Ambassador Ischinger is the new Chairman of the Munich Conference on Security Policy. Since May 2008, he is also Global Head of Government Relations, Allianz SE, Munich.
From 2006 to 2008, he was the Federal Republic of Germany's ambassador to London. Prior to this last assignment, he was the German ambassador to the United States of America for almost five years, and from 1998 to 2001 State Secretary of the Federal Foreign Office. In 2007, he represented the European Union in the troika negotiations on the future of Kosovo.
Wolfgang Ischinger was born in Nürtingen/Baden-Württemberg, Germany, on 06 April 1946. He studied law at the universities of Bonn and Geneva and obtained his law degree in 1972.
With a stipend granted by the German Academic Exchange Service DAAD he continued studying international law, foreign economic relations and contemporary history at Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy and at Harvard Law School, Cambridge/USA (Master of Arts, Fletcher School, 1973).
From 1973 to 1975, 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 for the Policy Planning Staff of the Federal Foreign Office and the German Embassy in Washington, D.C., and was mostly involved with security policy issues. From 1982 to 1990, 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 Envoy and Head of the Political Directorate-General of the German Embassy to Paris. In 1993, he was promoted to Director of the Policy Planning Staff of the Federal Foreign Office. In 1995, he became Ministerialdirektor and Head of the Political Directorate-General of the Federal Foreign Office (Political Director). As Political Director, Mr. Ischinger was Head of the German Delegation during the Bosnian Peace Agreement in Dayton/Ohio in 1995, the negotiations on the NATO-Russia Founding Act in 1996/1997, and during the Kosovo crisis. In October 1998, he was appointed State Secretary of the Foreign Office, and represented the German Government in numerous international and European conferences which were mainly hosted by the United Nations, NATO and the European Union. In 1999, he also started working for the German-Russian Strategic Working Group the German Chancellor and the Russian President had jointly established.
Ambassador Ischinger has published widely on foreign and security policy in German, English and French. He is member of the Board of Trustees of the Alfred Herrhausen Gesellschaft, the Council on Public Policy, AFS Germany (American Field Service) and Youth for Understanding, to name but a few. Moreover, he is a German board member of the East-West Institute, New York, and the European Council on Foreign Affairs (ECFR). Foreign countries have decorated him with numerous outstanding honors and awards; he is Commander of the French Legion of Honor, for instance.
Wolfgang Ischinger's second wife is journalist Jutta Falke-Ischinger. He is father of three children. His favorite pastime is skiing (he is an officially licenced skiing instructor) and mountaineering.