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Executive Board

Executive Board

Sebastian Heilmann


Sebastian Heilmann is the founding president of the Mercator Institute for China Studies (MERICS) in Berlin and professor for the political economy of China at the University of Trier, Germany. He also conducted research at Harvard University’s Fairbank Center, the University of Oxford China Centre, and the Harvard-Yenching Institute. His research focus is on China’s political system and political economy.

From 2010 to 2013, Heilmann was the principal investigator of a project group funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research examining the industrial and technology policies of the People’s Republic of China. In 2014, he was appointed as one of 15 German representatives to the German-Chinese Dialogue Forum, which fosters non-governmental exchanges and bilateral confidence-building. Heilmann has many years of experience providing policy advice to the German government, state governments and political foundations.




Bettina Bubnys

Chief Financial Officer

Bettina Bubnys is the Chief Financial Officer of MERICS. She previously worked at the Mercator Foundation, most recently as the Deputy Director of the Mercator Centre Berlin. Prior to that, she held a management position in the Innovation department at Deutsche Telekom AG in Bonn. From 2000 to 2009 she worked as Project Director in the International Politics division of the Bertelsmann Foundation. During this time, she spent an extended period at the German Federal Foreign Office. Early on in her career, she worked in the marketing department of an international logistics company. Bettina Bubnys holds a graduate degree in business administration.


  • Stiftung Mercator