Founding and Honorary President of the Kreisky Forum
Dr. Franz Vranitzky (*1937 in Vienna) studied at the then Hochschule für Welthandel (Vienna University of World Trade), graduated in 1960 with a diploma in Business Administration and in 1969 he received his doctorate in Commercial Sciences. Vranitzky began his professional career in 1961 at Siemens-Schuckertwerke. Within the same year, however, he moved to the Oesterreichische Nationalbank.
In 1970, he became economic and financial policy advisor to the Kreisky government; in 1976 he moved to Creditanstalt-Bankverein as Deputy General Manager; from 1981-1984 he was General Manager and Chairman of the Board of Länderbank.
From 1984 to 1986, Franz Vranitzky was Federal Minister of Finance, in 1986 he replaced Fred Sinowatz as Federal Chancellor. Following the elections in autumn 1986, he led the grand coalition formed in January 1987 with the ÖVP (the Austrian People’s Party). From 1987-1997, he headed the coalition government (formed by the Social Democratic Party and the People’s Party) as Federal Chancellor, and from 1988-1997 he held the office of Federal Party Chairman of the Social Democratic Party.
In 1997, Franz Vranitzky took office as OSCE Special Representative for Albania. From 1997 to 2004 he was advisor to the Westdeutsche Landesbank.
Franz Vranitzky is Honorary President of the Bruno Kreisky Forum for International Dialogue.
President of the Kreisky Forum
From 1997 to the end of July 2016, Rudolf Scholten (*1955 in Vienna) was a member of the Board and from January 2014 until his resignation, Director General of Oesterreichische Kontrollbank AG (OeKB). As a politician, and from 1990 to 1997 as Federal Minister of the Republic of Austria, he substantially shaped Austria’s cultural policy.
Rudolf Scholten is President of the Bruno Kreisky Forum and Chairman of the Supervisory Board of the Wiener Festwochen, has been Chairman of the Supervisory Board of the Austrian Film Institute since 1 December 2007, and is a member of the Executive Committee of the Bilderberg Conference.
Rudolf Scholten studied Law and Economics at the University of Vienna. He received his doctorate in Law in 1978. After having joined the Oesterreichische Kontrollbank (OeKB) in 1976, he was active in the Board’s secretariat until 1983, focusing especially on international financing. In 1983, he worked at the international financing section at Morgan Stanley, Morgan Guaranty, New York (USA). In 1984, he returned to the Oesterreichische Kontrollbank.
From 1984 to 1986, Scholten held the office of Secretary for Economic Policy Affairs of the then Federal Minister of Finance, Franz Vranitzky. After Franz Vranitzky was appointed Federal Chancellor, Rudolf Scholten was active as economic and cultural policy advisor in the Federal Chancellery from 1986-1988. From 1988 to 1990, he was Secretary General of the Österreichischer Bundestheaterverband (Austrian Federal Theatre Association).
From 1990 to 1997 he was Federal Minister of the Republic of Austria. He served as Federal Minister of Education and the Arts in the Vranitzky III cabinet (1990-1994), as Federal Minister for Science, Research and the Arts in the Vranitzky IV cabinet (1994-1996) and as Federal Minister of Science, Transport and the Arts (1996-1997) in the Vranitzky V cabinet. After Vranitzky’s resignation, Rudolf Scholten also left the Federal Government.
In 1997 Rudolf Scholten became a member of the Board of Oesterreichische Kontrollbank, holding the position of Director-General from January 2014 to May 2016.
Since 2004, Rudolf Scholten has been President of the Bruno Kreisky Forum, and since 2005 Chairman of the Supervisory Board of the Wiener Festwochen.
Together with the writer Robert Schindel, he founded the literature festival Literatur im Nebel in Heidenreichstein in 2006. Every year, this festival focuses on the works of a renowned international writer who also attends the meeting and a reading of his/her works. Such writers have included outstanding figures as Salman Rushdie (2006), Amos Oz (2007), Jorge Semprún (2008) and Margaret Atwood (2009).
Vice-President and Deputy Treasurer of the Bruno Kreisky Forum
Max Kothbauer (* 1950 in Vienna) graduated from the University of Vienna with a degree in Economics in 1975.
From 1976 onwards, Kothbauer held various positions at the Österreichische Länderbank and in several federal ministries.
From 1986 to 1988, he was Head of Cabinet of Federal Chancellor Franz Vranitzky.
