The Executive Committee of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) today confirmed its proposal to appoint the former Head of the Department of International Affairs at University of Bonn as its new Secretary General. Dr Kai Sicks will take over from Dr Dorothea Rüland in spring 2021.

‘In Kai Sicks, the DAAD is gaining the services of an extremely experienced science manager with extensive experience in the internationalisation of the higher education system,’ said DAAD President Prof Dr Joybrato Mukherjee at the Executive Committee meeting. He added that thanks to the many different areas in which Sicks has worked in science and related fields, he would be able to contribute a rich portfolio of skills and experience to the DAAD. ‘This is why I very much look forward to working with him from next year onwards,’ said the DAAD President. Mukherjee also paid tribute to Dorothea Rüland’s outstanding commitment and dedication to the internationalisation of German universities and to Germany’s excellent worldwide reputation as an education and research hub, saying that she had decisively shaped the DAAD during her 30-year career in the organisation.

Kai Sicks has been Head of the International Affairs Department at the University of Bonn since May 2017, where his responsibilities include expanding the university’s internationalisation in research, studies and administration. Before his time at this university, Sicks – who is originally from Bad Homburg – was managing director of the Bonn Graduate Centre. Prior to this he established a European doctoral and research network with partner institutions in Bergamo, Helsinki, Lisbon and Stockholm.

Aged 43 and with a doctorate in German studies, Sicks studied at the University of Vienna, the University of Cologne and Goethe University Frankfurt. Scholarships took him to such institutions as the German Historical Institute in Washington DC and Cornell University (both in the USA).

Kai Sicks is expected to take up his post as Secretary General of the DAAD in February 2021.


For more information, as well as the complete press release, please visit