Kühne Foundation

Board of Trustees

Following a commercial apprenticeship and several years of thorough education, Klaus-Michael Kühne joined the family business Kühne + Nagel in the early 1960s. In 1963, he was appointed general partner, in 1966 Chairman of the Management Board. From 1975 onwards, he was Chief Executive Officer and later on appointed Chairman of the Board of Directors at the company’s international head office in Switzerland. Since 2011, Klaus-Michael Kühne has been Honorary Chairman of Kühne + Nagel International AG. The Kühne Holding AG, established by Klaus-Michael Kühne in 1993, is the majority shareholder of the Kühne + Nagel Group and holds an over 30 percent stake in Hapag-Lloyd AG, one of the worldwide leading container shipping lines. In addition, the Kühne Holding AG owns real estate and is engaged in the luxury hotel segment.

Together with his parents, Klaus-Michael Kühne established the Kühne Foundation in the year 1976. The deed of the Foundation is support for training, further education, scholarships and research in the fields of transport and logistics. The Kühne Foundation is also heavily involved in the area of medicine. It has established a Medicine Campus in Davos, Switzerland, supporting there two major research projects in the fields of allergology and cardiology, and runs the Hochgebirgsklinik. In the area of culture, the Kühne Foundation supports primarily festivals, operas and concert halls in Europe.

Christine Kühne is married to Klaus-Michael Kühne and she supports him in all projects of the Foundation. On her initiative, the Christine Kühne – Center for Allergy Research and Education was founded in 2009 in order to make a lasting impact on research into allergies. Christine Kühne is the patron of the award for the best children’s and youth book author, presented annually during the Harbour Front Literature Festival in Hamburg. She is also committed to support young singers.

Dr. Thomas Staehelin holds a PhD in law and has been a partner of Fromer Advokatur und Notariat based in Basel since 1981. His expertise includes international mandates, corporate law, mergers and acquisitions, tax law, contract and commercial law as well as banking and stock market law. Dr. Staehelin is a member and/or President of the Board of Directors of several Swiss and international companies. 

After studies in law, Michael Behrendt joined VTG Vereinigte Tanklager und Transportmittel GmbH in 1985 and became Managing Director in 1994. In 1999 he was appointed Chief Executive Officer of VTG Lehnkering AG. Michael Behrendt became Chairman of the Executive Board of Hapag-Lloyd AG in 2002; and has taken over as Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Hapag-Lloyd AG in 2014. Furthermore, he is President of the Übersee-Club e.V. in Hamburg and board member of the non-profit science organisation Stifterverband für die Deutsche Wissenschaft e.V.

Dr. Jörg Dräger studied Physics and Economics in Hamburg and New York. After his graduation, he worked for Roland Berger Strategy Consultants in Frankfurt/Main. He returned to Hamburg as CEO of the Northern Institute of Technology. From 2001 to 2008 Dr. Dräger took office as Hamburg’s (independent) Minister of Science and Re-search. In addition, he was a member of the Conference of Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs and a deputy member of the German Bundesrat. From 2008 till the end of 2021 he was a member of the Executive Board at the Bertelsmann Foundation. Since April 2022, Dr. Dräger has been Executive Director of the Board of Trustees of the Kühne Foundation.

Karl Gernandt started his career with Deutsche Bank after graduating with an MBA in business administration at the University of St. Gallen. He moved on to A.T. Kearney, focusing on strategic financial services projects, then to Alsen AG und Holcim, most recently as CEO of the Region Western Europe. From 2009 to 2011 Karl Gernandt was Delegate and from 2011 to 2016 Executive Chairman of the Board of Directors of Kühne + Nagel International AG, and has been Vice-Chairman since 2016. Furthermore, he is Executive Chairman of the Kühne Holding AG and Deputy Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Hapag-Lloyd AG as well as a member of the Supervisory Board of SIGNA Prime Selection AG.

Dr. Lino Guzzella has been full Professor at the Department for Mechanical and Process Engineering at ETH Zurich since 1999. After working in the field of industrial research (Sulzer and Hilti) he became Assistant Professor at ETH Zurich. Between 2012 and 2014 Prof. Guzzella was the Rector of ETH Zurich and from 2015 to 2018 its President. He is a fellow of IEEE and IFAC and a member of the Swiss Academy of Engineering (SATW). He is also active as a member of the Board of Directors of Ger-man and Swiss industrial companies and a consultant in the area of start-ups and innovation.

Following the completion of an apprenticeship at Kühne + Nagel Hamburg, Dr. Wolfgang Peiner studied business administration in Hamburg and Kansas/USA. Thereafter he worked as tax consultant and auditor at Arthur Andersen & Co., the Werner Otto Group and as Director, later on as Chief Executive, of the Gothaer Group. During those times, Dr. Peiner was a member of the Board of Directors of the Treuhandanstalt and its successor organisation BvS, Kühne + Nagel International AG as well as a member of the Supervisory Board of Deutsche Lufthansa AG and Friends Provident. From 2001 to 2006 Dr. Peiner was Senator of Finance of the Hamburg state government, at the same time, he was Federal Treasurer of the CDU party. In the years 2010 and 2011, he was founding president of the Kühne Logistics University. Since 2008, Dr. Peiner has been a member of the Board of Directors of Kühne Holding AG.

Prof. Dr. Gregor Zünd has been CEO and President of the Hospital Executive Board of the Zurich University Hospital since 2016. Before his appointment, he was Director of Research and Education and in this function already a member of the Executive Board of the Zurich University Hospital and Managing Director of the Centre for Clinical Research. Prof. Zünd is a specialist in cardiac and thoracic heart surgery. He completed further trainings at the Zurich University Hospital. In addition, he spent several years at the Texas Medical Center in Houston and at the Harvard Medical School in Boston. Prof. Zünd is member of the Medical Faculty at the University of Zürich.

Dr. Jörg Wolle holds a PhD in engineering sciences. In his roles as CEO and President, he formed and led DKSH AG from 2000 to 2017, most recently reaching net sales of CHF 11 billion and employing 35,000 staff in Asia. The company was created through the merger of three traditional Swiss trading houses in Asia. Since 2010, Dr. Wolle has been a member of the Board of Directors of Kühne + Nagel International AG, since May 2016, he has been Chairman of the Board. He is Chairman of the Board of Directors of Klingelnberg AG and member of the Board of Directors of Olam International Limited, Singapore.

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