Our Team

Research for people – research by people.
These are the faces and stories of those working at ifz:

Steering Committee


Lagger Christian

Dr. Christian Lagger is a philosopher, theologian, and manager. In September 2021, he assumed the presidency of the International Research Center for Social and Ethical Questions (ifz), following Markus Welte, who had provisionally headed the ifz since March 2021.

Christian Lagger, who also serves as managing director of the Hospital of the Order of Saint Elisabeth in Graz is firmly rooted in academia and research. Through his service as president of the ifz, he strengthens the excellent research team of an academic institution that functions as a platform that encourages exchanges among people from civil society, the church, and the economy. His aim is to expand and deepen the solution-oriented and interdisciplinary research that characterizes the work at the ifz.

One of the fundamental concerns of ifz president Lagger is to continue developing the “School of the Philanthropy” – a concept first introduced by Clemens Sedmak and subsequently further developed by Helmut P. Gaisbauer: Under his leadership, human dignity, centering the good in life, respectful relationships, and appreciative cooperation remain central topics in the work conducted at the ifz.

Sedmak Clemens

Prof. DDDr. Clemens Sedmak holds the Chair of Social Ethics at the Keough School for Global Affairs at the University of Notre Dame (Indiana, USA). He served as president of the ifz from 2008 to 2017 and was subsequently a member of the advisory board. In the fall of 2021, he has assumed the vice-presidency of the ifz.

A Broad Range of Expertise: From Epistemology via Poverty Research to Ethics in Leadership
Poverty research and social ethics (world hunger, labor and work environments, unemployment), epistemology and philosophy of science, religious philosophy, and religious studies. Since 2008, Sedmak has been working on questions about ethics in leadership, and he has conceptualized an international further education course for people in leadership positions.

The Essence of Life: His Family
The multiplicity of professional activities should not distract from the fact that there is one thing that is at the center of life: to continuously practice the art of loving, as Erich Fromm has phrased it. The best way to do so is in his family: His wife Maria and their children Magdalena, Gabriel, and Jonathan are his support, his source of life, and they confront him with challenges that are quite different from those he encounters in his professional life.


Traunwieser Silvia

Dr. Silvia Traunwieser has been an Assistant Professor in the field of legal and social philosophy at the Faculty of Law of the University of Salzburg since 2006. After studying law, she completed a Master of Business Law (MBL). As a member of the Curricula Commission (2007 – to date), respectively as deputy chairperson, she was responsible for recognitions of the Faculty of Law from 2009-2015.
Her research focuses on ethics in business and economy (CSR, corruption, whistleblowing, digitalization, home office, desk sharing) as well as medical ethics (IVF, organ donation, and human dignity). Currently, she is working on a 4-Level Matrix of Leadership and Business ethics, which includes participation, autonomy, responsibility, and organizational justice.


Koch Andreas

Prof. Dr. Andreas Koch is the leader of the working group Social Geography at the University of Salzburg. In this context, he focuses on poverty, inequality, and exclusion as well as geographies of communications and telecommunications. An additional focus is on modeling, simulation, and visualization of social-spatial processes.

Andreas Koch was born in the German city of Freiburg im Breisgau. He studied Geography, Political Science, and Spatial Planning at Ludwig-Maximilians-University of Munich. In 2004, he completed his habilitation at the Technical University of Aachen (RWTH). Since then, he has been teaching at various universities, including Vienna University of Economics and Business, the Department of Geosciences at the University of Munich, at the University of Klagenfurt, as well as the Department of Informatics at the Royal Academy of Sciences in Sofia, Bulgaria. Since 2007, he is Professor of Human Geography at the University of Salzburg.

In addition, he is Deputy Head of the Centre for Ethics and Poverty Research (CEPR) as well as Deputy Chair of Geocompass Salzburg.


Managing Director, Lawmrohrauer@ifz-salzburg.at

Rohrauer Michaela

Michaela Rohrauer has been the managing director of the ifz since July 2011. To her, the Center is an extraordinary institution because it allows for research that approaches “the questions of our time” and “the needs of people.” Thus, the work conducted by the researchers is always aimed at working towards a better society. “My goal is to continue to create that connection between research and praxis.”
A trained lawyer, she has worked in the fields of nature conservation and environmental protection for several years before joining the ifz. In this field – which connects law, politics, economics, and nature – she was confronted with and became aware of many of the pressing questions of our society today. Personally, she considers questions about a satisfactory life and a humane society as particularly significant.

Research Fellow, Political Science, Human Rights and Democratizationbbahtic@ifz-salzburg.at

Bahtić-Kunrath Birgit

Birgit Bahtić-Kunrath studied Political Science in Salzburg and Rennes and completed a master’s degree in Human Rights and Democratisation in Venice and Lund. After a traineeship at the Council of Europe field office in Sarajevo, she was a university assistant at the Political Science Department at the University of Salzburg (pre-doc). She finished her dissertation at the University of Salzburg and the University of Sarajevo. Birgit Bahtic-Kunrath was then a project assistant and lecturer at the University of Salzburg, served as the Secretary-General of the Austrian Political Science Association and worked as a research assistant at the Robert Jungk International Futures Library.

