The WaterFoundation has become, step by step, an organizational focus for committed individuals who, despite differences of background and outlook, are united in the pursuit of a common objective: the realization of the human right of access to water.
The key elements of a dignified life, to which people everywhere are equally entitled, include adequate water supplies, easy access to clean drinking water, the preservation of biological diversity, and sustainable climate protection. For the trustees, directors and team members of the WaterFoundation, these requirements are both a vision and a concrete goal.
We are united, moreover, by the conviction that the people in our project countries can only solve their specific water problems for themselves. To do this, they need financial support but also technical expertise and an understanding of the relevant ecological factors.
In 2000 Ernst Frost co-founded the WaterFoundation together with Henner Lang.
Ernst Frost was trained as a typographer and worked as a designer for various magazines. During his eight-year spell as managing editor of the magazine natur, he organized donation campaigns for nature conservation projects in Germany and an initiative for the re-greening of Sarajevo after the Bosnian War. From 2000 to 2014 he worked for a news magazine in Munich.
Together with Ernst Frost he founded the WaterFoundation in 2000.
Henner Lang studied business administration at the Universities of Stuttgart and Würzburg. Taught organization and marketing at the Würzburg-Schweinfurt University of Applied Sciences, and worked as head of organization for several companies. Active for twelve years in the Protestant Church as a member of his parish church council. Established the WaterFoundation, with Ernst Frost, in 2000. In May 2020, he moved from the chairmanship of the Executive Board to the Board of Trustees for reasons of age in accordance with the Articles of Association.
Henner Lang passed away on 25 April 2021 as a result of a corona infection.
Dr. Beate Grotehans
Chair of the Executive Board
Beate has been working for the WaterFoundation since 2012, as a member of the Executive Board since 2016. In May 2020 she became Chair of the Executive Board.
Beate Grotehans studied history and philosophy. Taught at several German universities and worked as project manager for the Siemens Arts Program. In 2009 she was appointed Senior Project Manager at the Siemens Foundation, with responsibility for research projects in the field of development cooperation and social entrepreneurship – until her retirement end of May 2021.
Deputy chair of the Executive Board
Robert Balthasar studied economics at the University of Munich. Worked in various capacities at IBM and BMW before joining the Siemens Arts Program in 1999. Played a key role in establishing the Siemens Foundation and creating its management structure, and joined its staff in 2009 as head of Administration und Controlling. Worked for four years as a volunteer for the Kunstraum München gallery, has been involved since 2013 in the worldwide activities of the SOS Children’s Villages and joined the WaterFoundation in 2018.
Operations, Program Development
Monica joined the WaterFoundation team in July 2020 as a senior project manager. She has a background in linguistics and social and public policy from her studies in Canada, USA and Spain. As an international development specialist, she has worked for over 15 years in project planning, management, budgeting and monitoring for NGOs such as Plan International and NPH Germany, as well as completing field assignments in numerous Latin American countries. Since 2014, she worked as a consultant in project startup, strategy and evaluation.
was trained as a paralegal before moving on in 1987 to study law. She worked for many years as a lawyer in a nationally and internationally oriented law firm and is now a member of the legal department of the University Hospital of Munich. Kerstin was a member of the Water Foundation’s Executive Board for many years, and continues to shape the work of the Foundation.
was trained as a typographer and worked as a designer for various magazines. During his eight-year spell as managing editor of the magazine natur, he organized donation campaigns for nature conservation projects in Germany and an initiative for the re-greening of Sarajevo after the Bosnian War. From 2000 to 2014 he worked for a news magazine in Munich. In 2000 Ernst Frost co-founded the WaterFoundation with Henner Lang.
Prof. Dr. Martin Grambow
is an internationally recognized expert and networker in the field of water management. He is head of the Department of Water Management in the Bavarian regional Ministry for the Environment and Consumer Protection. Since 2001 Martin Grambow has been assisting and advising the WaterFoundation on various aspects of its work.
Prof. Dr. Ing. F. Wolfgang Günthert
officially retired in 2014 but continues to work at the Bundeswehr University Munich in the field of sanitary engineering and waste management. Wolfgang Günthert is an internationally renowned water expert who has been supporting the activities of the WaterFoundation for many years.
was head of the executive board of the Sabel Private Commercial Colleges Trust in Munich, and became chair of the Board of Trustees of the Water Foundation in 2001. He provides assistance with financial matters and is responsible for collecting the second-hand bicycles supplied by the WaterFoundation to children and young people in Eritrea who are involved in the activities of the Green Clubs to promote the sustainable management of water and the environment.
