Ein Mann hält ein Papierflugzeug aus einer Weltkarte in die Höhe

International Corporate Board


As an internationally active university, it is very important to WU Vienna to get impulses and feedback from outside, especially from personalities in the private sector. From 2021 onwards, there will be an International Corporate Board at WU. Five successful and experienced managers from different industries bring an international perspective on strategy, reputation and activities of WU.

The aim of the board, which will meet online and face-to-face at least once a year, is to advise the rectorate on strategy, internationalization and the academic program portfolio from the perspective of international managers. The members of the International Corporate Board carry out their work on a voluntary basis. The first meeting is currently designed as an online meeting due to the ongoing corona pandemic. In the future, the Board and Rector's Council also want to meet for a personal exchange at WU.

WU was able to attract a very diverse group of people for the International Corporate Board, all of them experienced managers with an international background. They are characterized by their passion for the formation of brilliant minds and their interest in the further development of universities. Members include

Christopher Schläffer - Executive Chairman of NYOUM


Christopher Schlaeffer is the Executive Chairman and Founder of NYOUM. He previously served as Chief Commercial and Digital Officer of VEON (NASDAQ: VEON) as well as Chief Product & Innovation Officer, Corporate Development Officer and Chief Strategy Officer of Deutsche Telekom (Xetra: DTE). He also served as Chairman of the Supervisory Board of T-Mobile Austria. Christopher is a Member of the Board at Amnesty International.

In 2008, together with Andy Rubin, Larry Page, Sergey Brin, Peter Chou and Cole Brodman, Christopher launched the Android operating system in a subway station in New York. In 2007, he and Tim Cook closed Apple ́s first partnership on iPhone outside the US. Christopher started his career with Accenture.

Christopher has been recognised by the World Economic Forum as a Young Global Leader and ranked one of the world’s Top50 Innovators To Watch. He takes an avid interest in promoting an open information society, human rights, equality, science and the arts and graduated from the Vienna University of Economics and Business in 1993.

Daniel Liao - Senior Advisor of Lam Asia Pacific Regions


Mr. Liao has been a senior executive at Lam Research Corporation, a semiconductor processing equipment company, since 1993 and went through various Executive Management positions at Lam such as GM, President and Chairman of Lam Asia Pacific Operations (Taiwan, China and Southeast Asia regions) where he has been a major contributor to the global product development, strategic planning, growth and success of Lam’s multi-billion dollar Asia Pacific business.  After 27 years served as Lam Regional Executive at APAC region, he has retired from Lam in Feb 2020; and has served as Senior Advisor of Lam Asia Pacific Regions. 

Prior to joining Lam, Mr. Liao held Engineering Management and technology leadership positions at Integrated Device Technology in Santa Clara, CA from 1988 to 1993 and Intel Corporation in Livermore and Santa Clara from 1984 to 1988.  Mr. Liao holds a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from National Cheng Kung University in Taiwan, and a Master’s degree in Electrical Engineering and Applied Physics from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio USA.

Mr. Liao has currently also served as Board Directors of Amkor Technology, Inc. in Phoenix, Arizona and Photronics Inc in Brookfield, Connecticut USA.

Erman Ilicak - Founder and President of Rönesans Holding


Born on October, 1967 in Malatya, Turkey, Dr. Erman ILICAK is the founder and the president of Renaissance Holding, a group of companies specializing in construction, energy, real estate development and investment. Renaissance operates in 3 continents and over 20 countries.

Renaissance Group, constructs heavy industry plants, infrastructure projects, manufacturing plants, chemical and pharmaceutical manufacturing plants, automotive and machinery production factories, public buildings, healthcare complexes, and power plants as well as shopping malls, offices, hotels, residences and mixed-use structures.

Mr Ilicak graduated from TED Ankara College Private High School in 1985. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree as a Civil Engineer in 1990 from METU (Middle East Technical University) and a MBA degree from the Vienna University of Economics and Business in conjunction with University of Minnesota in 2002. He also holds a doctorate degree in business administration from the International School of Management in Paris in 2011.

Evelyn Palla - Executive Board Member DB Fernverkehr AG


Evelyn Palla studied business administration from 1992 to 1997 at WU Vienna, with a guest semester at the University of Cologne with a focus on corporate management, controlling and accounting. After completing her studies, Palla worked at Siemens UK, Infineon Technologies and the Austrian Chamber of Commerce in Tokyo, as well as E.ON in Munich and Milan.

In 2011 Palla moved back to Vienna, where she began working for ÖBB-Personenverkehr AG, initially as Head of Controlling and then as Head of Purchasing. In December 2015, she was appointed one of three members of the board of directors of ÖBB-Personenverkehr AG and chairman of the supervisory board of Postbus AG and Postbus GmbH. There she was responsible for the areas of local and regional transport, law as well as controlling and purchasing.

Since February 2019, Palla is CFO of Deutsche Bahn Fernverkehr AG in Frankfurt, Germany. In August 2020 she joined also Arriva plc, London, as non-executive Director of the Board.

Susanne Wamsler - Non-Executive Director Clariant AG


Susanne Wamsler grew up near Munich, Germany and then studied at Princeton University in the USA, graduating with a degree in Political Economy. From 1984 to 1988 she held various positions with the Deutsche Bank AG in Munich and New York. In 1989 she received her MBA from INSEAD in Fontainebleau, France. Since then she has been a successful entrepreneur in different fields, including retail, real estate, telecommunications and wealth management. In 2015, she was elected to the Board of Directors of Clariant AG in Muttenz, Switzerland. She has held mandates and officer positions in different businesses as well as non-profit organizations throughout her life and now lives in Tyrol, Austria.