The Misereor Board of Directors consists of three members
On 1 April 2012, Fr Pirmin Spiegel assumed office as Director General and Chairman of Misereor, the German Catholic Bishops’ agency for international development cooperation.
Fr Spiegel was born in Großfischlingen in the German state of Rhineland-Palatinate in 1957. From 1990 to 2003 and again from August 2010, he worked as a missionary in Brazil. Right from the early days of his work there, he came in contact with Misereor. The family agricultural school he set up in Capinzal/Lima Campos in 1995 was co-funded by Misereor. In 1981, before he had completed his studies, Spiegel spent several months in Piauí in Brazil where he stayed with Norbert Herkenrath, who was a parish priest there at the time and was appointed Director General of Misereor a year later.
Pirmin Spiegel, who himself comes from a farming family, studied philosophy and theology in Frankfurt/St. Georgen and was ordained priest on 7 June 1986. He worked as chaplain and parish administrator in Kaiserslautern and as chaplain to the CAJ (the German branch of the Young Christian Workers) in the Diocese of Speyer until 1990. After that, he worked until the year 2000 as a priest in three parishes comprising 67 communities across three districts in Lima Campos (Diocese of Bacabal) in the Brazilian federal state of Maranhão. He was given leave to train lay missionaries in Maranhão and beyond until 2003. In 2004, Fr Spiegel returned to Germany, where he served as parish priest in the parish cluster of Blieskastel-Lautzkirchen until 2010. In the summer of 2010 he returned to Brazil once again to train and support lay missionaries in various countries in Latin America.
In December 2012, Pope Benedict XVI bestowed on him the title of Monsignor.
Managing Director, International Cooperation
Dr Bernd Bornhorst (born 1962) has been a Member of the Board of Directors of Misereor since September 2021. He is Deputy to the Director General and Head of Misereor’s International Cooperation Division.
Dr Bernd Bornhorst (born 1962) graduated in Politics, Sociology and Media Studies. He has a doctorate on the subject of “Possibilities and Limits of Non-Governmental Development Cooperation”.
From 1987 to 1989, he took part in the trainee programme of AGIAMONDO – the Personnel Agency of the German Catholics for International Cooperation in Cologne, Germany – and spent longer periods of time in Argentina and Paraguay.
In 1989, he took up a position as Country Desk Officer with Misereor. Initially, he was responsible for Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay, and from 1993 also for Peru and Panama. From 1995, he was Deputy Head of the Latin America and the Caribbean Department and in 1999 he was appointed head of this department.
In January 2007 he assumed the role of Head of Misereor’s Department for Development Policy. From September 2013, he was head of the newly established Policy and Global Challenges Department and in 2021 he became Managing Director International Cooperation.
Since October 2014, he has been a member of the Board of Trustees of GIZ, a company owned by the German Federal Government that supports the implementation of German development policy goals worldwide. Furthermore, he is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Bremer Solidaritätspreis, a solidarity prize awarded by the Senate of the Free Hanseatic City of Bremen.
Since December 2018, he has been a member of the Group of Experts on “World Economy and Social Ethics” of the German Bishops’ Conference.
In addition, Dr Bernd Bornhorst was elected Deputy Chairman of AGIAMONDO in June 2023.
From 2013 to 2021, he was Chairman of the Board of VENRO, an association that represents the interests of 140 development and humanitarian non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in Germany. Moreover, he was a member of the Commission on the Root Causes of Displacement of the German Federal Government from October 2019 to May 2021.
Managing Director, Internal Processes Division
Annette Ptassek (born 1968) has been a member of the Board of Directors of Misereor since July 2023. She is Head of Misereor’s Internal Processes Division.
Ms Ptassek holds degrees in Slavonic Studies, Politics and Eastern European History (Technical University of Berlin) and in Human Resources Management (Technical University of Kaiserslautern). Her professional focus lies on International Cooperation, where she held various positions in Development Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Impact Investing. Among other things, she worked for the Robert Bosch Foundation and Welthungerhilfe, headed an INGO with consultative status at the United Nations and was a director and supervisory board member of an impact asset manager. She lived abroad for many years, more specifically in Poland, the Ivory Coast and Nepal. Besides German, she also speaks English, French and Polish.
Her areas of responsibility at Misereor include human resources issues including the area of International Personnel Cooperation, which Misereor coordinates together with AGIAMONDO, Finance and Accounting, Organisational and Information Technology Services, Information and Knowledge Management and Legal Affairs. In addition, she is responsible for the areas of Fair Trade and developmental Volunteer Service. She represents Misereor in various supervisory roles at its subsidiaries GEPA GmbH, BEGECA mbH, MVG mbH and Raptim Deutschland GmbH.