| Ursula Engelen-Kefer |
(politician, union leader)
Engelen-Kefer in 2014
|Born||20 June 1943|
|Alma mater||Cologne University|
|Spouse||Klaus C. Engelen|
|Party||Social Democratic Party of Germany|
Vice Chairman of the German Confederation of Trade Unions 1990-2006. Attended 1998 Bilderberg meeting
Ursula Engelen-Kefer is a German politician who held the position of Deputy Chairman of the German Confederation of Trade Unions (Deutscher Gewerkschaftsbund; DGB) from 1990 to 2006.
Ursula Engelen-Kefer studied economics at Cologne University and got her doctorate with a thesis Retraining in a growing economy — the experience of the United States.
She started as a freelance journalist in New York and later joined the Economic and Social Science Institute of the DGB. In 1974 she moved to the DGB as an expert for international social policy. From 1980 to 1984 she headed DGB’s department for labour market policy. In 1984, the Government of Chancellor Helmut Kohl appointed her Vice President of the German Federal Employment Administration, a position she held until 1990.
In 1990, the German Trade Union Federation Congress in Hamburg elected Ursula Engelen-Kefer as Deputy Chairman of the DGB. Re-elected three times, she held this position until May 2006. During that time she was alternate chairman of the managing board and later the supervisory board of Federal Employment Agency (BA). For several years she also chaired, on an alternate basis with the top employer representative, the German Social Security Administration. From 1985 to 2010, she was a member of the Committee for Social Order (Kammer für Soziale Ordnung) of the Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD). For two terms she represented the Unions in the EKD’s leading body , in the Senate of the Max Planck Society and in the ZDF Fernsehrat, the supervisory body of Germany’s second public television channel.
After Heinz-Werner Meyer, the DGB’s chairman, died shortly before the DGB Federal Congress in 1994, Engelen-Kefer had to assume the chairmanship on a temporary basis until Dieter Schulte, member of the Managing Board of IG Metall, was nominated and elected as new DGB chairman. After serving four terms, at the DGB Federal Congress in May 2006 in Berlin, Engelen-Kefer decided to stand again for election. In the election of the new DGB Managing Board on May 23, 2006, she was defeated by Ingrid Sehrbrock, a member of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), who had been nominated by the chairmen of the eight unions that form the DGB. 161 delegates voted for Engelen-Kefer, 212 delegates voted for Ingrid Sehrbrock.
On the international stage, Ursula Engelen-Kefer was active in several institutions and bodies. She represented the DGB unions in the Governing Body of the International Labour Organization (ILO) from 1991 to 2008. She also was a member of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) of the European Union (1978 to 1986 and 1990 to 2006) and a member of the Consultative Committee of the European Social Fund (1974—1980). She was a member of the Executive Committee of the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC; 1990—2006) and of the Executive Committee of the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU) from 1990 to 2006.
Since 2010, she is a lecturer at the German Federal Employment Agency’s special training school Hochschule der Bundesagentur für Arbeit in Schwerin, where she is honorary professor in "International and European Labour Market and Employment Policies".
She also teaches at the Free University of Berlin and chairs the Social Policy Working Group of the non-government organization Sozialverband Deutschland. From 1986 to 2009, Ursula Engelen-Kefer belonged to the 45-member Executive Committee of the Social Democratic Party (SPD).
Ursula Engelen-Kefer received the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany (Cross of Merit First Class) presented to her by the Minister of Labour, Norbert Blüm. She is married to the economic journalist Klaus C. Engelen. The couple has two sons.
Event Participated in
|Bilderberg/1998||14 May 1998||17 May 1998||Scotland|
|The 46th Bilderberg meeting, held in Scotland, chaired by Peter Carrington|
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