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Stefan Mair New Head of SWP

Berlin, 1 October 2020. Dr. Stefan Mair (57) takes over as the new Chair of the Board of the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP) on 1 October. In that capacity he will also be the new Director of the SWP research institute. Mr. Mair succeeds Prof. Dr. Volker Perthes (62), who headed the organisation for fifteen years (2005–2020). Mr. Perthes will continue to serve as Senior Advisor to the Executive Board.

Mr. Mair began his career at SWP in 1992, after gaining his Ph.D. at the ifo Institute in Munich. He worked at SWP for 18 years, first as a researcher on Sub-Saharan Africa and later as a member of the Executive Board. For the past ten years Mr. Mair served on the Executive Board of the Federation of German Industries (BDI), with particular responsibility for international issues.

After Mr. Mair’s appointment by the SWP Council on 15 January, Council President Nikolaus von Bomhard said: “It was Stefan Mair’s management and leadership experience that convinced us, alongside his academic competence and his ideas for SWP’s future development. I am certain that this decision will uphold SWP’s exacting standards and independence, and secure its position as Germany’s leading think-tank and first-choice advisor on foreign policy and security issues.”

“I am delighted to see Stefan Mair return to the Institute in this capacity,” said retiring Director Volker Perthes. “We have already worked together here as researchers and in senior management, so I am very pleased to be handing over the baton after 15 years.”

A ceremony marking the hand-over was held on 9 September. Bundestag President Wolfgang Schäuble spoke on “The National Challenge of Global Responsibility”. The text of his speech, video material and photographs of the event are available at: https://www.swp-berlin.org/ueber-uns/direktorenwechsel-in-der-swp/.

Contact: Candida Splett, Head of Communications Department, candida.splett(at)swp-berlin.org, +49 (0)151-53305048