The Board of Trustees is the Foundation’s supreme decision-making body. New members are chosen by vote of the current members, and the Board elects its Chair in consultation with the Jacobs family council. The Board is composed of distinguished international experts who have expertise and connections across the Foundation’s activity areas.
Jenny Abramson was appointed to the Board in January 2021. She is Founder and Managing Partner of the venture capital fund Rethink Impact. She has a master’s degree in sociology and holds an MBA from Harvard Business School.
Hans Ambühl joined the Board in October 2013 and was appointed Vice President in 2022. He was General Secretary of the Swiss Conference of Cantonal Ministers of Education in Bern until 2017.
William Egbe joined the Board in April 2015. He is an engineer with an MBA, and was Group Director Strategic Planning and Sustainability for the Coca-Cola Eurasia & Africa Group.
Sandro Giuliani, former Managing Director of the Jacobs Foundation, has served as Delegate of the Board since April 2015. He has been a Member of the Board since January 2020.
Dr. Joh. Christian Jacobs
Joh. Christian Jacobs joined the Board in 1995 and was appointed Chair in 2004. Today he is active as an entrepreneurial investor. Since April 2015, he has held the position of Honorary Chairman.
Prof. Dr. Ulman Lindenberger
Ulman Lindenberger joined the Board in January 2012. He is a German psychologist and Director of the Center for Lifespan Psychology at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin.
Dr. Olaf von Maydell
Olaf von Maydell has been a member of the Board since May 2013. He is a tax consultant with a PhD in agricultural economics, and a partner in the Schomerus & Partner tax consulting firm in Berlin.
Dr. Emiliana Vegas
Emiliana Vegas was appointed to the Board in January 2021. She is Senior Fellow and Co-Director of the Center for Universal Education at The Brookings Institution. She holds a doctoral degree in education from the Graduate School of Education at Harvard University.
Years in Office
Prof. Dr. Patrick Aebischer President EPFL
2017 – 2022
2012 – 2019
Prof. Paul B. Baltes (†) Director Max-Planck- Institute
1989 – 2005
Prof. Jürgen Baumert
2006 – 2012
Prof. Ernst Buschor Former Member of the Government and Minister of Education of the canton of Zurich
2010 – 2012
Flavio Cotti (†) Former President of Switzerland
1999 – 2010
Pascal Couchepin Former President of Switzerland
2010 – 2012
Prof. Pierre Ducrey University Lausanne
1989 – 1998
Dr. David A. Hamburg (†) President Emeritus, Carnegie Corporation of New York
1991 – 1998
Prof. Michael Hubermann (†) Senior Reasearch Associate, Prof Harvard University
1991 – 1995
Klaus J. Jacobs (†) Founder & Chairman
1991 – 2007
Walther J. Jacobs (†) Honorary Chairman
1991 – 1995
Prof. Eduardo Missoni Prof. Bocconi University in Milan
2006 – 2011
Lázló Nagy (†) President
1991 – 1998
Dr. Auma Obama
2010 – 2015
Prof. Sir Michael Rutter (†) Institute of Phsychiatry
1998 – 2003
Prof. Marta Tienda, Ph.D.
1999 – 2021
Prof. Laura Tyson, Ph.D.
2012 – 2017
Prof. Heinrich Ursprung Former Swiss State Secretary
1995 – 2003
Learning is at the heart of what we do throughout our lives. We learn in the womb, at school, at work, and at play. In the early years, children have an enormous capacity to learn. However, the Jacobs Foundation’s three decades in child and youth development have shown us that learning systems often fail to nurture children’s full learning potential.