Deputy Director General, Directorate General for Research and Innovation, European Commission
Deputy Director-General of DG RTD since 2010, responsible for Research Programmes (collaborative research). He is Alternate to the European Co-chair of the Executive Committee of the International Group on Earth Observations (GEO), alternating Chairman of the Governing Board of the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) and Member of the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen (FCH) Joint Undertaking’s Governing Board.
After studies of Law and Economics at the University of his home town Würzburg and that of Bonn, he started his career as teaching assistant at the Department of Civil and Commercial Law at the University of Würzburg in 1979. In 1980, he joined the Bavarian Liaison Office to the Federal Government in Bonn. Following a 2-years detachment to the Development Policy department of the European Commission, he established the Bavarian Information Office in Brussels and became its first Director.
From 1987, he served in the three Cabinets of Commissioner Peter Schmidhuber (Macroeconomics and Regional Policies, later Budget and Budget Control). In 1995, Agriculture and Rural Development Commissioner Franz Fischler appointed him Deputy Head of his Cabinet.
Nominated Head of Division in DG Agriculture and Rural Development in 2000, he joined the Cabinet of Commission President Prof. Romano Prodi in 2003 as Adviser i.a. for industrial, agricultural and environmental policies. From 2005-2010, he served as Head of Commissioner Viviane Reding’s 2nd Cabinet (Telecommunication and Media).