Advisory Board

The Webster Vienna Advisory Board currently consists of 15 members holding prominent business, political, or cultural positions in Austria. They advise the Campus Director on matters pertaining to visibility and reputation in regional business, cultural, and educational communities. The Advisory Board provides a complementary advisory function to the University Council’s control and monitoring functions in three meeting per year. Its members play a vital role in improving the competitiveness of the university’s academic programs by providing insights into market needs and external funding opportunities and thus fostering critical linkages between the university and the public and private sectors in Austria and the broader Central and Eastern European region.

Dr. Walter Schön

Chief Executive Officer, Schoen Aerospace Trading & Consulting (Committee Chairman)

Dr. Walter SchonChairman of the WVPU Advisory Board since 2017
Member of WVPU Advisory Board for more than 25 years

Since 1992, Walter Schön has been the CEO of Schoen Aerospace Trading & Consulting GmbH, a company that has been in operation since 1951. His main operating areas are Security & Defense and Industrial Cooperation. As CEO, he has consulted a number of companies, including but not limited to Leonardo and Iveco of Italy, Ruag and Rheinmetall Air Defence of Switzerland, and Frequentis of Austria.

In addition to his leadership on the WVPU Advisory Board, Schön is a member of the Austrian Defense and Security Industry (ASW). He is also the Vice President of the Austrian-Italian Association and is the Honorary Consul of St. Vincent & the Grenadines in Austria.

HE Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo

Secretary General, Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC)

Mohammad Sanusi BarkindoMember of the WVPU Advisory Board since 2018

Since 2016, HE Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo began his tenure as the Secretary General of OPEC. An accomplished oil technocrat, he possesses a wealth of experience in the oil and gas industry, both in his home country, Nigeria, and internationally.

For more than 23 years, he worked at the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, culminating in his appointment as Group Managing Director and CEO in January 2009. He was also Deputy Managing Director of Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas, as well as Special Advisor to former Minister of Petroleum Resources and OPEC Secretary General, Dr Rilwanu Lukman.

An OPEC veteran, HE Barkindo served as Nigeria’s OPEC National Representative for 15 years and was also OPEC Governor. In 2006, he was appointed Acting OPEC Secretary General. A passionate advocate of the climate change initiative, HE Barkindo led Nigeria’s technical delegations at the negotiations that produced the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Kyoto Protocol. Born in April 1959, in Yola, Adamawa State, Nigeria, HE Barkindo holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science, a Postgraduate Diploma in Petroleum Economics and Management, and a Master of Business Administration.

Mag. Michael Edelsbrunner

Country Executive, Citibank Europe plc, Austria Branch

Michael EdelsbrunnerMember of the WVPU Advisory Board since 2011

Mag. Michael Edelsbrunner graduated from Karl-Franzens-University of Graz in 1992, with a Master’s degree in Economics and a specialization in banking and industrial economics. He began his career in the banking industry soon after with Sanpaolo Bank (Vienna, Austria) Aktiengesellschaft, working as a Relationship Manager in corporate banking until 1997.

In 1998, Michael joined Citibank International Limited Austria Branch, where he has made a career lasting 14 years. He started as a Relationship Manager in corporate banking, and was promoted to Vice President in 2001. In January of 2005, he served as Director/Holder of Commercial Procuration, a position which was later incorporated as Country Director seven months later. In August 2006, he served as the Senior Credit Officer until October 2007, when he became the Citi Country Officer, a position he has held since. While German is his mother tongue, Michael is also fluent in English and French.

KR Dipl. Ing. Rudolf Hamp

Vice Chairman of the Supervisory Board, HTI-AG

Rudolf HampVice Chair of the WVPU Advisory Board since 2011

Rudolf Hamp is vice chairman of the Supervisory Board of HTI-AG (High Tech Industries) in Oberösterreich since November 2016. Before he was Vice Chairman of Opel Wien GmbH until December 2016.

After graduating from the Technical University in Vienna for his studies in Mechanical and Industrial Engineering in 1977, Rudolf Hamp went on to hold various teaching and counseling activities.

From April 1981 to August 1988, he became Manager of Material Handling for Opel Austria GmbH. In September 1988, he acquired further managerial responsibilities for the Production Control Department at Opel before becoming the European Manager for Material Control in 1989, a position which moved him to Rüsselsheim, Germany. He spent two years there until he returned to Austria as Manager of Manufacturing Services Opel in 1991. Three years later he was promoted to Plant Director, holding that position until 2000, when he was further promoted to Managing Director of Opel Hungary Powertrain Ltd.