From 1989 to 1991, he was Deputy Director-General of Wiener Städtische Wechselseitige Versicherungsanstalt, and a member of its Board.
1991-1997: Creditanstalt-Bankverein, Deputy Director-General and Deputy Chairman of the Board.
1997-2000: Österreichische Postsparkasse AG, Director-General and Chairman of the Board
2000-2001: Austrian National Bank, General Councillor
2001-2004: Booz Allen Hamilton GmbH, Senior Advisor and member of the GSA Advisory Board
2001-2005: Asset Allocation Vermögensanlagen Consulting GmbH, shareholder
2003-2013: Chairman of the University Council of the University of Vienna
2006 – 2008: Austrian National Bank, General Councillor
From 2008 to 2019, Max Kothbauer was Vice-President of the Oesterreichische Nationalbank.
Since 2011, Max Kothbauer has been a member of the Board of Trustees of the Zukunftsfonds der Republik Österreich (Future Fund of the Republic of Austria). Since 2006 he has been a member of the Supervisory Board of the bfi – Berufsförderungsinstitut. He is Vice-President of the Österreichisch-Liechtensteinische Gesellschaft and auditor of the European Forum Alpbach.
Member of the Board of the Kreisky Forum, Treasurer
Georg Lennkh, born in Graz, studied Law and Political Science in Graz, Bologna and the USA. In 1965, he joined the Austrian Foreign Ministry. As Bruno Kreisky’s Head of Cabinet, he contributed to preparing the first international North-South Summit in Cancun, Mexico in 1981. Subsequently he was Permanent Representative of Austria to the OECD until 1993. From 1993 to 2004, Georg Lennkh headed the Directorate-General for Development Cooperation and Cooperation with Eastern Europe at the Foreign Ministry, playing a key role in shaping Austria’s development cooperation.
Georg Lennkh has also been active on numerous missions to Africa, including as Austrian Special Envoy for Africa (2005-2010) and as EU Special Representative in Chad (2006-2010).
Member of the Board of the Kreisky Forum, Secretary
Eva Nowotny took her doctoral degree on 1 April 1968 and, after more than four years as a university assistant, joined the diplomatic service in March 1973. After her first assignments abroad, where she worked at the Austrian Cultural Institute in Cairo and the permanent Mission of Austria to the United Nations in New York, Eva Nowotny was appointed to the Office of the Federal Chancellor in 1983, where she served as Foreign Policy Advisor until November 1992.
From 1992 to 1997, Eva Nowotny was Austrian Ambassador to France, and from 1997 to 1999 to the UK at the Court of St. James.
In December 1999, she was appointed head of the Directorate-General for Integration and Economic Policy at the Foreign Ministry, a position she held until September 2003.
From September 2003 to autumn 2008, Eva Nowotny was Austrian Ambassador to the United States of America, Permanent Observer of the Republic of Austria at the Organization of American States (OAS) and Non-resident Ambassador to the Commonwealth of the Bahamas.
In February 2009, the Federal Minister of Education and the Arts appointed Ambassador Nowotny as President of the Austrian UNESCO Commission, a position she held until February 2018.
Since March 2013 Eva Nowotny has chaired the University Board of the University of Vienna.
Member of the Board of the Kreisky Forum
Andreas Mailath-Pokorny (* 1959 in Vienna) studied Law and Political Science at the University of Vienna’s Faculty of Law, where he also took his doctorate in Law. He continued his post-graduate studies at Johns Hopkins University (School of Advanced International Studies, Bologna Center) where he received a diploma in International Relations, and at the Institute of Political Science at the University of Vienna.
Mailath-Pokorny started his professional career in the diplomatic service at the Federal Ministry for Foreign Affairs in 1986. From 1988 to 1996, he worked in the cabinet of Federal Chancellor Franz Vranitzky, ultimately as the Chancellor’s head of office. Subsequently, he headed the Directorate General for Arts at the Federal Chancellery until 2001. In 2001, he moved to the Vienna City Government as City Councillor for Culture and Science. From 2015 onwards, his portfolio was expanded to also include sports, information and ICT. He held the position of City Councillor until May 2018.
Currently, Andreas Mailath-Pokorny is Rector of the Private Music and Arts University of the City of Vienna (MUK).
Mailath-Pokorny is President of the Association of Social Democratic Academics, Intellectuals and Artists.
