Ursula Plassnik is an Austrian diplomat and politician. She served as minister of Foreign affairs (2004-2008) and member of the Austrian parliament (2008-2011). A lawyer by formation (Doctor iuris, University of Vienna, post-graduate diploma College of Europe, Bruges), Ursula Plassnik currently serves as the Austrian Ambassador to Switzerland, after having served as the Austrian Ambassador to France from 2011 to Mid-2016.
She has been a member of the Austrian Diplomatic Service for more than 40 years and participated in numerous multilateral and bilateral negotiations (CSCE/Helsinki Process, Council of Europe, EFTA, EU, UN). During Austria's EU presidency in 2006, she chaired the EU-Council of Foreign ministers.
From 1997 to 2004, she served as Chief of Staff of Wolfgang Schüssel (ÖVP, Austrian People’s Party), Vice-Chancellor and later Federal Chancellor of Austria. She teaches “Applied Diplomacy” at the Paris School of International Affairs/SciencesPo.
Her specific areas of interest are European integration, crisis management, leadership and women in international relations.