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First female president of Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

After 118 male predecessors, Marlis Dürkop-Leptihn was named the very first female president of Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin in 1992 – a time when the radical changes sweeping through the city were also being reflected in its universities. She held the position for four years. Her expertise in science and research policy made its mark in two large German cities.

Dürkop-Leptihn studied sociology, psychology and journalism at Freie Universität Berlin from 1966 to 1971. She then worked as a research assistant for law in Berlin and for criminology at the Leibniz University of Hanover. Dürkop-Leptihn qualified as a professor at Freie Universität Berlin’s Psychology Institute. In 1978 she was appointed a professor at Berlin’s State University of Applied Sciences for Social Work and Social Pedagogy, and in 1986 she became its rector.

From 1991 to 1992 she was science policy spokesperson for the political party Alliance 90/The Greens in Berlin’s House of Representatives. In 1998 she became the councilor responsible for science, research and equality in Hamburg’s city government.


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