Weblink (in German only): Andreas Mailath-Pokorny
Member of the Board of the Kreisky Forum
Prof. Dr. Ewald Nowotny (*1944 in Vienna) studied Law and Political Science at the University of Vienna and Economics at the Institute for Advanced Studies (Vienna), receiving his doctorate in Law from the University of Vienna in 1967.
Since 2008, Ewald Nowotny has held the position of Governor of the Oesterreichische Nationalbank (OeNB) and has been on the Governing Council of the European Central Bank. He is also a member of the European Systemic Risk Board (ESRB) and has been a member of the ESRB’s Steering Committee since June 2012.
Before being appointed head of the OeNB in September 2008, Ewald Nowotny held a number of senior positions in the financial sector. From 2006 to 2007, he was CEO of the BAWAG P.S.K. Group, before that (from 1999 to 2003) Vice-President and Member of the Governing Council of the European Investment Bank (EIB) in Luxembourg.
Ewald Nowotny was also assistant to Prof. Kurt W. Rothschild at the Institute of Economics and Finance at the University of Linz.
Member of the Board of the Kreisky Forum
Wolfgang Petritsch (* 1947 in Klagenfurt) was Secretary to Federal Chancellor Bruno Kreisky from 1977 to 1983.
From 1997, he was Austrian Ambassador to Belgrade, then Special Envoy of the European Union for Kosovo and EU Chief Negotiator at the Kosovo Peace Talks in Rambouillet and Paris.
Wolfgang Petritsch then served as High Representative of the International Community and civil administrator for Bosnia and Herzegovina from 1999 to 2002. Under his leadership, the negotiations of the Yugoslav successor states were successfully concluded in 2001.
From 2002 to 2008, Petritsch was Ambassador to the UN and the WTO in Geneva and is currently Permanent Representative of Austria to the OECD in Paris.
From 2013 to 2014, Wolfgang Petritsch was a Joseph A. Schumpeter Fellow at Harvard University. He is currently President of the Austrian Marshall Plan Foundation.
Wolfgang Petritsch was awarded the European Human Rights Prize 2006 in Strasbourg. He has published numerous books, among others on Bruno Kreisky.
Weblink: Wolfgang Petritsch
Member of the Board of the Kreisky Forum
Margit Schmidt (*1941) started her career in 1965 as secretary in the cabinet of the then Foreign Minister Bruno Kreisky. When Kreisky took office as Chairman of the Social Democratic Party, she again worked alongside him at the party headquarters from 1967 and 1970.
From 1970 to 1983, Schmidt headed the office of Federal Chancellor Bruno Kreisky and remained his closest co-worker until his death in 1990.
After his death, she built up the Bruno Kreisky Forum in Armbrustergrasse in Vienna’s 19th district (Döbling), which she managed as its Secretary General from 1991 to 2004.
Dr. Andreas Staribacher (*1957 in Vienna) is a lawyer and auditor.
Staribacher initially worked in the banking sector, later in an auditing firm. From 1984 he started his own business as a tax consultant and public auditor.
From April 1995 to January 1996, Andreas Staribacher was Federal Minister of Finance. He then returned to work as a tax consultant and certified public accountant.
Staribacher is chairman of the political think tank „Arbeitsgemeinschaft für wissenschaftliche Wirtschaftspolitik“ (WIWIPOL, Foundation for Scientific Economic Policy).
Member of the Board of the Kreisky Forum
Hannes Swoboda (* 1946 in Bad Deutsch Altenburg) was elected President of the S&D Group in 2012. As a committed pro-European and active member of the Austrian Social Democratic Party (SPÖ), he was appointed to the European Parliament in 1996, immediately after Austria’s accession to the EU, and led the SPÖ party list as its top candidate in several elections (in 2004 and 2009). Swoboda is a committed parliamentarian who has served on 15 committees, 11 delegations and as rapporteur of a large number of reports. Swoboda is a recognised expert on European integration, with a special regional focus on South-East Europe, Central Asia and Russia and has contributed substantially towards fighting political extremism and promoting minority rights.
Holding a degree in Economics and Law, Swoboda has acted as Vice President of the S&D Group for 14 years. The in-depth knowledge acquired in this context, combined with the experience he gained as a member of the Vienna Chamber of Labour (1972-1986), of the Vienna Diet and the Vienna Municipal Council (1983-1988) as well as City Councillor (1988-1996), have enabled him to gain a profound understanding of international affairs, urban development and planning, education, health, housing and labour policies.
He is currently President of the International Institute for Peace (IIP), the Architecture Center Vienna (azw) and the Wiener Institute for International Economic Studies (WIIW).
