The President is chair of the Board of Trustees and is nominated by the Members of the Board of Trustees on consideration of proposals by the Assembly of Directors and appointed by the Federal Ministry for Education and Research for a tenure of four years. 

The President is the external representative of the Foundation. In particular the incumbent represents the common interests of the institutes vis-à-vis sponsors, politics, the public and academic organisations as well as collaborating in national and international political science bodies and organisations. In employment law terms the President is the supervisor of the Directors of the Institutes and the Executive Director.

Following the early foundation years in which two chairs of the Board of Trustees were deployed by the BMBF (MinDir Karsten Brenner and MDir Dr. Uwe Bake), the Cologne-based historian Professor Dr. Dr. h. c. Wolfgang Schieder was nominated by the Board of Trustees on 10 February 2003 for a first tenure and again on 20 November 2006 for a second.

At the 14th meeting of the Board of Trustees on 9 May 2008 the Director of the Institute for European History in Mainz, Professor Dr. Dr. h. c. Heinz Duchhardt was nominated as successor to Wolfgang Schieder and subsequently appointed by Federal Minister Schavan. He took up office on 1 May 2009.

Professor Dr. Hans van Ess succeeded Professor Dr. Dr. h.c. Heinz Duchhardt as the President of Trustees of the Max Weber Foundation on March 1, 2015 

  • Vita Prof. van Ess