Ambassador Wolfgang Ischinger

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

Ambassador Ischinger has been Chairman of the Munich Security Conference (MSC) since 2008 and teaches at the Hertie School of Governance in Berlin, where he is the Director of the Center for International Security Policy (CISP). He advises the private sector, governments, and international organizations on strategic issues. He has published widely on foreign, security and defense policy issues.

Ischinger began his diplomatic career in 1973 in the cabinet of the UN Secretary-General in New York. In 1975, he joined the Federal Republic of Germany’s Foreign Service. In 1993, he was named Director of the Policy Planning Staff and in 1995 Political Director. In that role, Ischinger led the German delegations 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 Global Head of Government Relations, Allianz SE, Munich, and served on supervisory boards of the Allianz Group.

Ambassador Ischinger is member of a number of non-profit boards, including the German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP), 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). He serves on the Supervisory Board of Hensoldt GmbH and on the International Advisory Board of Investcorp, London.

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 licensed skiing instructor and loves mountaineering and hunting.

Click here for selected photos of Ambassador Ischinger.