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Wolfgang Ischinger

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Wolfgang Ischinger
Wolfgang Ischinger at the 50th Munich Security Conference, 2014
Chair of the Munich Security Conference
In office
Preceded byHorst Teltschik
Succeeded byChristoph Heusgen
German Ambassador to the Court of St. James
In office
March 2006 – June 2008
PresidentHorst Köhler
Preceded byThomas Matussek
Succeeded byGeorg Boomgaarden
German Ambassador to the United States
In office
June 2001 – March 2006
PresidentJohannes Rau
Horst Köhler
Preceded byJürgen Chrobog
Succeeded byKlaus Scharioth
Personal details
Wolfgang Friedrich Ischinger

(1946-04-06) April 6, 1946 (age 78)
Beuren, Esslingen, Germany
SpouseJutta Falke-Ischinger
Alma materUniversity of Bonn, University of Geneva, The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy

Wolfgang Friedrich Ischinger (born April 6, 1946) is a German diplomat who served as chairman of the Munich Security Conference from 2008 to 2022.[1]

From 2001 to 2006, Ischinger was the German ambassador to the United States, and from 1998 to 2001, he was Staatssekretär (Deputy Foreign Minister) in Berlin. He was Germany's ambassador to the Court of St. James's (the United Kingdom) from 2006 to May, 2008. He was also Global Head of Government Relations of Allianz SE from March 2008 until December 2014. 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.[2] He has been described as "Germany's best-connected former diplomat".[3]

Early life and education[edit]

Ischinger was born in Beuren, Baden-Württemberg, 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. After German Abitur, 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, Massachusetts, 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. In 1982, he became personal assistant to Hans-Dietrich Genscher, West German foreign minister and leader of the Free Democratic Party.[4]

From 1993 to 1995, Ischinger was director of the Policy Planning Staff under Foreign Minister Klaus Kinkel; from 1995 to 1998, as director general for political affairs (political director), Ischinger participated in a number of international negotiating processes, including the Bosnia Peace Talks at Dayton, Ohio, 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) under Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer between 1998 and 2001, 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 Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) at the United Nations in New York.

In 2007, Ischinger was the European Union Representative in the Troika negotiations on the future of Kosovo, which ended up leading to the declaration of independence of Kosovo and the recognition of Kosovo by most EU member countries, the United States, and a number of other countries, in February, 2008. Reportedly, 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".[5]

From 2019 until 2020, Ischinger co-chaired the Transatlantic Task Force of the German Marshall Fund and the Bundeskanzler-Helmut-Schmidt-Stiftung (BKHS), alongside Karen Donfried.[6]

Ischinger has published widely on foreign policy, security, and arms control policy as well as on European and transatlantic issues.

Other activities[edit]

Corporate boards[edit]

  • Investcorp, member of the international advisory board
  • Kekst CNC, Member of the Global Advisory Board[7]

Non-profit organizations[edit]

Since 2011, Ischinger also acts as advisor to Fair Observer on global politics and security topics.[20]


Personal life[edit]

Ischinger is married to Jutta Falke, a journalist and writer, and the couple have one child. Ischinger also has two children from a previous marriage with Barbara Ischinger (born 1949). Before departing from Berlin to Washington, D.C., in 2001, Jutta Falke-Ischinger was the Berlin bureau chief of the German weekly "Rheinischer Merkur".


  1. ^ Holger Möhle (20 February 2022), Christoph Heusgen übernimmt Münchner Sicherheitskonferenz : Gestählt für lange Nächte Rheinische Post.
  2. ^ "Governing Board". Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. Retrieved 23 September 2013.
  3. ^ J.C. "An interview with Wolfgang Ischinger". The Economist. Retrieved 1 June 2017.
  4. ^ Karnitschnig, Matthew (16 February 2022). "In diplomacy, Europe's most powerful ambassador means business". POLITICO. Retrieved 19 February 2022.
  5. ^ "Former PM: I had no mandate to tear Serbia apart". B92.net. 6 July 2012. Retrieved 14 March 2020.
  6. ^ The German Marshall Fund and Bundeskanzler-Helmut-Schmidt-Stiftung Launch “Transatlantic Task Force” Setting Path Forward for U.S.-Europe Relations German Marshall Fund, press release of 12 December 2019.
  7. ^ Anna Diamantopoulou Joins Kekst CNC’s Global Advisory Board Kekst CNC, press release of 22 September 2021.
  8. ^ Board of Trustees American Academy in Berlin
  9. ^ "Board of Trustees". AICGS. Retrieved 18 March 2019.
  10. ^ Board of Directors Atlantik-Brücke.
  11. ^ Board of Trustees Bonner Akademie für Forschung und Lehre praktischer Politik (BAPP).
  12. ^ Steering Group Club of Three.
  13. ^ Nathalie Tocci Dahrendorf Forum.
  14. ^ Advisory Board German-Polish-Ukrainian Society (GPUS).
  15. ^ Governing Board Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).
  16. ^ Advisory Board Turkey: Culture of Change Initiative (TCCI).
  17. ^ Advisory Board Walther Rathenau Institute.
  18. ^ Global Future Council: The Future of International Security World Economic Forum.
  19. ^ Board of Trustees International Crisis Group (ICG).
  20. ^ Advisor List of Fair Observer
  21. ^ Nunn-Lugar Award Honors German Peacemaker Carnegie Endowment, press release of February 17, 2018.
  22. ^ "2016 Spring Conferment of Decorations on Foreign Nationals" (PDF). Retrieved 30 September 2023.
  23. ^ "Allianz | "Recommitting ourselves to greater tolerance"".

External links[edit]