Prof. Dr Martin Roth (1955 – 2017) was president of ifa – Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen from 1 July to 6 August 2017. Born in Stuttgart in 1955, Martin Roth studied empirical cultural studies at Eberhard Karls University in Tübingen and was awarded his doctorate with a dissertation on the political and historical context of museums and exhibitions in Germany between 1871 and 1945.
After a year as a researcher at the Maison des Sciences de l’Homme and the German Historical Institute in Paris and a spell as a visiting scholar at the Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles, Martin Roth became curator of the German Hygiene Museum in Dresden, serving as its director from 1991 to 2000. From 1995 to 2003, he was also President of the German Museums Association and, from 1996 to 2003, President of the Cultural Foundation of the Free State of Saxony. From 1996 to 2001 he was a member of the Senior Management of EXPO in Hanover. From 2001 to 2011, Martin Roth was Director General of the Dresden State Art Collections. Under his leadership, the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) in London achieved record visitor numbers from 2011 to 2016 and was awarded the Art Fund Prize Museum of the Year in 2016.
Roth was also a visiting professor at the universities of Karlsruhe and Dresden, an honorary professor at the University of Moscow, and an honorary professor for cultural policy and cultural management at the Technical University of Dresden. He has also served as an advisory board member at the British Council, a member of the Goethe-Institut, the Stiftung Stadtmuseum Berlin, the Royal College of Art, the Stiftung Kunst und Musik für Dresden, the art advisory board of the Kunstsammlung Würth, a curating member of the Humboldt Forum Berlin, a member of the International Olympic Committee Agenda 2020 for Culture, non-executive director of Expo 2020 Dubai, a founding member of the Open Society Initiative and special advisor on cultural matters to the German Foreign Office.
In 2015 he was awarded the received the Federal Order of Merit (1st class) and the University of Tübingen made him an honorary senator in 2017.