About DKMS

Meet our UK Board of Trustees

The Board shares responsibility for all decisions of the organisation. 


The DKMS UK Board works with the UK's CEO and Country Manager to set the strategic direction, ensuring it is aligned with the DKMS Group. The CEO and Country Manager report to the Board and are accountable for meeting the organisation's objectives.

The Board provides a framework of good governance that includes controlling the risks of the organisation to enable it to thrive and grow. The organisation also has a comprehensive complaints procedure overseen by the country managers with escalation to the Chair of the Board if a resolution cannot be agreed upon.

Dr Elke Neujahr (Chair)

Dr. Elke Neujahr
Elke Neujahr

In 2018, Elke Neujahr rejoined a cause that had long been close to her heart by becoming Global CEO of the DKMS Group. She also became Executive Vice-Chairwoman of the Board of Directors in the United States and Chairwoman of the board in Poland, United Kingdom and South Africa.

With a doctorate in communication sciences, Elke served national and international executives as an expert in all questions of corporate reputation, crisis, and change management. Initially holding a variety of positions in the industry, Elke ultimately switched to the consulting side of the corporate communications business. She has been Partner and CEO of a leading European PR Consultancy before she successfully ran her own company for 15 years. With 40 years of expertise in general management, she drives the development of the DKMS Group.

As the Global CEO, Elke oversees all DKMS operations and the organisation’s continued international expansion.

Dr Alexander Schmidt

Dr. Dr. Alexander Schmidt
Dr. Alexander Schmidt

Dr Alexander Schmidt has been Managing Director and the Chief Medical Officer of DKMS since 2013. He is also the Chief Executive Officer of the DKMS Life Science Lab and the DKMS Stem Cell Bank and Chief Scientific Officer of the DKMS Registry.

Alexander is responsible for all areas providing professional information and advice, as well as the coordination and support for donors before, during, and after their donation, thus ensuring safe bone marrow and peripheral blood stem cell donations.

In addition, Alexander oversees the ongoing relationship management with transplant centres, search units, registries, and medical advice for all DKMS entities. He and his teams are also responsible for various quality programmes and scientific projects.

Alexander holds a doctorate in mathematics and medicine. After working as an intern at Heidelberg University Hospital, he worked as a management consultant with a focus on healthcare issues. He has been working for DKMS since 2002 in various management positions.

Bernd Weinel

Bernd Weinel
Bernd Weinel

Bernd Weinel joined DKMS in 2023 as Managing Director and Chief Financial Officer. He oversees finance and accounting as well as the administration and management of the DKMS entities.

Bernd studied business administration at Goethe University, Frankfurt and has worked in international companies for many years including several years in Spain.

Bernd brings many years of experience as an interim manager for outstanding assignments in the areas of finance, controlling, mergers and acquisitions, and restructuring as well as CFO and Finance Director in medical technology, media, consumer goods, manufacturing and chemical industries.

Stephan Schumacher

Stephan Schumacher

Stephan Schumacher has worked for DKMS since its foundation in 1991. During his long career at DKMS, he has held many positions including Office Manager, Director of Donor Recruitment, Chief Marketing & Operating Officer and CEO of DKMS LIFE.

Since 2012 Stephan has been Director of International Business Development, primarily responsible for the development of further DKMS offices (entities) across the globe. He supports the DKMS management in the decision-making process whether it is advisable to establish a DKMS entity in any nominated country. He is responsible for setting up and developing the new entity in close cooperation with all relevant departments at DKMS and provides support and advice to the new entity.

Stephan was significantly involved in the establishment of DKMS Poland, serving as its President from 2009-2015. He is currently Vice-President and board member. He was interim CEO of DKMS UK from 2016-2019 and is currently a board member for DKMS UK and DKMS Africa. Stephan is a member of the WMDA World Marrow Donor Association.

Stephan lives near Cologne, Germany, is married and has four children.

Benedict Abel

Benedict Abel

Benedict Abel became General Counsel and Head of the Legal Team of DKMS in 2013. He is also a Trustee of DKMS Foundation (UK) and a member of the Supervisory Board of Fundacja DKMS (Poland).

Together with the DKMS Legal Team, Benedict is responsible for advising DKMS Group and its affiliates on all legal and strategic matters, in particular compliance and regulatory aspects, company law, contracts, data protection, insurance matters, and public relations.

An important aspect of Benedict's work is to support the management with regard to the planning and development of new activities and/or the incorporation and development of new DKMS Group affiliates in various countries.

Benedict studied law and political science at Maastricht University in the Netherlands and holds a master’s degree in European law (LL.M.).

How to get involved
Discover how you can support DKMS in giving hope to people living with blood cancers and blood disorders.