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|President of the Bundestag|
(West Germany until 1990)
25 November 1988 – 26 October 1998
|Preceded by||Philipp Jenninger|
|Succeeded by||Wolfgang Thierse|
|Federal Minister of Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth|
26 September 1985 – 25 November 1988
|Preceded by||Heiner Geißler|
|Succeeded by||Ursula Lehr|
|Born||17 February 1937|
|Alma mater||University of Münster|
Early life and education
Süssmuth graduated as a Doctor of Philosophy from the University of Münster in 1964. From 1966 until 1982, she was a faculty member in education at University of Dortmund, Ruhr University, and their predecessor institutions.
From 1985 to 1988, Süssmuth was Federal Minister of Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth under Chancellor Helmut Kohl. In late 1989, she joined forces with Lothar Späth, Heiner Geißler, Kurt Biedenkopf and others in an unsuccessful effort to oust Kohl as CDU chairman.
Süssmuth was a member of the German Bundestag from 1987 to 2002. After the resignation of Philipp Jenninger in 1988 she became the 10th President of the Bundestag. She held the post until 1998, when the SPD became the strongest group in parliament.
From 1986 to 2001, Süssmuth was president of the Frauenunion (the organization of the female members of the CDU) and therefore had a strong influence in her party.
Life after politics
In September 2000, Federal Minister of the Interior Otto Schily appointed Süssmuth as head of a high-profile bipartisan commission to overhaul Germany's immigration policies. Since 2005, she has been president of the OTA Hochschule, a private university in Berlin.
After leaving politics, Süssmuth has been involved in a number of philanthropic and business activities, including the following:
- UNAIDS High Level Commission on HIV Prevention, Co-Chair (since 2010)
- Technical University of Berlin, Chairwoman of the Board of Trustees (since 2010)
- European Policy Centre (EPC), Member of the Strategic Council
- Global Commission on International Migration, Member (2003–2005)
- Migration Policy Institute (MPI), Member of the Board of Trustees
- Heinz Galinski Foundation, Member of the Board of Trustees
- Deutsche Initiative für den Nahen Osten (DINO), Member of the Board of Trustees
- Gegen Vergessen – Für Demokratie, Chairwoman of the Advisory Board
- German Foundation for World Population (DSW), Member of the Advisory Board
- Til Schweiger Foundation, Member of the Advisory Board
- Total E-Quality initiative, Member of the Board of Trustees
- United Nations Association of Germany (DGVN), Member of the Presidium
- Bertelsmann Foundation, Member of the Board of Trustees (1997–2015)
- EnBW, Member of the Advisory Board (2004–2009)
Süssmuth is also Member of the European Council on Tolerance and Reconciliation established in 2008 to monitor tolerance in Europe and prepare recommendations to European governments and IGOs on fighting xenophobia and anti-semitism.
Süssmuth is a supporter of the Campaign for the Establishment of a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly, an organisation which advocates for democratic reformation of the United Nations.
- Magnus Hirschfeld Medal for Sexual Reform (2006)
- German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP), Honorary Member
- Bildung als globale Herausforderung. Zwei Statements – ein Gespräch with Hermann Glaser, in: Robertson-von Trotha, Caroline Y. (ed.): Kultur und Gerechtigkeit (= Kulturwissenschaft interdisziplinär/Interdisciplinary Studies on Culture and Society, Vol. 2), Baden-Baden 2007, ISBN 978-3-8329-2604-5
- Harry Luck (January 28, 2010), Biedenkopf: „König Kurt“ und Kohls Rivale Focus.
- Germany's Need for Immigrants New York Times, 30 July 2001.
- Eminent world personalities call for an HIV Prevention Revolution UNAIDS, press release of 1 December 2010.
- Strategic Council European Policy Centre (EPC).
- Global Commission on International Migration International Organization for Migration.
- Board of Trustees Migration Policy Institute (MPI).
- Board of Trustees Heinz Galinski Foundation.
- Board of Trustees Deutsche Initiative für den Nahen Osten (DINO).
- Advisory Board Gegen Vergessen – Für Demokratie.
- About Us Til Schweiger Foundation.
- Board of Trustees Total E-Quality.
- Presidium United Nations Association of Germany (DGVN).
- 2009 Annual Report EnBW.
- "Statements". Campaign for a UN Parliamentary Assembly. Retrieved 28 September 2017.
- Ruhr, Regionalverband (9 February 2018). "Rita Süssmuth wird Gastprofessorin an der NRW School of Governance in Duisburg". www.metropoleruhr.de (in German). Retrieved 24 May 2018.
- Michael F. Feldkamp (ed.), Der Bundestagspräsident. Amt – Funktion – Person. 16. Wahlperiode, München 2007, ISBN 978-3-7892-8201-0
- Media related to Rita Süssmuth at Wikimedia Commons
- Official biography at Bundestag.de (German, from 2002)
- Interview "Education is a human right" by ERSTE Stiftung (2011) 
- Appearances on C-SPAN
| Federal Minister of Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth