After eight years at the helm of the AFS Foundation, Jürgen Blankenburg has retired as President of the Foundation Board. At the annual meeting in Adligenswil (Switzerland) on September 15, 2012, the Board members bid good-bye to Jürgen as the Foundation's founding President, thanking him for his path breaking engagement on behalf of the organization.
Under his guidance, the Foundation established itself as guardian of the AFS name and legacy.
Jürgen was also a key instigator of current plans by the Foundation to create a Virtual Museum for AFS. Work on this online museum is currently underway and the opening of the website is planned for 2014.
While the Board said good-bye to Jürgen, its members also welcomed him right back as the Foundation's Honorary President. Everyone on the Board is looking forward to Jürgen's keen advice in the future, even if he will be able to leave overall leadership to Ezio Vergani who is succeeding him as President of the Foundation Board.
Longtime volunteer and "elder statesman"
Jürgen Blankenburg is a longtime AFS volunteer. A key supporter of AFS Germany, he was a Founding Member of the Kuratorium and served 25 years on this advisory council. He was also a Founder of the German AFS-Foundation - AFS-Stiftung für Interkulturelle Begegnungen. He served on the AFS International Board of Trustees and was Chairman of the Finance Committee. Over the years, he has truly become one of AFS' "elder statesmen".
Outside of AFS, Jürgen worked first for Thyssen Steel then as an independent insurance broker. Philanthropist and trustee of several foundations, Jürgen is also an avid collector of art and an important supporter of cultural institutions in his city of Hamburg and beyond.
In 2009, the Federal Republic of Germany bestowed on him the Federal Cross of Merit (Bundesverdienstkreuz).
Photo Axel Jansen
PhD in political science
AFS exchange student from Duisburg to Birmingham, Alabama in 1952/53
Kuratorium AFS IB e.V. 1975-2000
AFS International Board of Trustees, Chairman Finance Committee, 1993-2000
Member Risk Management Committee, -2004
President AFS Foundation, 2004-2012An Art Connoisseur with a Sense of Initiative