Alena Akulich comes from Polesia in Belarus in the South of the Gomel region and has been living in Berlin since 2010. She studied German Studies at the Minsk State Linguistic University, specialising in rhetoric, and carried out postgraduate studies in International Economic Relations at the Belarusian University of Economics in Minsk. She has professional experience in education, politics and economics. Following her studies, she worked as German language lecturer at the Baranovichi State University, and later as a Marketing Specialist in the international transport company KTL. In 2010 she received the International Parliament Scholarship and completed a six-month internship at the German Bundestag. Through her research on the topic of “Opportunities for Cooperation between Germany and Belarus in the Field of Renewable Energy” she became familiar with the German Eastern Business Association (OA) and began working there. She had been in charge of various projects in Russia for about ten years. Furthermore, she gained wide-ranging experience in a number of cooperation projects with Uzbekistan and Belarus. Today, her work focuses on some Belarusian and Ukrainian projects. From December 2020 to December 2021, she was Member of the Board of the German-Belarusian Society.
Photo: German Committee on Eastern European Economic Relations.
Miriam Kosmehl is Member of the Advisory Board of the German-Belarusian Society. Since 2017, she has been Senior Expert at the Bertelsmann Stiftung’s Europe’s Future Program, responsible for the Eastern Partnership region. Prior to that, she was Head of Office of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Ukraine and Belarus in Kyiv from 2012 to 2017. Her previous positions include postings in Poland (OSCE ODIHR), Russia and Central Asia (Deutsche Bank Moscow and GIZ – Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit). Kosmehl studied law in Freiburg im Breisgau and Utrecht and holds a Second Legal State Examination of the District Court of Düsseldorf.
Photo: Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom.
Prof. Dr. Rainer Lindner
Prof. Dr. Rainer Lindner is Member of the Advisory Board of the German-Belarusian Society and Founder of the Minsk Forum. He was Chair of the Board of the organisation from 2000 to 2019 and was in charge of the Minsk Forum from 1997 to 2019. Since 2020, he has been Chair of the Board of Heine + Beisswenger Group, Fellbach. He is also Chair of the German-Ukrainian Forum and the Caspian Europe Forum e.V. From 2016 to 2020, Lindner was CEO Central & Eastern Europe/Middle East & Africa at Schaeffler AG. Before that, he was Managing Director of the Committee on Eastern European Economic Relations from 2008 to 2016. Between 2005 and 2008, he was a Research Associate at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP). Lindner graduated from the University of Tübingen, where he also obtained his doctorate. In 2005, he successfully completed his postdoctoral research (Habilitation) at the University of Konstanz. He is the author of several publications and books, including the German-language history book “Historiker und Herrschaft. Nationsbildung und Geschichtspolitik in Weißrussland im 19. und 20. Jahrhundert”. He has held an adjunct professorship at the University of Konstanz since January 2008.
Photo: Heine + Beisswenger
Werner Merkel is Member of the Advisory Board of the German-Belarusian Society. He has been working in real estate management since 1985. Until 2019, he led a real estate management company with 23,000 residential units as a managing partner. He was a member as treasurer of the Presidium of Property Managers of Germany for 15 years. In 2021, he was confirmed for the third time as Chair of the Board of the Association of Property Managers Hessen. From 2010 to 2022, Werner Merkel was Chair of the Board of the International Association for Property Management IVIM Belarus and played a major role in shaping the content and legal aspects of the condominium-owner communities. This work also extended to a number of post-Soviet countries, where he is known due to his lectures at congresses as well as at seminars. This provided him insights into the social, political and economic conditions of the region.
Photo: VDIV Hessen.