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Ambassador Wolfgang Ischinger has been Chairman of the Munich Security Cenference since 2008 and is Director of the Centre for International Security Policy of Hertie School. He was also Global Head of Government Relations of Allianz SE from March 2008 until December 2014.
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 DAAD he continued studying international law, foreign economic relations and history at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy and at Harvard Law School in Cambridge/USA.
From 1973-75, 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 1982-90, 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 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, Ischinger became Political Director-General of the Federal Foreign Office. As Political Director, he 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.
From 2006-08, Ischinger 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 2001-06, and from 1998-2001 Deputy Foreign Minister. In 2007, he represented the European Union in the troika negotiations on the future of Kosovo.