Founders

The Westerwelle Foundation for International Understanding with headquarters in Berlin, Germany is a nonprofit organization with legal capacity under civil law. The foundation was established in 2013 by Dr. Guido Westerwelle, former German Minister for Foreign Affairs, and Ralph Dommermuth, CEO and Founder of United Internet AG.

The foundation wants to create more opportunities for more people around the world. The foundation promotes international understanding and fosters values of democracy, market-economy, rule-of-law and tolerance. Our founders' biographies rest on these values.

Dr. Guido Westerwelle
Dr. Westerwelle was born in 1961. He grew up in Bonn. He studied law at university, received a doctorate in law and worked as an attorney. He joined the Free Democratic Party (FDP) in 1980. Guido Westerwelle was Secretary General of the FDP from 1994 to 2001. He was elected Chairman of the FDP from 2001 to 2011. From 1996 to 2013, Guido Westerwelle was a member of the German Bundestag and from 2006 to 2009, President of the FDP parliamentary group and leader of the opposition. From 2009 to 2013 Guido Westerwelle was Federal Minister of Foreign Affairs and from 2009 to 2011, Deputy Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany.

Ralph Dommermuth
In 1988, Ralph Dommermuth founded 1&1 EDV Marketing GmbH. 1&1 was offering marketing services for software and telecommunications services. In 1996, 1&1 started the development of its own internet services.  At the same time, it began to invest in young internet start-ups. In 1998, Dommermuth went public with 1&1 and registered as the first internet enterprise at the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. In February 2000 Dommermuth renamed his enterprise group to United Internet, which marked the end of the realignment process towards the internet sector.  Along with 1&1, it includes GMX, WEB.DE, Versatel, Fasthosts, arsys, InternetX, United Domains, affilinet and Sedo.