Wolfgang A. Schaal
is the deputy chair of the Foundation’s Board of Trustees and managing director of the tax accountancy firm schaal & kollegen in Geretsried, near Munich. He advises the WaterFoundation on legal and commercial matters and is responsible for billing and accounting.
was trained as a management assistant in advertising and worked for eleven years as secretary to the management board of HIT International Trading AG. Since 2005 she has been working as a self-employed interim manager for office organization and events with SMEs, and as a management assistant in large companies.
studied civil engineering at the TU Munich and the Universidad Politécnica in Madrid. He then worked for various engineering firms for projects in the field of urban water management at home and abroad. Since 2010, he has been responsible for water supply at a municipal utility company as Technical Manager. He has been supporting the WaterFoundation since 2019.
Dr. Stefan Grotehans
holds a doctorate in physics and works for Elastic as Director Solutions Architects, with responsibility for marketing cloud solutions. He has been active for over twenty years in the software industry as a manager for leading companies such as MarkLogic, Box, Brainloop, Microsoft, IBM and SiliconGraphics. Stefan has been supporting the work of the WaterFoundation since 2014.
has a degree in social science. As an expert in development cooperation, water management and corporate responsibility, Ann-Ulrike Henning has been working for over 15 years in the fields of sustainability and resource management in cooperation contexts. She has worked for the German Global Compact Network and the German Association for International Cooperation. Most recently, she worked as a strategic consultant and speaker in the international network German Water Partnership e.V.
Since May 2020 Ann-Ulrike Henning has been supporting the team of the WaterFoundation as a strategy consultant.
Dr. Herbert Hruschka
studied process engineering and worked for some time in industry, in the areas of drinking water purification and water treatment for industrial purposes. He subsequently worked for the Bavarian Water Management Authority and the State Office for Water Management, as head of the department responsible for municipal wastewater treatment. He was temporarily seconded to the Federal Ministry for the Environment in Bonn, working in the department for protection of surface waters and pollutant control. Herbert Hruschka has been supporting the WaterFoundation since 2002.
studied English, German and Education in Münster, Liverpool (GB) und Buffalo (USA). Worked as press officer, from 1986 to 1998, for the publishers Klett-Cotta (Stuttgart) and Carl Hanser (Munich). After starting a family, she worked as a freelance writer and editor for Siemens, Carl Zeiss, HSE Darmstadt and various universities. For over 15 years she has supported the German Youth Institute as editor for numerous publications and was responsible for their web presence for many years. At the WasserStiftung she has been responsible for communication since 2019.
Martin Kern is a freelance editor, video journalist and science communication consultant. Until July 2019 he was responsible for video communication at the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. He supports and advises science organizations – like the WaterFoundation for instance – on the use of moving images and produces his own articles as a video journalist. The editor first learned camera work and editing at Bayerischer Rundfunk, then as Creative Producer at a Munich video production company. Martin Kern studied economics and political science.
Prof. Dr. Eva Lang
is professor emerita of economic policy at the Bundeswehr University Munich, specializing in socio-ecological economics. She is active in several academic and non-profit organizations, e.g. as a member and former chair of the management board of the Vereinigung für Ökologische Ökonomie (VÖÖ) and as chair of the Network Caring Economy; she is also a former trustee of the BürgerStiftung München. Eva Lang has been advising the WaterFoundation since its inception.
Dr. Serafine Lindemann
studied art history, archeology and history and worked as an editor and writer. In 1989 she set up the art platform artcircolo, which creates and organizes projects in international and experimental art, focusing on the topics of water, cultural identities and processes of social change. In 2009 she co-founded the association pilotraum01. Serafine has been active in the WaterFoundation since 2014.
has been a project coordinator at the WaterFoundation since August 2022.
After completing a Master’s degree in International Relations and Development Policy, Luca Wesel worked as an advisor for the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ). Through a professional training course in project management and climate protection at the Association for Sustainable Develoment (GNE), he not only found his way to the topics of water access and justice, but above all to the WaterFoundation. After a three-month internship, Luca Wesel supports the Foundation as a permanent member of the team.