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Reunion in Oxford: Alumni organize guest lecture by Jacobs Professor

Jacobs Reunion: Finn Klebe, Professor Claas Knoop and Biruk Terrefe met at the University of Oxford. (Source: private)


February 4, 2020

After graduating from Jacobs University, they moved to England to continue their studies at the University of Oxford. But Finn Klebe and Biruk Terrefe are still connected to their alma mater. As part of a lecture series in Oxford, Finn Klebe invited Jacobs Professor Claas Knoop for a talk on the political and economic developments in Ethiopia and the Horn of Africa to the UK.

Ethiopia and the Horn of Africa: few experts know the region better than Professor Claas Knoop. From 1976 to 2010 he worked in the Foreign Service of the Federal Republic of Germany – among other positions, as German Ambassador to Ethiopia and Djibouti and Permanent Representative of Germany to the African Union from 2006 to 2010.

"With his outstanding career in the diplomatic service and his position at Jacobs University, Professor Knoop is a perfect example of the combination of theory and practice," says Finn Klebe, master's student at the University of Oxford.

He knows Knoop from his time in Bremen: In 2019, Klebe completed his bachelor's degree in Integrated Social Sciences at Jacobs University. As a student representative of the master's program "Global Governance and Diplomacy" in Oxford, he was now looking for guest speakers who could captivate their audience on both an academic and a personal level – so he directly contacted Professor Knoop.

Biruk Terrefe, another Jacobs University alumnus, was delighted to participate as a discussant to Professor Knoop’s lecture. He studied Global Economics and Management and graduated from Jacobs University in 2015. As a researcher on the politics of Ethiopia himself, the doctoral student was particularly interested in Professor Knoop's personal anecdotes from his time in the diplomatic service. The students and staff members at Oxford welcomed the lecture with enthusiasm. "It was a great success," says Finn Klebe. "It's wonderful that the relationships you build at Jacobs University last beyond your time in Bremen."