Birgit Bahtic-Kunrath has been a research assistant at the ifz since April 2021, where she oversees the Horizon 2020 project “Crises as Opportunities: towards a Level Telling Field on Migration and a New Narrative of Successful Integration”.

Her research interests include the areas of social human rights, democracy and political participation, integration and environmental issues.

Project Manager “Lernen macht Schule,” Sociologyaeisl@ifz-salzburg.at

Eisl Angelika

Angelika Eisl joined ifz Salzburg in April 2019 as a project coordinator at ifz Salzburg. Her duties include the careful planning, coordination, and implementation of the mentoring project „Lernen macht Schule“The project is conducted in cooperation with the Salzburg Ethics Initiative, dem the Centre for Ethics and Poverty Research and Caritas Salzburg. Until 31 December 2021, she is on maternity leave.

Angelika Eisl studied sociology in Salzburg and works as a socio-pedagogical tutor at the State of Salzburg. She is also in charge of organizing orientation days for school classes at the Catholic Youth Salzburg and for guiding youth from Eugendorf in the process of their confirmation preparations.

Research Fellow, Communication Sciencetklinglmayr@ifz-salzburg.at

Klinglmayr Theresa

Theresa Klinglmayr is a research fellow (maternity leave replacement) in the Horizon-2020-project „Crises as Opportunities“. She has joined the ifz in October 2021 and simultaneously works as a university assistant at the Department of Communication Science of the University of Salzburg, where she also completed her studies. Before that, she worked as an editor for various magazines.

In her dissertation, she approaches the topic of intercultural communication in immigrant societies. Her research interests include questions of migration and foreignness, cultural discourses, social inequalities, and qualitative methods.

Research Fellow, Philosophy and Earth Sciencefkos@ifz-salzburg.at

Kos Fabian

Fabian Matthias Kos studied Philosophy and Earth Sciences at the Universities of Vienna and Rome (Sapienza). Currently, he is pursuing a part-time degree in Social Economy and Social Work at the University of Applied Sciences in Vienna.

Professionally, he has worked, among others, for the Austrian aid organization “Pro Juventute,” the English-language journal “Die Erde,” which is published by the Geographical Society Berlin, as well as the Messerli Research Institute of the University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna, the Medical University of Vienna and the University of Vienna. He has been a research fellow at the ifz since 2017, where he focuses on questions of applied ethics, social innovation at the regional and European level, evaluation research, as well as strategy and organizational development.

Press and Public Relations/Marketing, Media Studiesaniederfriniger@ifz-salzburg.at

Niederfriniger Andrea

Andrea Niederfriniger has served the ifz’s press and public relations manager since June 2015 (with a short break in 2017/18, when she was on maternity leave). She studied Spanish and communication science at the University of Salzburg and has gained practical experiences in the media since her student days. After her studies, completed an in-depth editorial traineeship in Munich, wrote for online as well as print media, and worked in the field of cultural and event management.
Her duties at the ifz include press and public relations, marketing, donor support, as well as social media management.

Research Fellow, Eduacation and Educational Managementfrezaee@ifz-salzburg.at

Rezaee Fatemeh

Fatemeh Rezaee studied Educational Management at Alzahra University in Iran and worked as a research assistant at Farhangyian University. Her research focus was on gender and education.

Fatemeh Rezaee came to Austria four years ago. She is currently completing a PhD program at the School of Education of the University of Salzburg. She also works as a case manager in the SAFI Project, an initiative that supports women in making their life more stable and in leading an independent and autonomous life.

Before that, she was involved in the Women & Work Center in the FIER-Project for migrant women.

Since April 2021, she has been a member of the Horizon 2020 project “Crises as Opportunities” Towards a Level Telling Field on Migration and a New Narrative of Successful Integration“.

ifz Tara Tabvassoli_1

Research Fellow, Social Sciencesttavassoli@ifz-salzburg.at

Tavassoli Tara

Tara Tavassoli was born in Gorgan (Iran). She studied at the University of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources there and graduated with a Bachelor’s degree. In October 2012, she began her two master’s degrees in Barcelona at the Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona. She completed her doctoral thesis at the Polytechnic University of Catalunya on the subject of work-life balance. She has many years of experience in data analysis, SPSS and Python. During her studies, she worked intensively with statistical tools such as STATA and was able to establish herself as an expert in handling qualitative and quantitative data. Her research focuses on the link between sociology and economics as well as the administration and management of business and sales.

In addition to her native Persian, Tara Tavassoli speaks English, German and Spanish. Before her studies, she worked as a translator and taught English.