After studies at universities in Germany, Iceland, Denmark and Finland Olaf began to work for German public broadcaster ZDF based in Mainz in the mid-eighties. Olaf started in the entertainment and show dept., changed to the classical music and theatre dept. within his first year and in 1990 he became deputy head of the programming unit of ZDF’s culture and science dept. Only one and a half years later when the German-French Culture Channel ARTE came into life, he became senior commissioning editor for the documentaries ZDF produces for ARTE. In this function he already started to do theme nights for the Strasbourg based channel, which became his main professional aim when ZDF built up a dept. exclusively dedicated to theme nights/ THEMA in 1998, whose head he became.
In January 2005 he moved to ARTE Headquarters Strasbourg where he continued to work for theme nights as head of Unité THEMA, in January 2010 he became head of the newly founded dept. Development and Events. He was also one of eight voting members of the ARTE conference of programs, which takes the decisions on all ARTE programs, programming, strategies and schedules every month. From 2002 till 2006 he chaired the Documentary Program Group of the European Broadcasting Union.
Since 2012 he is back at ZDF as Deputy Coordinator Fernsehspiel/ARTE.