ABOUT US > Governing committee 

Governing committees

Executive board

Prof Dr Frank Feyerherd

Prof Dr Frank Feyerherd joined a private practice after retiring from his position as anaesthesiologist at the University Clinic of Greifswald, Germany. For more than ten years he led our project in Ngaoundéré, Cameroon. Today his focus lies on the development of our aid in all of the project countries. He is particularly interested in improving the conditions regarding the administration of anaesthetics, which in turn benefits the operations.

Alexander Gross

Alexander Gross, a former professional ice hockey player, graduated from the University of Freiburg, Germany, after completing his studies of sociology. He is a founding member of Deutsche Cleft Kinderhilfe and, besides being on the executive board, manages the operations of the society on a full-time basis.

Thomas Schneider.

Corporate social responsibility is a self-imposed obligation for the entrepreneur and master tanner Thomas Schneider. As founder and CEO of TanTec, a group of tanneries based in China, Vietnam, USA, and Italy, he has been committed to eco-friendly practices in leather processing since 1995. Thomas Schneider is at home all over the world. He has been personally associated with Deutsche Cleft Kinderhilfe for years and likes to make a stopover in Freiburg during visits to his old home in the Black Forest.

Board of directors

Deutsche Cleft Kinderhilfe's board of directors is made up of three persons who work on a voluntary basis. As laid down in the statute, this institution advises the executive board and audits the annual budgetary constraints and the financial administration of the society. The members of the board of directors currently are the economist and tax consultant Dr Christian Rüsch, the financially very adept former bank manager Ute Henninger-Sehling and the Munich-based experienced resident oral and maxillofacial surgeon Dr Dr Oliver Blume. He has been operating on cleft children in eastern Africa for more than twelve years. Enabling the poorest of the poor to undergo treatment is what drives Oliver Blume.

Ute Henninger-Sehling, Grenzach-Wyhlen
Ute Henninger-Sehling, Grenzach-Wyhlen

Dr. Christian Rüsch, Freiburg
Dr. Christian Rüsch, Freiburg

Dr. Dr. Oliver Blume, München
Dr. Dr. Oliver Blume, München

Board of Trustees

Deutsche Cleft Kinderhilfe's board of trustees is an expert committee that is run on a voluntary basis. It supports us and helps to develop the medical-specialist approach to our work in the project countries. All members have years of experience and are recognised specialists when it comes to the treatment of cleft lips and palates.

Prof Dr Dr Götz Ehmann

Prof Dr Dr Götz Ehmann is the former senior physician of the AK Barmbek, a tertiary care teaching hospital providing care for the Barmbek district of the city of Hamburg, and has been dedicated to the help of cleft children for several years. The vigour of this oral and maxillofacial surgeon has in no way diminished since his retirement: every year he still travels to project countries where he operates and trains colleagues.

Prof Dr Dr Jürgen Dieckmann

Prof Dr Dr Jürgen Dieckmann is bearer of the Federal Republic of Germany's Federal Cross of Merit. During and after his tenure as chief physician, Prof Dr Dr Jürgen Dieckmann led operating campaigns to treat children with cleft lip and palate in Vietnam and Peru on an annual basis. These campaigns ran from 1997 to 2010 and were also used to train local doctors in matters of screening and aftercare and in specialist surgical techniques.

Gunther Au-Balbach

The oral and maxillofacial surgeon Gunther Au-Balbach treats cleft patients and victims of traffic accidents and violence at his practice in Solingen. He has been active in charitable work in his free time for several years now, and - together with Oliver Blume - trains African doctors on cleft surgery procedures.

Dr med dent Jos van den Hoek

Dr med dent Jos van den Hoek is a specialist on orthodontics in Berne, Switzerland, and represents our associated charitable organisation Schweizer Hilfe für Spaltkinder on the board. He is also the chairperson of that society.

General information

Members of Deutsche Cleft Kinderhilfe's executive board and board of directors are elected by the general assembly (currently nine members) for three year-term of office. The members work for the institution on a voluntary basis and do not receive allowances or remunerations of any kind. Members of the board of trustees are appointed by the general assembly following the recommendation given by the executive board or the board of directors. The full-time managing director is involved in the executive board, which is currently made up of two members. The executive board and the managing director report to the board of directors on a periodical basis in matters of financing, development of levels of staffing as well as progress of the projects. Accounting and the annual financial statement are dealt with through an external accountant. The costs incurred are less than 3,000 euro. An independent auditor checks the societies' annual financial statement. This was done by PricewaterhouseCoopers Freiburg up to, and including, the year 2011. Since 2012 this audit has been performed by ConSigna GmbH.

Decisions reached by the last general assembly

Deutsche Cleft Kinderhilfe's last general assembly was held on July 1, 2017. The following decisions were reached: