Diversity in Think Tanks – Why It Matters and What We Can Do

31 May 2022
Event location


Event Visual: Diversity in Think Tanks

On the occasion of the 10th German Diversity Day, the Think Tank Lab and its partners cordially invite you to this two-part event at the German Council on Foreign Relations, Rauchstr. 17, 10787 Berlin and online

As key influencers of public policy and public opinion, think tanks bear the responsibility to develop solutions that adequately represent the diversity of those affected by today’s global challenges. German think tanks are increasingly striving to reflect the breadth of German society and that of the societies we research and advise on in our workforce, reports, and events. On the 10th German Diversity Day, we will discuss why diversity in think tanks matters with representatives from think tanks, foundations, and policy. We will assess what stands in the way of more diversity, equity, and inclusion in think tanks today, share good practices, and discuss how we can move forward on this together.

PART 1 | 2:30–4:00 PM (see agenda below)

Part 1 can be attended in person at the German Council on Foreign Relations in Berlin or online via Zoom. Please indicate your mode of participation when registering for the event.

PART 2 | 4:30–6:00 PM (see agenda below)

Part 2 can only be attended in person at the German Council on Foreign Relations in Berlin.


2:00 PM | Arrival & Coffee

2:30 PM | Welcome

Claire Luzia Leifert
, Head, Think Tank Lab, German Council on Foreign Relations

2:45 PM | Hybrid Panel Discussion | Diversity in Think Tanks – Why It Matters

We will discuss why diversity matters for think tanks and foundations involved in policy work and what we can do to foster diversity and inclusion in our industry.


Dr. Olumide Abimbola, Founder and Director, Africa Policy Research Institute

Dr. Susanne Olberg, Head of Division, Equal Opportunities and Gender Equality,

Federal Foreign Office (tbc)

Dr. Christal Morehouse, Senior Program Officer, Open Society Foundations

Scarlett Varga, Head of Development, Bruegel; Co-Founder, Brussels Binder

Moderator: Claire Luzia Leifert

3:45 PM | What We Can Do | Presentation of the Results of the Think Tank Lab Diversity Challenge

We will present two guides developed in the framework of the Think Tank Lab’s Diversity Challenge “How to foster diversity in German think tanks?”:

  • “Hiring for Diversity and Inclusion: Suggestions for Think Tanks and Foundations” provides detailed advice on the measures that organizations can implement if they want to make their hiring processes more inclusive to attract and retain professionals with a migratory background.

    Presentation: Santiago Cuervo Escobar, Project Manager, Stiftung Mercator, and Pradnya Bivalkar, Senior Project Manager, Robert Bosch Stiftung
  • The 7-step guide Diversity Officers in Think Tanks: How To Make an Impact in Your First 12 Months” provides orientation for newly appointed diversity officers and for organizations that would like to create such a position in the future.

    Presentation: Barbara Pongratz, Associate Analyst, MERICS

4:00 PM | Coffee Break


4:30 PM | Parallel Workshops

Participants can choose between two parallel workshops that will allow them to further familiarize themselves with the two guides, explore how to foster diversity and inclusion in their own organizations, and share experiences with diversity initiatives at their own organizations. ​​​​​​

  • Workshop 1: How to Make Hiring and Onboarding Processes More Inclusive

    Facilitation: Santiago Cuervo Escobar, Project Manager, Stiftung Mercator, and Sarah Bressan, Research Fellow, Global Public Policy Institute and Co-Founder, Better Think Tanking
  • Workshop 2: How To Get Started as a Diversity Officer

    Facilitation: Andre Weisser, Head of Press and Public Relations and Diversity Coordinator, Stiftung Neue Verantwortung, and Ayşe Yürekli, Senior Expert, TÜSIAD Germany Representation and Berlin Bosphorus Initiative Coordinator

5:30 PM | Where to Go from Here – Opportunities to Stay Engaged

We will present different opportunities to stay in touch and get involved to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion in the think tank landscape.

6:00 PM | Livestream, Drinks, and Networking | 

As of 6:00 PM, participants are invited to join us for drinks, networking, and watching a stream of the online event „Die Bundesregierung will mehr Diversität schaffen! Aber wie? “. Speakers include Dr. Tobias Lindner, Minister of State at the Federal Foreign Office, and Jürgen Dusel, Federal Government Commissioner for Matters Relating to Persons with Disabilities. The language of the event is German. It is organized by Junge DGAP in cooperation with Diplomats of Color and DIVERSITRY e.V.


Please register for the event and your preferred workshop HERE by May 29. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about how to join. Please also note that, upon registration, your data will be stored according to the DGAP Privacy Policy and the MERICS Privacy Policy. The event will be photographed and filmed. This photo and film material will be used by DGAP and MERICS for public relations purposes, e.g., for publication in print media, on the internet, or in social media.

We strive to host an inclusive, accessible event that enables all individuals to engage fully. If you require any sort of accommodation or have questions about accessibility, please contact us via thinktanklab@dgap.org.

We look forward to welcoming you to this event! Meanwhile, please make sure to follow us on Twitter for news and fresh takes on think tanking!


The Think Tank Lab is a joint project of the German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP) and the Mercator Institute for China Studies (MERICS). It is kindly supported by Stiftung Mercator and Robert Bosch Stiftung.




Think Tank Event