Overline: Institute
Headline: Doris Fuchs Appointed Director at the Research Institute for Sustainability

Doris Fuchs will assume office as Director at the Research Institute for Sustainability - Helmholtz Centre Potsdam (RIFS) on 1 October 2023. The political scientist will form a dual leadership team with the atmospheric scientist and long-time Director Mark Lawrence. She aims to strengthen the transdisciplinary research profile of RIFS and expand it to include questions on the political economy of sustainable consumption.

Doris Fuchs
Doris Fuchs WWU – MünsterView

Doris Fuchs is Professor of International Relations and Sustainable Development at the University of Münster and is also the spokesperson of the University's Centre for Interdisciplinary Sustainability Research (ZIN). Her research includes questions on the relationship between democracy and sustainability, sustainable consumption, and transnational sustainability governance.

"Our time is characterised by complex problems that cannot be solved using conventional methods. RIFS has made a name for itself with its transdisciplinary approach, which has scientists entering into an in-depth exchange with policymakers, civil society, and business representatives. My goal is to further expand this approach with the RIFS researchers and thus develop suitable solutions for the sustainability transformation of our society", said Fuchs.

It will also be her task to shape the integration of RIFS into the Helmholtz Centre Potsdam - German Research Centre for Geosciences (GFZ). RIFS legally became a part of the GFZ in January 2023. "There are exciting interfaces between the work of the GFZ and that of RIFS, with great potential for synergies. I look forward to combining our strengths in order to advance the sustainability transformation," stated the designated RIFS Director.

The Scientific Director of the GFZ, Susanne Buiter, welcomed the appointment of Doris Fuchs: "The exchange between research on the one hand and politics and society on the other has become enormously important in recent years. The work of RIFS and especially the focus of the new Director are an ideal complement both for the GFZ and for the entire Helmholtz Association. I look forward to working with Doris Fuchs and seeing the benefits of this collaboration for both the GFZ and the Helmholtz Association."

Mark Lawrence added: "Doris Fuchs is a perfect selection to continue building on the legacy of transformative, transdisciplinary sustainability research that has been developed at RIFS over the past years. We’re very excited that she’s accepted the position and will be starting with us soon.”

Doris Fuchs has been a Professor in Münster since 2008. She studied politics and economics in the United States and received her doctorate from Claremont Graduate University in California in 1997. Her career includes positions at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität (LMU) in Munich, the Leipzig Graduate School of Management, and the University of Stuttgart.