Learn more about the people behind DWIH New York and the work that helps us achieve our mission.  

Benedikt Brisch



Benedikt Brisch took over the position of Director of the DWIH New York as well as Director of the DAAD Regional Office New York in January 2019. After graduating with a Master’s degree in History, Slavic Languages and Political Science at the University of Cologne, he started working at DAAD in Bonn. Beginning in 1998 he coordinated a scholarship program for Russian graduates, which was funded by German industry.

During his time as Deputy Director of the DAAD Regional Office in Moscow from 2000 to 2004 a main topic of his work was the development of co-funded scholarship programs. From 2005 until 2014 he was responsible for programs of academic exchange between Germany, Eastern Europe and Central Asia, where DAAD is fostering a growing number of projects in the field of trans-national education. From 2015 until his departure for New York City he was the head of the Division for Scholarships in Europe and North America at DAAD in Bonn.

Dr. Kathrin DiPaola
Program Manager


Dr. Kathrin DiPaola looks back at an impressive record of academic and industry endeavors and has worked for stellar institutions and companies in Europe and the U.S. She received a PhD from the University of Maryland with a dissertation on postcolonial literature in the South Pacific and a Master’s Degree from Arizona State University on Kafka’s fragment Amerika. Until 2010, she held appointments as Assistant Professor and was the youngest and first female Director of Deutsches Haus at New York University. In 2012, she left academia to pursue a career in mobility consulting, where she was responsible for the intersection between products/technologies in social and cultural processes. Clients included OEMs, city governments, suppliers, urban planners, and more.

In October 2018, she joined Business Sweden, the Swedish Trade and Invest Council, and took on an assignment as Senior Investment Advisor, helping German companies in different sectors to grow and partner with the Swedish innovation ecosystem. Until February 2021 and before joining the DWIH, Dr. DiPaola held the position of Managing Director Germany for the Swedish tech scale-up TechBuddy, with market presence in Sweden, Spain, Israel and Germany.

Julia Helmes
Program Officer


Julia Helmes is the Program Officer at the German Center for Research and Innovation (DWIH). Her responsibilities consist of event management and general office administration.

Prior to joining the DWIH, Julia spent two years working for an arts non-profit in Boston, teaching visual art and creative writing, and working as an Outreach Coordinator.

Julia studied literature at Barnard College, the Humboldt University in Berlin, and Trinity College Dublin where she graduated with an M.Phil. in Children’s Literature.

When she’s not at work, Julia is usually drinking tea, taking a walk outside, or perusing a local bookshop. 


Headshot of Casey Detrow
Casey Detrow
Communications Officer
Note: Do not contact the DWIH New York looking to promote for-profit resources. 


Casey Detrow is the Communications Officer at the German Center for Research and Innovation. She is responsible for marketing and outreach including the DWIH’s monthly newsletter, their website and social media presence.

Prior to joining the DWIH, Casey worked for the DAAD from 2019-2021. Before this, she lived in Luxembourg, running the educational program for the National Museum of Art, and Berlin, where she worked in communications across the art industry.

Casey holds a B.A. in Cultural Anthropology and Gender Studies from the Macaulay Honors College at Hunter College, CUNY, and a M.A. in American Studies from the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin.

Mei Kuo
Communications and Operations Intern


Mei Kuo is the Communications and Operations Intern at the German Center for Research and Innovation. She works on various tasks and projects involving social media, communication, and events.

Born and raised in Taipei, Taiwan, Mei is a 3rd year student at Barnard College studying Computer Science and German Studies. She is passionate about designing solutions to social problems and tackling human-centered designs. In her free time, you can find her experimenting with new recipes in the kitchen or ice cream hunting around New York City.  

Want to join us as an intern? We consider applications for internships biannually. Click here to find out more.