Annette Heuser

Executive Director, Bertelsmann Foundation

Annette Heuser is executive director and founder of the Washington, DC office of the Bertelsmann Foundation, a private, non-partisan operational foundation that promotes and strengthens trans-Atlantic cooperation. She previously established the Foundation’s Brussels office and served as its Executive Director from 2000 to 2006.

From 1995 to 2000, she was Director Europe/USA at the Bertelsmann Stiftung in Gütersloh, Germany. In this function, she managed European and trans-Atlantic projects, and developed European networking activities. In the corporate sector, Annette served as vice president of international relations at Bertelsmann SE & Co. KGaA, Europe’s largest media company. She was editor of the Jahrbuch der Europäischen Integration, an annual publication that covers the year’s institutional and political developments in European integration.

In addition to overseeing the operations of the Foundation, Annette is promoting a new concept that she developed for sovereign-debt rating agencies. She has created a blueprint for an international non-profit credit rating agency, INCRA, which would conduct unsolicited foreign-risk assessments and re-define sovereign ratings as public goods. This would ensure transparency in the rating process and eliminate potential conflicts of interest.

Since INCRA’s launch in 2011, Annette has attended numerous conferences, including TEDGlobal 2013, and participated in panel discussions, including at the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), to present the proposal.

Annette studied political science, law and sociology at the University of Mainz in Germany. She has authored articles on trans-Atlantic relations and European affairs that have appeared in major US and European publications, and she has appeared on numerous television news programs. Annette is a member of the Atlantic Council Board of Directors and its Strategic Advisors Group. She is also a member of the European Council on Foreign Relations.

She previously served on the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on the Future of the European Union and was vice chair of the Council on Foundation’s Global Philanthropy Committee for four years.