Sonja Thielges

Dr. Sonja Thielges

Research Group Leader

Sonja Thielges (on maternity leave until late August 2024) joined RIFS as a research associate in August 2016 and leads the research group "Industrial Decarbonization Strategies". Sonja is a non-resident Geoeconomics Fellow at the American Institute for Contemporary German Studies at Johns Hopkins University and volunteers as speaker of the research group on Global Issues at Kölner Forum für Internationale Beziehungen und Sicherheitspolitik e. V. (KFIBS). Sonja's research focuses on the global energy transition. Her current research interests include the politics, policy and governance of industrial decarbonization, public perception of CO2 utilization strategies, the geoeconomics of a global hydrogen economy as well as transatlantic climate and energy relations. Before coming to RIFS, Sonja was a member of the Americas Division at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP), where her research focused on U.S. climate and energy policy. She also worked on projects at the Environmental Policy Research Centre (FFU), the Institut für Europäische Politik (IEP) Berlin, and the Centre International de Formation Européenne (CIFE). Sonja completed an M.A. in North American studies, political science and modern history at Freie Universität Berlin and Indiana University Bloomington. She completed her dissertation "Constructing Climate Change in the U.S. Rust Belt. Political Discourse, the Media and Climate Policy Frames in Michigan and Indiana" at the John F. Kennedy Institute for North American Studies of Freie Universität Berlin. She conducted field research for her dissertation as a DAAD-funded visiting researcher at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor as well as in Washington, D.C.