Bernd Widdig's work as Director of the Office of International Programs is closely related to his own biography. A native of Germany, he first studied Economics and Political Science at the University of Bonn. In 1983 he came to the United States to pursue a Ph.D. in German Studies at Stanford University. The move to California proved to be a good one, not least because at Stanford he met his wife Nadine, who is French.
In 1989 he began a faculty position at MIT in German Studies. He published two books and many articles on the fascinating culture of Germany's Weimar Republic after the first World War. Then he became interested in building international programs for young engineers and scientists. He was the founding Director of the MIT–Germany Program and served as the Associate Director of the MIT International Science and Technology Initiative. In 2007 he crossed the river and started his work at Boston College, in the Office of International Programs.
Bernd and Nadine live with their two daughters in Cambridge. For him, the passion for his work is expressed in Saint Augustine's wonderful quote: "The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page."