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Ambassador Wolfgang Ischinger has been chairman of the Munich Security Conference since 2008.
Ischinger began his diplomatic career in 1973, when he started to work in the cabinet of the UN Secretary-General. In 1975, he joined the Federal Republic of Germany’s Foreign Service. From 1982 to 1990, Wolfgang Ischinger served in the cabinet of the Federal Foreign Minister. 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 and in 1995 Political Director. In that role, Ischinger was the 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 of 1998, he was appointed State Secretary (Deputy Foreign Minister) of the Foreign Office. From 2001 to 2006, he served as German Ambassador to the United States of America and, from 2006 to 2008, to London. In 2007, he also represented the EU in the Troika negotiations on the future of Kosovo.
In 2014, representing the OSCE Chairman-in-Office, Ambassador Ischinger co-moderated a series of Round Table discussions in Ukraine in order to promote a broad national dialogue. In 2015, he chaired an OSCE-mandated "Panel of Eminent Persons on European Security as a Common Project" tasked with providing advice on reconsolidating European security.
From 2008 to 2014, he was also Global Head of Government Relations, Allianz SE, Munich.
Ambassador Ischinger serves on a number of corporate boards, including Allianz Deutschland AG. He is also a member of the board of the Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik (SWP) and of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), the East-West Institute, New York, the American Academy Berlin and the American Institute for Contemporary German Studies (AICGS). He is a member of the Trilateral Commission and the European Council on Foreign Affairs (ECFR). Furthermore, Ambassador Ischinger is a member of the Independent Commission on Turkey, chaired by Nobel Peace Laureate Martti Ahtisaari and of the board of the International Crisis Group (ICG).
Since 2010, Wolfgang Ischinger has been Adjunct Professor in the Political Science Department of the University of Tuebingen. In 2011, the University of Pristina, Kosovo, presented Wolfgang Ischinger with an honorary doctorate. In 2015, he was named Senior Professor for Security Policy and Diplomatic Practice at the Hertie School of Governance, Berlin.
Ambassador Ischinger has received a number of honors and awards, including the German Bundesverdienstkreuz. He is a Commander of the French Legion of Honor and was the 2008 recipient of the Leo Baeck Medal awarded by the Leo Baeck Institute, New York. In 2015, German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen honored Ischinger with the Manfred Wörner Medal.
Wolfgang Ischinger studied law at the universities of Bonn and Geneva and obtained his law degree in 1972. He did graduate and post-graduate work at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy and at Harvard Law School (Master of Arts, Fletcher School, 1973).
Wolfgang Ischinger is married to journalist Jutta Falke-Ischinger. He has three children. He is a licenced skiing instructor and loves mountaineering.