Board and CEO
Ralf Fücks was born in 1951 in Edenkoben (Palatinate). While at university, studying social sciences, economics, and political science, he was active in the student movements in Heidelberg and Bremen.
Ralf Fücks joined the Green Party in 1982. In 1985 he was elected to the Bremen state parliament. He served as Co-President for the national Green Party in 1989/90. During this period he strongly advocated transforming the Greens into a reform party which, jointly with the social democrats, should be striving for new political majorities and coalitions.
He returned to regional politics in Bremen in 1991, serving as Deputy Mayor and as Senator for Urban Development and Environmental Protection. He held that position until 1995 when the green-liberal-social democrat coalition collapsed due to fundamental different positions with the Liberal Party on urban development.
Ralf Fücks has been a member of the executive board of the Heinrich Böll Foundation since 1996. Together with his colleagues, he rebuilt the foundation completely, moving its headquarters to Berlin. In November 2011, he was re-elected for a fourth term. The primary focus of his work is on sustainable development, reshaping the welfare state, migration, the future of European integration, and on foreign policy. He is responsible for the divisions of domestic political education, Europe and North America, German-Israeli-Relations as well as for the foundation’s scholarship program.
As a member of the Green Party’s Program Commission he co-authored the new party program which was adopted in spring 2002. In 2000 the Minister for the Interior, Otto Schily, appointed him member of the non-partisan commission on migration which presented its final report in July 2001.
In 1991, he was editor of the book "Sind die Grünen noch zu retten?" (‘Is There a Future for the Green Party?’). He is a regular contributor to numerous newspapers and political periodicals and co-author to numerous books. He is the author of the book “Intelligent Wachsen – Die grüne Revolution (Intelligent Growth – The Green Revolution)”, which will be released on February 25, 2013.
From 1983 to 1985, she edited iz3w, a periodical devoted to North-South policy, and worked as a research assistant for the NGO Aktion Dritte Welt in Freiburg.
Unmüßig then served the Green members of parliament Uschi Eid (1985 to 1987) and Ludger Volmer (1987 to 1990) as a research assistant in the German Bundestag. During that time, she focused primarily on North-South policy and international environmental issues.
In 1991 and 1992, she managed the UN Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) project office of the German environmental organisations the German League for Nature and Environment (Deutscher Naturschutzring, DNR) and Friends of the Earth Germany (Bund für Umwelt und Naturschutz Deutschland, BUND) in preparation for the Rio de Janeiro summit in 1992.
In 1992, Unmüßig was a founding member – and until 2002 spokesperson – of the Forum on Environment and Development, a German NGO, and in 1993 the founder and until 2002 the executive chairperson of World Economy, Ecology, & Development (WEED).
In 2000, she co-founded the German Institute for Human Rights (Deutsches Institut für Menschenrechte, DIMR), a human rights organisation, and has been on its board of trustees since 2001. In 2009, Unmüßig was made deputy chairperson of the DIMR board of trustees. She has also, since 2003, been a member of the advisory board of the Jahrbuch Ökologie environmental yearbook. Since 2009, she has been a juror for the Helene-Weber-Preis, an award for young female municipal politicians initiated by the German Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth.
Barbara Unmüßig regularly contributes to the strategy and programme debate of the German Green party Bündnis 90/Die Grünen in fields such as gender policy and global governance.
From 1996 to 2001, she chaired the supervisory board of the Heinrich Böll Foundation, and was elected president of the foundation in May 2002. She is responsible for its strategy and programme development for Latin America, Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and for the Gunda Werner Institute for Feminism and Gender Democracy. Her work focuses on issues of globalisation and international climate policy, national and international gender policy, and the promotion of democracy and conflict prevention. In December 2006, she was elected to a second term as president.
Her numerous contributions to periodicals and books have covered international trade and finance, international environmental issues, and gender policy.
From 1998 through 2007 Livia Cotta undertook various editing and event management positions at the Georg Thieme Verlag – a Stuttgart-based publishing house that specializes in medical literature. Among other projects while working there she established a professional journal for psychotherapists, assembled Internet presentations and conferences and oversaw the re-launch of a professional journal for anesthesiologists. She then worked for two years as the head of marketing and communications at Hocoma, a Swiss medical technology company located near Zurich.
She developed proficiency in managing an internationally active non-profit organization while working with the German Bone Marrow Donor Database (DKMS), where she worked as medical director beginning in 2009 and was also responsible for the human resources, administration and IT departments.
As a journalist she has published on themes such as “medicine in crisis areas” and she received the 2003 “Karl Theodor Vogel Preis für Fachpublizistik” for her publication “Neurologische Reha – Training für die grauen Zellen”. Under her direction, the journal physiopraxis was named “Professional Journal of the Year” in 2005.
Dr. Livia Cotta came to the Heinrich Böll Stiftung in the spring of 2013 to apply her managerial experience in global and intercultural work to an organization that is engaged in building a better society within and beyond the field of health care and that emphasizes values such as ecology, solidarity and gender democracy. Her key interests include the promotion of democratic decision-making and socio-political involvement via national and international educational projects.