April 6th, 2017

CSGG: April 6 – “Trade and Manufacturing in the Digital Age”

Featured Discussants:

  • The Hon. Edelgard Bulmahn MdB, Vice-President of the German Bundestag for the SPD
  • Mr. Dieter Kempf, President of the Federation of German Industries (BDI)
  • Mr. Joachim Lang, Member of the Executive Board of the Federation of German Industries (BDI)


  • The Hon. Charlie Dent, Co-Chair of The Congressional Study Group on Germany

 Participation is by invitation only.

About the Discussants

Dr. h.c. Edelgard Bulmahn, Vice President of the German Bundestag; former Federal Minister of Education and Research, represents the constituency Hanover City II in Lower Saxony.

After serving as a teacher, she ran for the German Bundestag and won a seat in the elections in January 1987 and has been reelected directly ever since. Currently, she is Vice President of the German Bundestag and a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee and of the Sub-Committee on Civilian Crisis Prevention, Conflict Management and Integrated Action.

Dr. Bulmahn has a proven track record in education, research and innovation policy. Amongst other positions, she was chairwoman of the committee on Education, Science, Research and Technology and Technology Assessment from 1994-1996 and spokeswoman of the SPD parliamentary group for education and research from 1996-1998. A milestone in her career, Edelgard Bulmahn served as Federal Minister for Education and Research from 1998 until November 2005.

Dr. Bulmahn further widened her portfolio to include economic policy as chairwoman of the Committee on Economics and Technology from 2005 until 2009 and spokeswoman of the SPD parliamentary group in the Study Commission on Growth, Wellbeing and Quality of Life from 2011 to 2013.

She is also involved in a number of boards of trustees of science and research institutions and foundations. Her strong interest in the transatlantic relationship is complemented by her role as deputy chairwoman of the Atlantik-Brücke, one of the most renowned organizations in Germany working on German-US relations.

Mr. Dieter Kempf was born in Munich in 1953. After studying business administration from 1973 to 1978 in Munich, he worked at Arthur & Young (now Ernst & Young) from 1978 to 1991, becoming a partner in 1989. He then joined Datev in Nuremberg in 1991 as a Board Member, responsible for product and software development. From 1992 onwards, he served as Deputy Chairman of the Board. In 1996, he became Chairman, a position he held until March 2016. During Kempf’s time at Datev, the company grew to one of Europe’s largest IT service providers.

From 2011 to 2015, Kempf served as President of BDI’s member association Bitkom (Federal Association for Information Technology, Telecommunications and New Media). During this time, he was also Vice President of the BDI. Dieter Kempf was unanimously elected President of BDI as of January 2017. In addition, Kempf serves on various supervisory boards and advisory boards. He was made honorary professor of Friedrich-Alexander University of Erlangen-Nürnberg in 2005.

Dr. Joachim Lang was born in Wülfrath in 1967 and is married. From 1988 to 1993 he studied Law and Political Science at Tübingen University and the University of Bonn. After passing the first state examination in law at Saarbrücken higher regional court, he obtained his doctorate in 1994 from Münster University with a thesis on stock corporation legislation. In 1996 he passed the second state examination in law at Koblenz higher regional court before studying at RWTH Aachen, graduating with a Magister degree in European Studies.

After his first position as head of arms control law under the authority of the Federal Ministry of Defence in Bonn, Dr. Joachim Lang then moved to the Bundesrat Secretariat where he was deputy secretary in a number of committees and worked on policy matters and parliamentary law until 1999. He subsequently served as coordinator for federal, state and European affairs for the whip of the CDU/CSU parliamentary group in the German Bundestag until 2006. Ahead of the German EU Council Presidency he moved to the Federal Chancellery, where he was responsible for coordinating the German government’s European policy. In late 2007 he changed to the DAX-listed company EON, heading its berlin office until 2016.

Dr. Joachim Lang has been a member of the Executive Board at the BDI since December 2016.

The Hon. Charlie Dent, Co-Chair of The Congressional Study Group on Germany, was first sworn in to the United States House of Representatives in January 2005. He is currently serving his sixth-term. Charlie represents Pennsylvania’s 15th District, which includes all or parts of Berks, Dauphin, Lebanon, Lehigh, and Northampton counties.

Born May 24, 1960, Charlie is a life-long Lehigh Valley resident. He was raised in Allentown by his parents, Marjorie and the late Walter R. “Pete” Dent, a Bethlehem Steel employee. Charlie and his wife Pamela live in Allentown with their three children, Kathryn, William, and Jack. Charlie is a 1978 graduate of William Allen High School. He earned a degree in Foreign Service and International Politics from the Pennsylvania State University in 1982 and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Lehigh University in 1993.

Before entering public service, Charlie worked as a development officer for Lehigh University, an industrial electronics salesman, and an aide to then-Representative Don Ritter. Charlie served eight years in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives and six years in the State Senate.

Now in his sixth term in Congress, Charlie has developed an expertise in homeland security and transportation issues through his committee assignments in the House, building on his existing knowledge and experiences from 14 years in the state legislature and his educational background. Charlie has also been an advocate on health issues and medical liability reform.

Charlie has demonstrated leadership in Washington. He is a Co-Chair of the Tuesday Group, a group of center-right Republicans dedicated to promoting fiscal responsibility, personal independence and a strong national defense. He also co-chairs the Hydrogen & Fuel Cell Caucus, the Delaware River Basin Task Force, and the Congressional Cement Caucus.