In 2005, Rudolf Hamp made yet another return to Austria as the Managing Director of Opel Wien, a position which he kept until his retirement in 2011. In 2008, he held the additional responsibility for one year for ISPOL Plant, Poland and VM Motori Plant, Italy.

Rudolf Hamp held several positions in various organizations. He was Vice President on the Executive Board of the American Chamber of Commerce, Executive Vice President to the Austrian Vehicle Industry Representation of the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber, President to the Vehicle Industry Representation in Vienna of the Vienna Chamber of Commerce and Industry, an Executive board member for the Federation of Austrian Industries – Vienna, as well as a Webster Vienna Private University advisory board member.

He was awarded with the „Goldenes Ehrenzeichen für Verdienste um das Land Wien“ in 2007, the professional title „Kommerzialrat“ in 2011 and the „Silberne Ehrenzeichen für Verdienste um die Republik Österreich“ in 2018.

He is married and has 2 children.

Mag. Liane Hirner (CPA)

Member of the Managing Board, Vienna Insurance Group

Liane HirnerMember of the WVPU Advisory Board since 2018

In February 2018, Mag. Liane Hirner (CPA) became a member of the Managing Board of the Vienna Insurance Group and in July 2018, she was appointed VIG’s Chief Financial Officer. She graduated from Karl-Franzens-University of Graz, with a Master´s degree in Economics.

She then started her professional career at PwC Paris in 1992. In 1993, she moved to PwC Vienna. From 2009 until 2017, Liane was a partner at PwC Austria specialized in financial services with a focus on insurance. Hirner has been a tax advisor in Austria since 1997 and a certified auditor since 2001. She is married and has two sons.

Hirner is also a member of a number of prestigious organizations, including the Austrian Financial Reporting and Auditing Committee (AFRAC), Accountancy Europe (Brussels), Austrian Institute of Public Accountants (IWP), Austrian Insurance Association (VVO) and EIOPA IRSG (Insurance and Reinsurance Stakeholder Group). She is also on the Expert Board for Commercial Law and Auditing at the Chamber of Public Accountants and Tax Advisors (KSW).

Ing. Rudolf Kemler

Senior Partner, Roland Berger GmbH

Rudolf KemlerMember of the WVPU Advisory Board since 2012

Since September 2015, Rudolf Kemler is Senior Partner at Roland Berger GmbH.

After graduation from engineering school, Rudolf Kemler began his career in the banking sector (Creditanstalt, Girozentrale and Studiengesellschaft für Sparkassenautomation). In 1984, he became General Manager of WBG Betriebswirtschaft Beratungsgesellschaft m.b.H., an international business consulting firm specializing in organizational development and strategic consulting.

In 1989, he joined the management team of Nixdorf Computer GmbH, where he also headed the Banks & Insurance division. In 1990, after playing a key role in organizing the merger between Siemens-Data and Nixdorf, Kemler became Director of Siemens Nixdorf Informationssysteme GmbH in Vienna. In 1992, he moved to the international corporate headquarters of Siemens Nixdorf Informationssysteme AG in Munich, where as Executive Vice President he was in charge of global finances for the Branch Systems sector. Beginning in 1995, Kemler headed the Computer Systems division of Siemens Nixdorf for the Austria & South East Europe region, headquartered in Vienna. From 1998 to 2000, he was Senior Vice President and CIO with international responsibilities at GE Capital Corporation in Stamford (United States), where he helped guide the company through a phase involving numerous international acquisitions. In 2000, he became CEO of the publicly traded Technology Business Incubator AG, headquartered in Vienna.

From 2002 until the end of January 2008, he was CEO of T-Systems Austria and Regional Supervisor for Central and Eastern Europe. Afterwards, he joined HP Austria as Managing Director. In this capacity, he was responsible for business operations, and also headed HP Austria’s Enterprise Business Group. Starting in November 2012, Rudolf Kemler was the Managing Director of ÖBIB - Österreichische Bundes- und Industriebeteiligungen GmbH.

Rudolf Kemler is the President of the Austrian Internet Task Force, member of the Board of Directors of the Federation of Austrian Industries in Vienna, Vice President of the American Chamber of Commerce in Austria and a committee member of the Advisory Board of Webster University, Vienna, as well as of the Association of the Austrian Electrical and Electronics Industries (FEEI). Furthermore he is a member of the Supervisory Boards of Société Horlogère Reconvilier AG, Switzerland.

