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 501c3 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 Himmel, President; 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 is 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 LLC, a non-profit currently being established to formalize the alumni infrastructure in the United States and Canada. 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 Neubauer, Vice-President; CEO B. Braun of America, Inc.

Caroll NeubauerCaroll H. Neubauer is the Chairman and CEO of B. Braun of America Inc., an industry leader in serving healthcare professionals and institutions with healthcare products and services in the US. He also serves 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 a member 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

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. 


Dr. Jackson Janes, Board Member; President Emeritus,
American Institute of Contemporary German Studies

Jackson JanesJackson 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. 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 Kempiners, Board Member; Senior Consultant, Ernst & Young

Katrin KempinersKatrin 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 dual citizen of both Germany and the US, Katrin understands the importance of intercultural competencies and diverse networks in today’s international work environment. As board member and treasurer of Friends of Freiburg, 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. Having gained extensive experience as an analyst and expert for international education at DAAD New York, based at the German Consulate, Katrin is using her MBA to pivot into a senior consulting role at Ernst & Young in 2019.




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

Sarah Stephens 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 Schiewer, Board Member; Rector, University of Freiburg

Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Hans-Jochen SchiewerProf. 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”. Since 2008 Hans-Jochen Schiewer has been rector of the University of Freiburg. He is active in various committees and organizations, among others he was chairman of the Landesrektorenkonferenz (conference of the university rectors of the federal state of Baden-Wuerttemberg). One focus of his work as rector is on building up the European Campus: The Universities of Basel, Freiburg, Haute-Alsace, and Strasbourg and the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology aim to take their cross-border cooperation in research and teaching to an unprecedented level. Hans-Jochen Schiewer is President of EUCOR – The European Campus since 2013. Moreover, he is chairman of German U15, the strategic interest group for research-intensive, internationally regarded German universities with top medical faculties, since 2016.

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