With an overwhelming majority, the KIT Senate confirmed the unanimous decision by the Supervisory Board to elect Dr. Kora Kristof as Vice-President for Digitalization and Sustainability at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT). Confirmation by the KIT Senate is a further step in the process, to be followed by final negotiation of terms and conditions and by the appointment procedure. Only then will KIT have its first Vice-President for Digitalization and Sustainability. Kora Kristof has headed the Sustainability Strategies, Sustainable Resource Use, Instruments department at Germany’s Federal Environment Agency since 2011.
An economist who earned her doctorate with a thesis on a topic related to energy economics and did post-doctoral work on the success factors of social change, Kora Kristof is an expert on the digital transformation, the energy transition, successful societal change processes, sustainability, resource conservation and climate. In addition to her research, she advises government, business and civil society, and teaches these subjects at a university. At the Federal Environment Agency, she headed a substantive realignment of the Sustainability Strategies, Sustainable Resource Use, Instruments department and is actively involved in the agency’s strategic development. Previously, she headed the energy department at the Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy, and organized its work on material efficiency and resource conservation.
Professor Michael Kaschke, Chairman of KIT’s Supervisory Board, approves the KIT Senate’s vote, saying: “The Supervisory Board was unanimous in its approval of Ms. Kristof as the future Vice-President for Digitalization and Sustainability. She has extensive expertise in this field and is an excellent fit for KIT’s new Executive Board department.”
“I’m very pleased that we have been able to recruit Kora Kristof, an expert with scientific and strategic experience in digital sustainability and socio-ecological transformation, for KIT,” says Professor Holger Hanselka, President of KIT. “Digitalization and sustainability are inseparable at KIT. They’re linked together in many ways and affect everything we do – in our core tasks of research, teaching and innovation just as much as in administration and infrastructure. With Ms. Kristof, we have the ideal person in the team to continue shaping our activities with foresight and dedication.”
“Digitalization and sustainability are fundamental transformations of our time, which we can only master by working together. The digital transformation has to address ecological limits, resource aspects and societal issues from the outset to avoid creating major problems in the future. Climate change, biodiversity loss and the unsustainable use of natural resources clearly show that a fundamental socio-ecological transformation is imminent and needs to be skillfully managed,” says Dr. Kora Kristof. “I’m excited about the chance to make advances in both fields and their synergies in research, teaching and actual implementation at KIT, and I look forward to an interesting and effective collaboration.”
The term of office of the Vice-President for Digitalization and Sustainability is six years from the date of appointment. Kristof is scheduled to begin work on January 1, 2023.
About Kora Kristof
Kora Kristof studied economics, wrote her doctoral thesis on a problem related to energy economics, and investigated in her post-doctoral work the question of how societal changes can be shaped more effectively. She has headed the Sustainability Strategies, Sustainable Resource Use, Instruments department at Germany’s Federal Environment Agency since 2011. At the Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy from 1994 to 2011, she headed the energy department and a research group for sustainable production and consumption, and she organized the institute’s work on material efficiency and resource conservation. She was a research assistant to the German Bundestag’s special committee on protecting Earth’s atmosphere from 1992 to 1994, and from 1988 to 1992 she was a research assistant at the LMU Munich economics department. Her research focuses on models of change; transformation, innovation and diffusion research; instruments and institutions of sustainable development; sustainable digitalization; resource conservation and policy; energy economics and policy; climate change mitigation and adaptation; sustainable production and consumption; the green economy and the green society.
Being “The Research University in the Helmholtz Association”, KIT creates and imparts knowledge for the society and the environment. It is the objective to make significant contributions to the global challenges in the fields of energy, mobility, and information. For this, about 9,800 employees cooperate in a broad range of disciplines in natural sciences, engineering sciences, economics, and the humanities and social sciences. KIT prepares its 22,300 students for responsible tasks in society, industry, and science by offering research-based study programs. Innovation efforts at KIT build a bridge between important scientific findings and their application for the benefit of society, economic prosperity, and the preservation of our natural basis of life. KIT is one of the German universities of excellence.