Prof. (FH) Dr. Christian Kreuzer

Managing Director, EY Advisory Services
Managing Director, Austrian Controller Institute

Christian KreuzerMember of the WVPU Advisory Board since 2018

Prof. (FH) Dr. Christian Kreuzer is currently the Managing Director within EY’s Advisory Services in Vienna and the Austrian Controllers Institute. He focuses on Corporate Training and Development. Prof. (FH) Dr. Kreuzer has been a Visiting Professor at the University of Southern California (USC) and the Academic Director at Fachhochschule Wien, among other leadership positions in academia and the private sector. With over 1,500 days spent consulting and training, Prof. (FH) Dr. Kreuzer has spent much of his academic and professional career focusing on accounting, process and risk management, and development.

Prof. (FH) Dr. Kreuzer has authored several books. He also serves as the President of the Vienna Chapter of the Institute for Management Accountants (IMA).

Norbert Lessing

General Manager, Hilton Austria

Norbert LessingMember of the WVPU Advisory Board since 2011

The General Manager of the Hilton Hotels in Austria, Norbert Lessing, joined Hilton International as a management trainee in 1981.

Lessing's long career with Hilton led him to many Hilton Hotels all over the world, where he gained experiences in various fields of the hospitality industry, covering everything from IT to Finance, with responsibilities in Europe & Africa.

During his years with Hilton, Lessing was in charge of 3 hotel openings before he accepted his first position as General Manager in Budapest in 1997. The following years he managed the properties in Weimar and Dresden before he moved to Vienna in 2005 with his family. Lessing arrived with his wife Birgit and his two sons Maximilian and Sebastian. Whenever business allows he enjoys spending quality time with his family, reading, hiking and jogging.

Most of the time, however, he is in charge of the Hilton Hotels in Austria, which include three properties in Vienna and one in Innsbruck, among them the Hilton Vienna, which received the "Business Traveller Award" for "3rd Best Hotel in Europe" in 2009.

In Vienna, Hilton offers more than 1100 hotel rooms, 579 at the Hilton Vienna, Austria's biggest hotel with large conference facilities. The main target groups are business travelers,conventions and congresses.

Mr. Lessing is very involved in the social and commercial life of Vienna, as a board member of Börseviertel and President of the American Chamber of Commerce in Austria (AmCham)

Mag. Gernot Mittendorfer, MBA

Member of the Management Board, Erste Group Bank AG

Gernot MittendorferMember of the WVPU Advisory Board since 2011

Gernot Mittendorfer graduated from the Webster University Vienna M.B.A. program in 1996 with an emphasis in Finance, receiving the esteemed Schön Nobel Award for Graduate Academic Excellence. Soon after, Gernot began his career in the banking industry with Sparkasse Mühlviertel West Bank AG Rohrbach as a member of the managing board. His areas of responsibility included loans, accounting, controlling of activities related to the local branch, banking and leasing in the Czech Republic.

From November 1999 to June 2000, he served as a member of the managing board to Erste Bank Sparkassen (CR), a.s., Prague, overseeing retail banking. From July 2000 to July 2004, he was a managing board member with responsibilities in commerce at Česká spořitelna, a.s., Prague. During this time he also served as Chairman of the Supervisory Board for Factoring ČS, a.s., Leasing ČS, a.s.

In August 2004, he became the President and Chief Executive Officer of Salzburger Sparkasse Bank AG, Salzburg until May 2007, when he moved into the same position at Česka spořitelna,a.s., Prague. Since January 2011, Gernot has been a managing board member at Erste Group Bank AG, Wien, overseeing group real estate & leasing, group investment banking, large corporate banking, GCIB corporate support & operations and local corporate banking.

Philippe Roodhooft

Executive Vice President Middle East and Growth Projects, Borealis

Philippe RoodhooftMember of the WVPU Advisory Board since 2018

Philippe Roodhooft is currently the Executive Vice President Middle East and Growth Projects at Borealis, an industry leader in base chemicals, fertilizers, and polyolefins. He first joined Neste Chemicals in 1990 as a project engineer in Beringen, Belgium. After Neste Chemicals merged with Statoil, he became responsible for plant management in Borealis Kallo and later in Beringen. He moved to Vienna, Austria in 2007 and has since then served as General Manager for the Central European production sites, Senior Vice President Operations for the Borealis group of companies, and Senior Vice President Supply Chain and Product Management for Polyolefins. In 2013, Roodhooft moved to Borouge ADP in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) as Chief Operating Officer.

Roodhooft holds a Master degree in Applied Science, Cum Laude, from the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven Belgium with a specialisation in Production Management and Electro Mechanical Engineering.
He is married and has two children.

