Wolfgang Friedrich Ischinger (born April 6, 1946 in Beuren, Esslingen, Baden-Württemberg) is a German diplomat. He was Germany's ambassador to the Court of St. James's (the United Kingdom) from 2006 to May, 2008. From 2001 to 2006, he was the German ambassador to the United States, and from 1998 to 2001, he was Staatssekretär (Deputy Foreign Minister) in Berlin. Ambassador Ischinger is the Chairman of the Munich Security Conference, following Horst Teltschik. He is also Global Head of Government Relations, Allianz SE, Munich. He serves on the Supervisory Board of Allianz Deutschland AG, on the European Advisory Board of Investcorp (London/New York) and on the governing board of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.
Ischinger was born in Nürtingen, near Stuttgart, Germany. In 1963/64, he was an American Field Service foreign exchange student in Watseka, Illinois, where he graduated from the local high school in June 1964.
Ischinger studied law at the University of Bonn, Germany and the University of Geneva, Switzerland and obtained his law degree in 1972. He earned a Master's degree from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy in Medford, MA, in 1973.
From 1973 to 1975, Ischinger served on the staff of the Secretary General of the United Nations in New York. He joined the German Foreign Service in 1975, and has served in Washington, D.C., Paris, and in a number of senior functions in the German Foreign Office. From 1993 to 1995, Mr. Ischinger was Director of the Policy Planning Staff; from 1995 to 1998, as Director General for Political Affairs (Political Director), Mr. Ischinger participated in a number of international negotiating processes, including the Bosnia Peace Talks at Dayton, OH, the negotiations concerning the NATO-Russia Founding Act, as well as the negotiations on EU and NATO enlargement and on the Kosovo crisis. As Staatssekretär (Deputy Foreign Minister), Ischinger represented Germany at numerous international and European conferences, including the 1999 G8 and EU summit meetings in Cologne/Germany and the 2000 Review Conference of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty at the United Nations, New York.
In 2007, Ischinger was the European Union Representative in the Troika negotiations on the future of Kosovo which led to the declaration of independence of Kosovo and to the recognition of Kosovo by most EU member countries, by the United States, and a number of other countries, in February, 2008. It has been told that Ischinger entered the talks "with only one goal and idea: for Kosovo to become independent in the end, with the Serbian authority's willing consent".
Ischinger has published widely on foreign policy, security, and arms control policy as well as on European and transatlantic issues. He serves on a number of non-profit boards, including the Board of Overseers of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, the EastWest Institute in New York, SIPRI (Stockholm), the Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik (SWP), Berlin, the American Academy in Berlin, the Atlantic Council of the United States, the Council on Public Policy Berlin, the Bundesakademie für Sicherheitspolitik (BAKS), Berlin, and AFS Germany (American Field Service). He is a member of the international Global Zero Commission promoting the vision of a nuclear-free world. In 2008, Honorable James D. Wolfensohn & Ambassador Richard C. Holbrooke awarded him the Leo Baeck Medal (Leo Baeck Institute) for his humanitarian work promoting tolerance and social justice.
Ischinger is married to Jutta Falke, a journalist and writer, and the couple has one child. Ischinger also has two children from a previous marriage. Before departing from Berlin to Washington, D.C. in 2001, Jutta Falke-Ischinger was the Berlin bureau chief of the German weekly “Rheinischer Merkur”.
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