Weblink (in German only): Hannes Swoboda
Gertraud Borea d’Olmo
Member of the Board of the Kreisky Forum, General Secretary
Gertraud Borea d’Olmo (*1952) studied languages, architecture, theatre and politics in Vienna and Paris.
From 1980 to 2004 she worked as a freelance cultural manager (inter alia at the Theater in der Drachengasse, the Wiener Festwochen, the Pompidou Centre and at the Bruno Kreisky Forum).
From 1991 to 1995, she was advisor to the Federal Minister of Education and the Arts.
Since 2005, Gertraud Borea d’Olmo has been Secretary General of the Bruno Kreisky Forum for International Dialogue.
Former Chair of the European Research Advisory Board
Prof. Dr. Helga Nowotny (* 1937 in Vienna) is an internationally recognized scientific researcher and professor emerita of ETH Zurich.
She was a founding member and Vice President of the European Research Council (ERC), established in 2007, and its President from 2010 to 2013.
She is currently Chair of the ERA Council Forum Austria and a member of the Austrian Council for Research and Technology Development.
After having completed her Law studies, she worked as Assistant Professor at the Institute of Criminology before moving to New York, where she studied under Paul F. Lazarsfeld and earned her Ph.D. in Sociology from Columbia University.
Back in Vienna, she headed the Department of Sociology at the Institute for Advanced Studies. She then completed a sabbatical at King’s College Cambridge, taught and received a post-doctoral lecturing qualification in Sociology with a focus on Science Studies at the University of Bielefeld. She was Founding Director of the European Centre in Vienna before joining the newly established Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin in 1981/82 as Fellow of the First Year group.
Before being appointed to ETH Zurich in 1995, Helga Nowotny was professor and head of the Institute for Theory and Science Studies at the University of Vienna, founded in 1986. At ETH Zurich, she headed the interdisciplinary Collegium Helveticum in addition to her professorship in Philosophy and Social Studies of Science.
In 2018, Nowotny was awarded the Leibniz Medal of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities.
Head of Institute at the University of Vienna and Professor at the Institute of Contemporary History at the University of Vienna
Oliver Rathkolb (* 1955 in Vienna) is Head of Institute at the University of Vienna and Professor at the Institute of Contemporary History at the University of Vienna. Since 2004 he has, inter alia, been managing editor of the specialised journal „zeitgeschichte“ (contemporary history). The numerous awards he has earned include the 2005 Donauland-Sachbuchpreis Danubius and the Bruno Kreisky Prize for the Political Book in the same year (title: Die paradoxe Republik. Österreich 1945-2005, published by Zsolnay Verlag). In 2012, he was awarded the Prize of the City of Vienna for Humanities, followed in 2015 by the Decoration of Honour in Gold of the Province of Vienna, and in 2016 the Grand Decoration of Honour in Silver for Services to the Republic of Austria.
He is also chairman of the jury of the Theodor Körner Prize for Science and the Arts, a member of the international scientific advisory board of the House of European History, European Parliament/Brussels and the Jewish Museum Vienna as well as chairman of the international scientific advisory board of the House of Austrian History.
Research and publication activities:
8 monographs (1 in English), editor of 7 anthologies (4 in English), co-editor of 32 anthologies (3 in English, 2 in Czech); some 200 scientific contributions in Austrian and international specialised papers as well as anthologies.
European history of the 20th century, Austrian and international contemporary and current history in the context of political history, the history of the Austrian republic in the European context, as well as international relations, history of Nazi perception, cultural and media history, economic history (industrial and banking sector), National Socialism and legal history.
Professor emeritus at the Vienna University of Technology
Arnold Schmidt (* 1938 in Vienna) studied Physics at the University of Vienna. From 1962 onwards, he contributed towards establishing the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Solid State Physics in Vienna.
From 1966 to 1971, Schmidt was active at the Physics Department of the University of York/England and from then until 1975 at the Physics Department of the University of California/Berkeley.
Since 1986 he has taught as a full university professor at the Institute of General Electrical Engineering and Electronics, and since 2001 at the Institute of Photonics at the Vienna University of Technology.
Arnold Schmidt is a Fellow of the Optical Society of America and the American Physical Society.
From 1994 to 2003, he was President of the Austrian Science Fund, from 2005 to 2009 Chairman of its Supervisory Board.
Arnold Schmidt curated the Science Talks at the Bruno Kreisky Forum.