member; Senior Consultant, Ernst & Young
Katrin Kempiners is an alumna of the University of Freiburg where she received master’s degrees in both American and German studies. She is also an alumna of the University of Virginia, Darden School of Business, where she obtained her MBA in 2019. As a consultant in Mergers & Acquisitions and Corporate Growth Strategy at EY Parthenon, Katrin understands the importance of intercultural competencies and diverse networks in today’s international work environment. Katrin’s interests lie in growing the alumni network in North America through creating opportunities to connect alumni to each other as well as current students, be it as mentors, employers or angel investors.


Sarah Stephens, Board Member; Co-Founder, Stephens Nicolson Artists Management

Sarah Stephens founded International Artists Management in Bremen, Germany in 1996. Her agency specialized in professional personal management and bilingual promotion for international opera singers in Europe and later expanded to include management for conductors, stage directors and other classical musicians. Her artists have performed in theaters throughout Europe. Ms. Stephens was granted the German agency license in 2000 authorizing her to operate as a recognized artists management agency (Künstleragentur) in Germany as well as a second license entitling her agency to engage in business internationally and throughout the European Union. In 2008, she returned to the University of Minnesota to complete her Master’s degree with a bilingual thesis on Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde. She moved to New York City and founded Stephens Nicolson Artists Management. Ms. Stephens studied in Germany and has spent most of her life there, having lived in Freiburg, Hamburg, Berlin, and Bremen. Ms. Stephens attended the University of Vermont, Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg, and the University of Minnesota.

Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Hans-Jochen SchiewerProf. Dr. Dr. h.c. Hans-Jochen Schiewer, Board Member; Rector Emeritus, University of Freiburg
Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Hans-Jochen Schiewer, born in 1955, completed his studies in German Language and Literature and History in 1983. He completed his doctorate in German Philology at the Freie University of Berlin in 1990 and habilitated in 1998. After having worked at the Free University of Berlin and at Wadham College, University of Oxford, he became full professor for Medieval German Philology in Göttingen (2001–2003) and in Freiburg (since 2003). He holds a honorary doctorate from the University of Latvia (since 2011) and from the Université de Strasbourg (since 2016). In 2012 he was appointed “Commandeur” of the French “Ordre des Palmes Académiques”. Hans-Jochen Schiewer was the rector of the University of Freiburg from 2008 until October 2020. During his tenure, he was chairman of the Landesrektorenkonferenz (conference of the university rectors of the federal state of Baden-Wuerttemberg), president of EUCOR- The European Campus from 2103 to 2020, and chairman of the German U15 from 2016-2020.

Florian Otto

Florian Otto, MD, PhD, Board Member; Co-Founder / Chief Executive Officer of Cedar
An accomplished entrepreneur and former physician, Florian now drives growth and sets overall direction across all facets of Cedar’s operations. Prior to founding Cedar, Florian was an executive at Zocdoc where he drove the commercial adoption of the platform. Florian also founded a daily deal company in Brazil (ClubeUrbano) that was eventually acquired by Groupon. After the acquisition, he became Chief Executive Officer of Groupon Brazil, growing the company to one of Groupon’s top three international markets. Florian began his business career as a strategy consultant at McKinsey & Company within their healthcare practice. Florian holds a M.D., D.D.S. and PhD from the University of Freiburg, Germany.


Daniel Zimmermann, Board Member; Partner, WilmerHale
Daniel Zimmermann is a corporate partner and Co-Chair of WilmerHale’s Emerging Companies Practice and based in Palo Alto. He is an accomplished lawyer with extensive experience in complex corporate transactions and venture technology issues. For more than 20 years, he has advised entrepreneurs, emerging companies and technology startups, and draws on his global experiences counseling companies in the United States and Europe. His technology clients span the industry, including telecom, infrastructure, digital media, software, energy, clean tech, ecommerce, FinTech, edtech, digital health and healthcare IT, robotics and big data.  Mr. Zimmermann is a member of the California and New York Bar Associations and the International Law Sections of the American, California and New York Bar Associations.  He studied law at the Freie Universitaet Berlin and Uni-Freiburg and UCLA Law School. He is admitted to practice in New York and California. Mr. Zimmermann has served as Chair of the Executive Committee of the International Law Section of the State Bar of California for the 2009-2010 term and as Chairman of the Board of the German American Business Association of California. Mr. Zimmermann also previously served as president and board member of Alto International School in Menlo Park and serves as primary pro bono counsel to the School, and currently serves on the board of Paltown Development Foundation which grows communities of hope and empowers patient leaders. He is widowed and spends as much time as possible with his three children, dragging them to modern art museums. He loves traveling to exotic places and enjoying the beauty and serenity of the California Pacific Coast and the Sierra Nevada, but don’t call him early Saturday mornings. Those are usually reserved for SC Freiburg Bundesliga games


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