Ambassador Wolfgang Ischinger

Ambassador Wolfgang Ischinger, Chairman of the Munich Security Conference. (Photo: MSC / Kuhlmann)

Ambassador Wolfgang Ischinger has been Chairman of the Munich Security Conference since 2008. He is Senior Professor for Security Policy and Diplomatic Practice at the Hertie School of Governance, Berlin, and Adjunct Professor at the University of Tuebingen.

Ischinger began his diplomatic career in 1973 in the cabinet of the UN Secretary-General. In 1975, he joined the Federal Republic of Germany's Foreign Service. From 1982 to 1990, Wolfgang Ischinger served in the cabinet of the Federal Foreign Minister. In 1990, he was appointed Minister and Head of the Political Section of the German Embassy in Paris. In 1993, he was named Director of the Policy Planning Staff and in 1995 Political Director. In that role, Ischinger led the German Delegation during the Bosnian Peace negotiations in Dayton/Ohio in 1995, the negotiations on the NATO-Russia Founding Act in 1996/1997, and during the Kosovo crisis in 1998/99.

In October 1998, he was appointed State Secretary (Deputy Foreign Minister) of the German Federal Foreign Office. From 2001 to 2006, he served as German Ambassador in Washington, DC, and, from 2006 to 2008, in London. In 2007, he also represented the EU in the Troika negotiations on the future of Kosovo.

In 2014, Ambassador Ischinger served as the Special Representative of the OSCE Chairman-In-Office in the Ukraine crisis. In 2015, he chaired an OSCE-mandated "Panel of Eminent Persons on European Security as a Common Project" tasked with providing advice on how to build a more resilient European security architecture.

From 2008 to 2014, he was also Global Head of Government Relations, Allianz SE, Munich.

Ambassador Ischinger serves on a number of corporate boards and advisory councils, including the Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik (SWP), the German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP), the East-West Institute New York, the American Academy Berlin, the American Institute for Contemporary German Studies (AICGS), and Atlantik-Brücke. He is also a member of the Trilateral Commission and the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR) and advises the Federal Chancellor of Austria as a member of the Think Austria initiative’s board of experts.

Ambassador Ischinger has received a number of honors and awards, including the German Bundesverdienstkreuz. He is a Commander of the French Legion of Honor and was the 2008 recipient of the Leo Baeck Medal awarded by the Leo Baeck Institute, New York. In 2015, Ischinger was the recipient of the Manfred Wörner Medal. He has received honorary doctorates from the universities of Pristina and Yerevan. In 2018, he was the recipient of the prestigious Nunn-Lugar Award.

Wolfgang Ischinger studied law at the universities of Bonn and Geneva and obtained his law degree in 1972. He did graduate and post-graduate work at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy and at Harvard Law School.

Wolfgang Ischinger is married to author and journalist Jutta Falke-Ischinger. He has three children. He is a licenced skiing instructor and loves mountaineering, and hunting.


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