Coordinating Experts

Each of the six conflict areas was coordinated by international experts in World Heritage and the respective topic:

Dr. Roland Bernecker, Visiting Professor for Cultural Management, BTU Cottbus-Senftenberg
Dr. phil. Roland Bernecker is Visiting Professor for the Chair of Cultural Management at Brandenburg University of Technology. He was Secretary-General of the German Commission for UNESCO (2004-2019). He took part in the negotiations of the legal instruments of UNESCO for the Intangible Cultural Heritage (2003) and the Diversity of Cultural Expressions (2005) and was Member of the Panel for the European Heritage Label (2013-2017). From 2002 to 2004 he worked in the German Federal Foreign Office in Berlin. Previously, he was Director of the French-German Cultural Institute in Nantes, France, and Lecturer at the University of Nantes.

Nicole Franceschini, Research Associate, Chair of Cultural Management, BTU Cottbus-Senftenberg
Nicole Franceschini is a research associate and lecturer in heritage management at the Chair of Cultural Management at the Brandenburg University of Technology and she has offered lectures in various universities, including Bocconi University in Italy. Besides her work in the academic field, she has cooperated with different international organisations (ICCROM, IUCN, UNESCO World Heritage Centre), heritage consultancies and local authorities in the development of projects and activities focused on the World Heritage Convention and its implementation. She is an active member of ICOMOS and represents Emerging Professionals on the board of the International Scientific Committee for Archaeological Heritage Management.

Matthias Ripp, PhD, World Heritage Coordinator, Stadt Regensburg
Matthias Ripp, PhD, holds a degree in Historical Geography from Bamberg University and a PhD in Heritage Studies. Since 2007 he has been the world heritage coordinator of the “Old Town of Regensburg with Stadtamhof” site. He chairs the UNESCO world heritage working group on historic city centres of the German Association of Cities and is a member of the European Heritage Panel. Since November 2011 he has also been regional coordinator for the North West European and North-American region of the Organisation of Heritage Heritage Cities (OWHC). The title of his Dissertation was “A metamodel for heritage-based urban development”

Prof. Dr. Alexander Siegmund, UNESCO Chair on World Heritage and Biosphere Reserve Observation and Education, Department of Geography – Research Group for Earth Observation (rgeo), Heidelberg University of Education
Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Alexander Siegmund, studied geography, business administration and education; PhD at University of Mannheim 1997; Academic assistant at the Chair of Physical Geography and Regional Studies, University of Mannheim; Professor for Geography and its Didactics, Karlsruhe University of Education; since 2004 Professor for Physical Geography and its Didactics, Heidelberg University of Education; Honorary Professor at University of Heidelberg; Holder of the “UNESCO Chair on Observation and Education of World Heritage and Biosphere Reserve”; Managing Director of the Heidelberg Center for Education for Sustainable Development; Member of the European Science and Technology Advisory Group (E-STAG) by the UNDRR.

Prof. Dr. Friedrich Schipper,  Prof. Mag. Dr. (LtCol tr.) at the Theresian Military Academy of the Austrian Armed Forces, Chairperson of the Competence Centre for Cultural Heritage, Cultural Property Protection and Cultural Communication, Lecturer at the University of Vienna (Austria)
Friedrich Schipper is an Austrian archaeologist working as PI in the H-2020 project SHELTER on cultural heritage and climate change. He is the chairperson of the Competence Centre for Cultural Heritage at the University of Vienna and general secretary of Blue Shield Austria, expert officer for cultural property protection at the Theresian Military Academy of the Austrian Armed Forces as well at the Austrian Peacekeeper Association. He deals with archaeology of the Ancient Near East, cultural heritage studies, cultural property protection in the event of armed conflict, illicit trafficking in cultural property, and civil-military as well as civil-police cooperation.

Dr. Claire Cave, University of Dublin
Claire Cave is a lecturer and coordinator of the World Heritage Management programme at University College Dublin (UCD). Dr Cave holds a Ph.D. in Zoology from UCD with a focus on conservation biology. Her work centres on protected area management in view of globalization and sustainable development. Her most recent project ‘Building futures: Irish/ Kenyan collaboration’ involves a UCD multidisciplinary team working with Samburu tribe members from Kenya to respond together on issues of sustainability, climate change, environmental degradation and water scarcity. Claire co-authored the book ‘World Heritage Conservation: The World Heritage Convention linking culture and nature for sustainable development’.

Prof. Dr. Thomas Schmitt, Professorship for Cultural Heritage and the Protection of Cultural Properties, Heidelberg Center for Cultural Heritage (HCCH), Universität Heidelberg
Thomas Schmitt is Human geographer and has been researching, among others, on the governance of the World Heritage system, on the transformation of urban and cultural Heritage landscapes, on cultural policies, on the UNESCO concept of intangible heritage, on energy transitions, and on interreligious conflicts. Since 2020 he has been professor for Cultural Heritage at Heidelberg University/Germany.