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Meet our team

Director & Founder

Heli Tiirmaa-Klaar

Director, DSI
+49 30 21231–1652

Dr. Sandro Gaycken

Founder, DSI
+49 30 21231–1650


Lilly Schmidt

Research Associate and Program Lead, DSI

Konstantin Schaarschmidt

Researcher, DSI

Duc Anh Le

Research Associate, DSI

Management & Administration

Richard Skalt

Manager, DSI
+49 170 4807442

Ketevan Wehrsig

Training Coordinator, DSI

(on maternity leave)

Nadine Schönfeld

Project Assistant, DSI

Ann Bliß

Administrative Assistant, DSI

Fellows & Advisors

Dr. Jamie Saunders

Fellow, DSI

Dr. Jamie Saunders is a strategic security consultant, providing security and risk management advice to a range of large corporations and governmental organisations.  He is a Fellow of the James Martin School at the University of Oxford and a Fellow of the Digital Society Institute at the European School of Management and Technology.

Karsten Geier

Fellow, DSI

Karsten Geier is an Envoy at Germany’s Permanent Representation to the European Union and Senior Cyber Diplomacy Advisor to the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue.  He has held a variety of diplomatic postings, including as Cyber Coordinator in the German Federal Foreign Office.  In this position, he has worked intensively with international partners, in particular the United Nations, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, and the EU.

Nils Brinker (born Wehkamp)

Fellow & Former Researcher, DSI

Nils Brinker is a former researcher at the Digital Society Institute at ESMT Berlin. Previously he researched systematic approaches and the generalization of cyber security law within the project ITSR.sys. ITSR.sys was an interdisciplinary research project funded by the BMBF with the goal to evaluate the current state of cyber security regulations and to develop a cross-sectoral model for a general cyber security law.

Dr. Shravana Kumar

Fellow & Former Research Associate, DSI

Shravana Kumar is working as a Research Associate at the German Aerospace Center (DLR) and formerly worked as a Research Associate at the DSI. He has completed his PhD in transport economics and logistics at Technische Universität Dresden and the Hochschule Bremen City University of Applied Sciences. Previously he worked as a teaching assistant and taught courses on economics, transport and logistics at the Hochschule Bremen City University of Applied Sciences.

Līga Rozentāle

Advisor, DSI

Līga Rozentāle is working in consultancy, advising various public and private stakeholders on strategy and business development in the areas of digital economy, security, and defence. In a recent role Rozentāle was Senior Director for European Government Affairs (Cyber & Defence) at Microsoft, having previously served as the first Latvian cyber diplomat for Latvia at the EU, NATO, and UN.

Bernd Kowalski

Head of Department, BSI and Senior Advisor, DSI

External Affiliates

Prof. Philippe Baumard, Professor and Director, Conservatoire national des arts et métiers (Cnam)

Clemens Binninger, Former member of the German Bundestag and chairman of the Parliamentary Control Panel

Prof. Frédérick Douzet, Professor and Director, University of Paris 8, Institut Français de Géopolitique (IFG Lab)

Kenneth Geers, PhD, Very Good Security, Atlantic Council, NATO Cyber Centre


Michael Hange, Former President of the Federal Office for Information Security (BSI)

James Andrew Lewis, PhD, Director, Senior Fellow, Strategic Technologies Program, CSIS

John Mallery, Computer Science & Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, MIT

Advisory Council

Chairman: Ambassador Wolfgang Ischinger, Chairman of the Munich Security Conference

Vice Chairman: Dr. Robert Blackburn, former President, Information Technology and Supply Chain Operations, BASF

Dr. Thomas Bagger, Director of Foreign Policy in the Office of the Federal President

Ambassador Sorin Ducaru, Senior Fellow, Hudson Institute, Washington DC, Special Advisor to the Global Commission on the Stability of Cyberspace, former NATO Assistant Secretary General

Melissa Hathaway, Senior Advisor, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

Dr. Stefan Heißner, Partner, EY

Dr. Martin Hofmann, CIO, Volkswagen AG

Dr. Ralf Schneider, Group CIO, Allianz SE

Brigitte Zypries, Former Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy