German ex-diplomat is new director of York research centre

Klaus Rupprecht, until recently consul general of the Federal Republic of Germany in Toronto, is the new director of the Canadian Centre for German & European Studies (CCGES) at York University. He took up his position in mid-August 2007.

"As consul general, I have actively followed CCGES‘s growing academic and public strengths and am convinced of the important role it plays within the Canadian landscape," says Rupprecht. "I am delighted to join the centre and to be entrusted with its leadership."

Right: Klaus Rupprecht

Rupprecht has more than 30 years of experience as a German diplomat, including posts in Germany, China, Brazil, Taiwan, Portugal, the United States and Canada. Prior to being appointed consul general in 2002, he was a fellow at Harvard University’s Weatherhead Center for International Affairs and then director general of the German Institute Taipei in Taiwan. He holds a PhD in law from the University of Tübingen, Germany, and a master’s degree in comparative law from the University of Iowa, and speaks six languages, including German, Mandarin, English and French.

CCGES fosters and disseminates critical knowledge about Germany in its European context and about Europe as a geographical, political, social, cultural, and economic entity. Rupprecht will be responsible for administration, raising research funds and developing closer ties between the centre and diplomatic, private and cultural communities. He succeeds Professor Mark Webber, the centre’s founding director, who will remain active as a resident scholar and executive committee member.

"Although comparatively young, the centre is thriving thanks to the strong internal leadership and research of its faculty," says Webber. "To grow, we need an administrator with expertise in the diplomatic, fundraising and public visibility portfolios. Dr. Rupprecht’s time at Harvard gave him a good sense of how research centres operate, and he is familiar with both York and the wider community that the University and centre serve. All of us at CCGES support this outstanding appointment."

CCGES houses the secretariat of the Ontario/Baden-Württemberg and Ontario/Rhône-Alpes Student Exchange Programs and the Canadian Werkstudentenprogramm, the travel and work in Germany student program. As consul general, Rupprecht was instrumental in helping to secure funding for the first two programs from the Ontario government.

"Klaus Rupprecht brings an appreciation of the role of research and a wealth of experience in foreign policy, administration and fundraising to York," says Stan Shapson, York vice-president research & innovation. "He has played an important role in supporting both academic and cultural affairs through the German consulate, and has well-established contacts that will benefit the University. We are very pleased to welcome him to York."

Submitted to YFile by Elizabeth Monier-Williams, research communications officer, Office of the Vice-President Research & Innovation