Management and Team


Daniel Abbou and Vanessa Cann manage the German AI Association. They are responsible for the day-to-day business of the association and support the board in fulfilling its tasks.

Daniel Abbou

Managing Director

Daniel Abbou has been Managing Director at the German AI Association since May 1, 2020. His responsibilities include political and press communication as well as support for funding projects.

Daniel Abbou previously founded AI Hub Europe and advised politicians and companies. He was press spokesman in various ministries of finance and economics, including spokesman for the former Senator of Finance and current State Secretary in the Federal Ministry of Economics Ulrich Nußbaum. In the first Baden-Württemberg cabinet of Kretschmann, he held the position of deputy government spokesman. His enthusiasm for digitization and innovation has accompanied him since his time as a television and radio journalist for new technologies.

Vanessa Cann

Managing Director

Vanessa Cann has been Managing Director of the German AI Association since May 1, 2020. Her responsibilities include membership and partner management as well as association development.

For her commitment to Europe’s AI position, she was named one of the 30 most
exciting people under 30 by Forbes in 2022. As political scientist, she previously led the Artificial Intelligence and Future Mobility platform at the German Startup Association, where she connected startups with established companies and investors. Vanessa Cann developed her
interest in artificial intelligence in policy consulting, where she advised Fortune 500 companies on their digital policies. She mentors startups and is involved with Women in AI & Robotics.

Team German AI Association

Katharina Fischer

Assistance to the management

She has been a specialist in office and project organisation since 2020. In the last 5 years, she has primarily helped shape customer communication, marketing and sales activities as well as the development of a digital product at the futurology institute 2b AHEAD ThinkTank. She is particularly looking forward to advancing the topic of AI across Germany as well as better understanding the members and encouraging their participation.

Stefanie Baade

Location management Baden-Württemberg

In Heilbronn, Stefanie Baade is building and expanding the community in Baden-Württemberg and helping to shape the Innovation Park Artificial Intelligence in cooperation with many partners.

After her studies in International Management, she worked for six years in management consulting with a focus on product and project management. During this time, she mainly had contact with AI in projects with autonomous driving and is at home in the SME sector. 

Iris Hempel

Project lead OpenGPT-X

After studying linguistics and communication science at the TU Berlin, she worked for five years as an innovation manager and project manager in accelerator programmes. Here she accompanied German and European start-ups on their way from the founding idea to the conclusion of a first financing round. The focus was primarily on start-ups in the areas of high-tech, sustainability and women in tech.

In our team she is responsible for the project management of OpenGPT-X and contributes her experience in the management and acquisition of public funding projects.

Alex Dickmann

Project lead AI Village and location management NRW

Alex Dickmann is setting up the AI Village in Hürth and supports and coordinates the members of the AI Bundesverband in North Rhine-Westphalia. Previously, he was in charge of the OpenGPT-X and LEAM projects in the association.
Before joining the German AI Association, he studied Digital Communication Leadership in Salzburg and Brussels, worked for a Member of the European Parliament and supported the DAAD field office in Jakarta, Indonesia.

Phillip Handy

Communications und Public Affairs

Phillip Handy is responsible for public relations and public affairs in the Berlin team of the German AI Association. He also co-manages the association’s OpenGPT-X project.

Previously, he worked for four years as a project manager for an event agency, organising events for clients in Berlin’s political scene. After studying politics and European studies in Cambridge (UK) and Berlin, he completed an internship at the European Commission in Brussels and worked in operations for an AI start-up.

Valentin Roth

Politics & Communication

Julia Sartisson


Esther Schragmann

Community Management

Alessandro Blank