Prof. Dipl. Ing. Mag. Friedrich Rödler

Chairman of the Supervisory Board, Erste Group Bank AG

Friedrich RödlerMember of the WVPU Advisory Board since 2011

Prof. Friedrich Rödler is the Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Erste Bank AG and former Country Managing Partner of PwC PricewaterhouseCoopers Austria. He started his professional career in 1976 with Arthur Andersen in Vienna where he was in charge of building up the tax practice. In 1990 he joined Price Waterhouse and became the firm’s Lead Tax Partner in Austria. Since 2001 until 2013 he was the Country Managing Partner of PwC in Austria.

Friedrich is licensed as a “Steuerberater” to practice tax in Austria since 1979. In 1982 he passed the exam as “Wirtschaftsprüfer” and obtained the licence to practice as auditor according to Austrian law. Since 2004 Friedrich has been a member of the supervisory board of Erste Group Bank AG and since 2012 the Chairman of the bank’s supervisory board.

Friedrich is a member of the Tax Experts Board („Fachsenat für Steuerrecht“) of the Austrian Chamber of Accountants („Kammer der Wirtschaftstreuhänder“). He is also actively involved in various international professional organisations:

  • member of the Tax Experts Board („Fachsenat für Steuerrecht“) of the Austrian Chamber of Accountants („Kammer der Steuerberater und Wirschaftsprüfer“)
  • member (and former chairman) of the Tax Policy Group of Accountancy Europe
  • member (and past president) of the Tax Committee of CFE (Confédération Fiscale Européenne)
  • Vice President of IFA (International Fiscal Association) in Austria
  • Friedrich is also the Treasurer and a Vice President of the American Chamber of Commerce in Austria.

Friedrich studied Mathematics and Computer Science at the “Technische Universität Wien” where he graduated in 1975 as „Diplom-Ingenieur“. In 1976 he obtained a degree as “Magister” in business administration from the “Wirtschaftsuniversität Wien” and in the same year he completed a post-graduate course in international studies at the “Universität Wien”.

Upon recommendation from the “Wirtschaftsuniversität Wien” in 2011 the Austrian Federal President awarded Friedrich the professional title of “Professor”. Friedrich is married to Dr. Maria Bergamini and has two children. Besides his native German, he speaks English, French, Hungarian and Italian.

Mag. Monika Stoisser-Goehring

Chief Financial Officer, AT&S

Mag. Monika Stoisser-GoehringMember of the Advisory Board since 2019

Monika Stoisser-Goehring has a degree in business administration from the University of Graz and is a qualified tax consultant. Ms. Stoisser-Goehring worked for several international auditing and tax consultancy firms before joining AT&S as Head of Finance in 2011.

Following that, she took over as Director of Finance and Controlling. Prior to her appointment to the Management Board in July 2017, she held the position of Director Human Resources Global.

Biljana Weber

Vice President and Managing Director for HPE CERTA (Central Europe, Russia, Turkey, and Africa)

Biljana WeberMember of the WVPU Advisory Board since 2018

Biljana Weber is a seasoned executive in the IT industry, with more than 20 years of experience at IBM and Microsoft Corporation. She is a transformational leader with a passion for people and technology. 

Biljana Weber joined IBM in 1992 and during her eighteen years in the company, held numerous regional leadership for Central Eastern Europe Middle East and Africa region (CEMA):  PC division Director, Partner organization executive, Marketing Director, General Manager for Slovenia&Adriatics region, Director of Strategy, Public Sector Director for CEE. She received numerous awards for her work, among others 13 times top achievement award, Special Order of Merit reward for CEE and EMEA Leadership Award.

She joined Microsoft in January 2011 as general manager for Slovenia. Under her leadership, Slovenia became the company’s best performing subsidiary among small-developed countries. She received the Chairman’s award in 2012.

Following these achievements, Biljana assumed the role of General Manager of Microsoft Czech Republic in 2013, and then Microsoft Czech Republic and Slovakia. Under her leadership, the Czech Republic and Slovakia subsidiary significantly grew their overall business and cloud business in particular, overachieving the company’s expectations every year. Microsoft became #1 employer of choice in these 2 countries for 3 years in a row and attracted many top local and international talents. From early 2018 to early 2020, Biljana was Senior Director Business Applications at Microsoft for Western Europe, leading the Microsoft ERP and CRM business across 12 countries in Western Europe. 

In March 2020, Biljana took on a new professional challenge as Vice President and Managing Director for HPE CERTA (Central Europe, Russia, Turkey and Africa)

Over the past  two decades, she has received numerous public awards as recognition of her industry and social contributions including the "Arthemida”  – Award of Slovenian Management Association for Special Achievements in Management, as well as was ranked among Top 25 Women of Czech business 2014, 2015 and 2016. Biljana Weber is a member of World President Organisation (WPO), was member of the AmCham boards in Slovenia, Czech Republic and Slovakia, member of the board of Manager Association of Slovenia and member of the board of Young Executive Society (YES).

