Meet the New 2022 Leadership at the DWIH New York

Four Questions With Dr. Jan Luedert

Dr. Jan Lüdert began his position as Head of Programs at the DWIH New York in April 2022. In a short interview, he tells us about his background, what motivates him at work and what excites him about the DWIH New York.

Hi, Jan! Tell us a bit about you and where you’re coming from.

Originally from a small village in Northern Germany, I was born in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern (engl.: Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania), but my journey has taken me across the globe. I have studied and worked in Australia, Canada, and the United States as well as in several African countries. Professionally, I have been involved in academia for the past few years as the Director of Curriculum and Instruction at City University of Seattle, where I built a new Center for Curriculum and Instruction that was responsible for implementing a centralized curriculum system across the institution. Academically, I have been very interested in international organizations, such as the UN and World Bank, in general and the exchange of knowledge and ideas in institutions. My new role at the DWIH is, as such, very much a logical extension for me. Not only as it aligns with my academic interest – I come with a PhD and a Master’s in International Relations and Affairs – so the work of the DWIH to improve transatlantic relationships is very close to my own training and expertise.

What excites you about the DWIH?

There are three key pillars to our work that I find intriguing: to be relevant, to be visible and to offer high quality content. I think from here an array of intersections emerge for me personally, but also in terms of the work that we are finding ourselves in bringing higher education institutions in Germany and North America as well as industry partners and other policy actors into closer contact and deepen their engagement. I also really love the idea of working in a small team in which we can collaboratively and creatively achieve positive results together and especially by including our partners and supporters. Finally, the mission of the DWIH dovetails with my personal values and I believe that we can positively affect transatlantic partnership building and knowledge management.

What motivates you at work?

I strongly believe in being past-aware, future-oriented, and present-focused. I very much enjoy collaboration and creativity as a guiding post to work. Different people bring different perspectives and allowing for these perspectives to flourish and bringing everybody into the fold by touching on intrinsic motivators, I believe produces a great work environment. Of course, success always helps – if we are successful in the work that we do, we have small wins, that will drive us forward through continuous improvement and curiosity. Still, I think in order to be creative, to be collaborative, you also have to try, be willing to take risks. In short, to be creative you have to take risks, to take risks requires trust and a willingness to challenge each other in constructive ways.

And now a quick round of questions to finish our interview:

Brandenburg Gate or Empire State Building?
I would say Brandenburg Gate, because I have not been there in so long, so I do long to see it again. I see the Empire State Building every day [laughs].

Brezel or Bagel?
That is a hard one. But if I had to decide, I would say bagel: We have some pretty good bagels right next door to our home.

Thank you for the interview; the four of us look forward to working together with our partners. If you had not had the chance yet to get in touch with Jan, feel free to do so: jan.luedert [at]

About Dr. Jan Lüdert

Dr. Jan Lüdert is the Head of Programs at the DWIH New York. He has a proven track record of driving innovation and excellence in higher education. He is passionate about international affairs, knowledge management, and building transatlantic partnerships.

Jan previously served as an Associate Professor at City University of Seattle where he was the inaugural Director of Curriculum and Instruction. He also held positions as Visiting Research Scholar at the Ralph Bunche Institute for International Studies at City University of New York’s Graduate Center as well as a Research Associate with the German Research Fund ‘Dynamics of Security’ project at Philipps University of Marburg, Germany.

He earned his Ph.D. in Political Science at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver. He recently completed Harvard Kennedy’s School Public Leadership Credential and holds a First Class Honors Masters of Arts in International Relations from the Australian National University as well as a BA in Public Policy from Hamburg University for Economics and Politics. Jan studied at the University of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania focusing on sociology and economics. As a senior manager he coordinated grassroots’ community programs in Botswana for Skillshare International. Jan is an alumnus of Seattle’s World Affairs Council Fellows and Vancouver’s Liu Institute for Global Issues Scholar programs.

These combined experiences prepared him to progressively develop active global networks in academia, government, and industry as well as applied knowledge of the research landscape in North America and Germany.