Dr. Steffen Noleppa – Managing Director

Dr. Noleppa is an agricultural economist with long-term experience in the fields of analysing global agricultural markets and rural politics as well as environmental change processes. He is Managing Director of the HFFA Research GmbH and responsible for the general supervision as well as for assuring the quality of research projects of the company.

He holds a Master’s degree in Animal Husbandry with a specialization in Agricultural Informatics and a Ph.D. in Agricultural Economics, both from Humboldt University of Berlin.

Dr. Noleppa worked as a researcher and assistant professor at the Chair for Agricultural Policy at Humboldt University of Berlin. He has special expertise in assessment and evaluation techniques, both ex-post and ex-ante, in modelling of agricultural markets and rural as well as environmental policies, sector analysis and policy simulation, and in transition as well as climate change economics. He has long lasting experience in project and programme management, policy advice, institution building, economic and impact assessment, and regional development support in a wide variety of countries across the globe.

He also worked on an internship base at the Economic Research Service of the United States Department of Agriculture in Washington, DC and the Centre for Agricultural and Rural Development at the Iowa State University of Science and Development in Ames, IA. Agricultural and rural institutions comprising ministries, private firms and NGO’s not only in Germany and many EU member states, but also in, e.g., Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Russia, Rwanda, Saudi-Arabia, and Ukraine so far profited from his experience.

Dr. Noleppa is member of the Executive Committee of the Humboldt Forum for Food and Agriculture (HFFA) e.V., a Berlin based international non-profit think tank, developing sustainable strategies to meet challenges of global food and agriculture and representing a multidisciplinary international expert community, drawn from government, academia, industry and civil society. Furthermore, he is a co-founder and managing partner of agripol – network for policy advice GbR and member of the German Association of Agricultural Economist, the European Association of Agricultural Economist and the International Association of Agricultural Economist.

Dr. Noleppa fluently speaks German and English as well as Russian at a moderate level.


Sophia Lüttringhaus, M.Sc. – Research Analyst for Agricultural and Environmental Economics

Sophia Lüttringhaus is an agricultural economist working as a research analyst at the HFFA Research GmbH. Ms. Lüttringhaus is responsible for modelling and quantifying economic and environmental effects of diverse agricultural and environmental policies.

She holds a Master’s degree in Agricultural Economics from the Humboldt University of Berlin where she focused on quantitative methods, resource management and development economics. As a Bachelor’s she studied International Relations with a focus on international economics at the Dresden University of Technology (Germany) and Hunan Normal University (China).

Before joining the HFFA Research GmbH, Ms. Lüttringhaus worked at the science and policy institute Climate Analytics in Berlin. There she co-authored a report analyzing climate change impacts on economic growth in Africa and quantified co-benefits of climate mitigation and adaptation policies. This work involved project management with partners and the funders (United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP) and African Development Bank (AfDB)). Prior she gained work experiences at the International Climate Initiative (IKI) managing projects with respect to biodiversity and climate change and at the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) on aid effectiveness. For her Master’s thesis she stayed at the International Potato Center (CIP/CGIAR) in Lima where she conducted research on potato diversity and livelihood strategies in the Peruvian Andes.

Ms. Lüttringhaus fluently speaks German, Spanish, English and French as well as Chinese and Portuguese at a basic level.


Isabel Hackenberg, M.Sc. – Research Analyst for Agricultural and Environmental Economics

Isabel Hackenberg is an agricultural economist with a focus on the analysis of complex integrated social-ecological systems. Her research interests include the importance of cooperation, social relationships and networks in the management of natural resources and agro-ecosystems. At HFFA Research GmbH she is responsible for analyzing the reciprocal effects between agriculture and natural resources from different perspectives, and for assessing the environmental and social impacts of land use choices and of different agricultural and rural management systems.

Ms. Hackenberg holds a Master’s degree in Agricultural Economics from Humboldt University of Berlin, with a particular focus on international rural development, natural resource management, and social network analysis. For her Master’s Thesis, Ms. Hackenberg evaluated the creation of social capital through a community-based mangrove reforestation project in Costa Rica. She also holds a Bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Sciences and Environmental Management from Justus Liebig University Giessen (Germany), where she focused on agricultural competitiveness, rural development and food security in Latin America.

Before joining HFFA Research GmbH, Ms. Hackenberg worked at CDP Europe, where she was responsible for co-managing an EU-funded innovation project aimed at quantifying and evaluating the climate change impact of equity funds. Previously, she also worked as a consultant for the Deutsche Gesellschaft for Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) in Cusco, Peru, as independent researcher at the Leibniz Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research (ZALF), and as research assistant at the Chair for Agricultural Policy of Humboldt University Berlin.

Isabel Hackenberg has international work experience in several Latin American countries. She is a native speaker of Spanish and German, is fluent in English and French, and has basic knowledge of Portuguese.

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Matti Cartsburg, M.Sc. – Freelance Analyst for Agricultural and Environmental Economics

Matti Cartsburg is an agricultural economist with specific focus on modeling agricultural markets and policies as well as environmental assessments with particular emphasis on the water sector. He works on a project related basis for the HFFA Research GmbH. His current research focus lies on partial equilibrium market models to be applied in running projects of the company.

He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Sciences and a Master’s degree in Agricultural Economics. He studied at Humboldt University of Berlin and the Universidad Politécnica de Valencia (Spain). During his studies, Matti Cartsburg focused on the impact of climate change on agriculture and agricultural markets.

Mr. Cartsburg worked as a project manager at GFA Consulting Group GmbH, the General Agent of the Bilateral Cooperation Programme of the German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture. As project manager he was responsible for the preparation, monitoring and evaluation of agricultural projects in Germany, Turkey and Egypt.

Furthermore, he is a partner of agripol – network for policy advice GbR and as such contributed two chapters on the impact of climate change on agricultural production, food security and livestock in Latin America and Central Asia to the research report Turn Down the Heat: Confronting the New Climate Normal conducted by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research for the World Bank.

Mr. Cartsburg gained research experience during his employment as a research assistant at the Chair for International Agricultural Trade and Development of the Humboldt University and various internships in Scotland, Canada, Switzerland and Germany.

Mr. Cartsburg fluently speaks German and English as well as Spanish at a moderate level.