Biljana is married and lives with her husband and daughter in Vienna, Austria.

Mag. Dr. iur. Matthias Wechner

Member of the Executive Board - SORAVIA Equity
Chief Executive Officer - ADOMO Holding

Mag. Dr. iur. Matthias WechnerMember of the WVPU Advisory Board since 2011

Mag. Dr. iur. Matthias Wechner received his law degree from the University of Innsbruck and his Ph.D. from the University of Vienna. After finishing his studies, he worked for several years in the Austrian court system including the Higher Regional Court and Administrative Court in Vienna. Dr. Wechner was also a Legal Advisor of the Minister in the Federal Ministry of National Defense and the Deputy Head of Cabinet for the Federal Ministry of the Interior. He joined G4S in 2008 as the Director of Marketing & Sales and became the CEO of G4S Secure Solutions AG in early 2011. In July 2018, he became the CEO of Austria, Switzerland, and Lichtenstein for Trenkwalder. In July 2019, SORAVIA appointed Dr. Matthias Wechner as a member of the Executive Board of SORAVIA Equity and CEO of ADOMO Holding.

Photo © Soravia

Dipl. Ing. Martin Winkler

Country Manager Austria, ORACLE

Martin WinklerMember of the WVPU Advisory Board since 2011

Martin Winkler is Managing Director of ORACLE Austria. After studying at the Leoben Mining and Engineering University, he started his career working for IBM, where over a period of 15 years he filled various positions. Martin Winkler spent two years with Xerox, where his last position was Director Xerox Global Services, Austria + Switzerland.

The IT and sales professional joined ORACLE in September 2007. Initially, he acted as Sales Director on the management team of the Technology Solutions division. In a trying economical environment in July 2009, Martin Winkler took over the post of Managing Director from Helmut Eichert, where he finds a comprehensive set of challenges. Over the past few years, Winkler has successfully integrated recently acquired companies with the local organization, not least hardware manufacturer SUN Microsystems.

Martin Winkler is married with two children. He is a dedicated tennis player.

Emeritus Members

  • Prof. Dipl. Ing. Thomas Hintze, CEO Wananchi, Kenia; former Supervisory Board Chairman, UPC Austria
  • Mag. Harald Neumann, Chief Executive Officer, NOVOMATIC Group
  • Prof. Dr. Ulrich Bode, Former Gen.Manager,Glaxo Smith Kline GmbH; President of Pharma/Austria
  • Dr. Elizabeth Chopin, Webster Vienna Private University Campus Director 1988-1999
  • Ambassador William C. Eacho III., U.S. Embassy Vienna
  • Theresa Firestone, Former Managing Director, Pfizer Corporation Austria Gesellschaft m.b.H.
  • Sabine Fleischmann, Board Member, IBM Austria
  • Lydia Goutas, MBA, Managing Partner of Lehner Executive Partners
  • Dr. Arthur E. Hirsh, Webster Vienna Private University Campus Director 2000-2015
  • Dipl. Ing. Edwin Kiefer, Former Chairman of the Supervisory Board, OPEL Austria
  • Dr. Raoul Kneucker, Former Sektionschef at the Ministry for Education
  • Dr. Kurt Komarek, Former Rektor of the University of Vienna
  • Ing. Mag. Hans Lukits, Managing Director, BEWAG
  • Friederike Mautner Markhof, Mautner Markhof AG
  • Mag. Dr. Emil Mezgolits MA, Webster Class ‘82
  • Mag. Reinhard Möseneder, General Manager Austria & Switzerland, Colgate-Palmolive
  • Dr. Franz Markus Nestl, Senior Partner, GNBZ Graff Nestl Baurecht Rechtsanwälte
  • Mag. Georg Obermeier, formerly Managing Director, Microsoft Austria
  • Dr. Richard A. Paulson, General Manager CEE, Amgen GmbH
  • Dr. Horst Pirker, CEO, Styria Media Group AG
  • Dr. Gerhard Puttner, CEO, Dr. Puttner Communications
  • Hugh Ripps, Director Global Systems Mgmt. Center, Coca-Cola Company
  • The Honorable Kathryn Walt Hall, Former U.S. Ambassador to Austria
  • David Waller, Deputy Director General Vienna, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
  • Mark Garrett, Chief Executive Officer, Borealis AG