Expert Profile

Amb. Wolfgang Ischinger
Position(s) Chairman, Munich Security Conference
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Ambassador Wolfgang Ischinger is an Associate Fellow within the Global Fellowship Initiative of the GCSP. Ambassador Ischinger is Chairman of the Munich Security Conference (MSC). He is also Global Head of Government Relations, Allianz SE, Munich. He is a member of the Supervisory Board of Allianz Deutschland AG, and of the European Advisory Board of Investcorp, London.

From 2006 to 2008, he was the Federal Republic of Germany's Ambassador to London. Prior to this assignment, he was the German Ambassador to the United States of America from 2001 to 2006. In 2007, he also represented the European Union in the Troika negotiations on the future of Kosovo.

Wolfgang Ischinger studied law at the universities of Bonn and Geneva and obtained his law degree in 1972.  He continued studying international law, economics and history at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy and at Harvard Law School, Cambridge/USA (M. A., Fletcher School, 1973).

From 1973 to 1975, he served in the Executive Office of the Secretary General of the United Nations, 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., focusing on security policy issues. From 1982 to 1990, Wolfgang Ischinger served on the staff of the Federal Foreign Minister, became the Minister's Private Secretary in 1985, and Chief of the Parliament and Cabinet Division in 1987. In 1990, he was appointed Minister and Head of the Political Section of the German Embassy to Paris, and in 1993 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 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 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, NATO, and the EU.

Ambassador Ischinger has published widely on foreign policy, security, and arms control policy as well as European and transatlantic issues. He is a member of the Trilateral Commission, of the European Council on Foreign Relations, and of the Governing Board of SIPRI, Stockholm. He is Co-Chair of the Euro-Atlantic Security Initiative (Carnegie Endowment) and a member of the Global Zero Commission. He also serves on the Boards of the Atlantic Council of the U. S., of the American Institute of Contemporary German Studies (AICGS), of the American Academy, Berlin and of SWP, Berlin. He is an adjunct professor at the University of Tübingen and has also taught at the University of Munich. He is a recipient of numerous awards and decorations, including Commander of the Legion d’Honneur, the Leo-Baeck-Medal, and an honorary doctorate from the University of Pristina, Kosovo.

Ambassador Ischinger is married and has three children. He lives in Berlin and Munich.