Ambassador Wolfgang Ischinger
Ambassador Ischinger has been Chairman of the Munich Security Conference since 2008. From 2008 to 2014, he was also Global Head of Government Relations, Allianz SE, Munich.
From 2006 to 2008, Ischinger was the Federal Republic of Germany's Ambassador to London. Prior to this assignment, he served as German Ambassador to the United States of America from 2001 to 2006, and, from 1998 to 2001, as Deputy Foreign Minister (State Secretary). In 2007, he represented the European Union in the troika negotiations on the future of Kosovo.
In 2014, representing the OSCE Chairman-in-Office, Ambassador Ischinger co-moderated a series of Round Table discussions in Ukraine in order to promote a broad national dialogue. In 2015, he will chair an OSCE-mandated "Panel of Eminent Persons on European Security as a Common Project" tasked with providing advice on reconsolidating European security.
Wolfgang Ischinger studied law at the universities of Bonn and Geneva and obtained his law degree in 1972. With a grant from the German Academic Exchange Service he continued studying international law, foreign economic relations, and history at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy and at Harvard Law School (Master of Arts, Fletcher School, 1973).
From 1973 to 1975, he served on the staff of the Secretary General of the United Nations in New York. In 1975, he joined the Federal Republic of Germany's Foreign Service. He worked in the Policy Planning Staff of the Federal Foreign Office and at the German Embassy in Washington, D.C., focussing on security policy issues. From 1982 to 1990, Wolfgang Ischinger served on the staff of the Federal Foreign Minister. He became the Minister's Private Secretary in 1985 and Chief of the Parliament and Cabinet Division of the Federal Foreign Office in 1987. In 1990, he was appointed Minister and Head of the Political Section of the German Embassy to Paris. In 1993, he was named Director of the Policy Planning Staff of the Federal Foreign Office.
In 1995, he became Political Director-General of the Federal Foreign Office. As Political Director, Mr. Ischinger was Head of 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. In October 1998, he was appointed State Secretary (Deputy Foreign Minister) of the Foreign Office, and represented the German Government in numerous international and European fora, including the United Nations and NATO. In 1999, he was named a member of the German-Russian Strategic Working Group which the German Chancellor and the Russian President had jointly established.
Ambassador Ischinger has published widely on foreign and security policy in German, English and French. He is a member of the boards of the Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik (SWP) and AFS Germany (American Field Service). He is also a board member of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), the East-West Institute, New York, the American Institute for Contemporary German Studies (AICGS). He is a member of the European Council on Foreign Affairs (ECFR) and the Global Zero Commission, promoting the vision of a nuclear weapons-free world. He was also the co-chair of the Euro-Atlantic Security Inititative (EASI) of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Furthermore, Ambassador Ischinger is a member of the Independent Commission on Turkey, chaired by Peace Nobel Laureate and former President of Finland, Martti Ahtisaari.
Wolfgang Ischinger is Adjunct Professor in the Political Science Department of the University of Tuebingen. In June 2011 the University of Pristina presented Wolfgang Ischinger with an honorary doctorate.
Ambassador Ischinger has received a number of honors and awards; he is Commander of the French Legion of Honor, for instance. He was the 2008 recipient of the Leo Baeck Medal awarded to him by the Leo Baeck Institute, New York.
Wolfgang Ischinger is married to journalist Jutta Falke-Ischinger. He has three children. His favorite pastime is skiing (licenced skiing instructor) and mountaineering.