Horst Köhler is the former 9th Federal President of Germany. He is known for his constant commitment to humanity and truthfulness. A better partnership with Africa has always been a matter close to his heart, as well as the worldwide change to sustainability and a partnership-based international policy.
Köhler studies economics and does his doctorate at the Institute for Applied Economics in Tübingen. He began his civil service career in 1976 in the Policy Department of the Federal Ministry of Economics. After further professional positions, among others in the State Chancellery of Schleswig-Holstein, he became State Secretary in the Federal Ministry of Finance in 1990 where he negotiated the withdrawal of Soviet troops from the GDR and was chief negotiator for the Maastricht Treaty on European Monetary Union. In 1993 Köhler leaves the Federal Government and becomes President of the German Savings Banks and Giro Association. In 1998 he assumes the post of President of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development in London. In 2000 he moves to Washington, D.C. and becomes Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). In this function, he is primarily concerned with the crises in Argentina, Brazil and Turkey. Internally, he is committed to strengthening the IMF's involvement in Africa and to building up expertise on the international financial and capital markets.
In 2004, the Federal Assembly elected Köhler as the 9th Federal President of the Federal Republic of Germany. In terms of domestic policy, he is primarily concerned with the question of how sustainable jobs can be secured and created. For him, Germany's renewal also includes a better education system and a creative approach to demographic change. In terms of foreign policy, Köhler is particularly committed to globalisation with reliable rules and a genuine partnership with the African continent. In 2010 he resigned from his office.
In 2012, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-Moon, appointed him a member of the High Level Panel of Eminent Persons on the Post-2015 Development Agenda. The panel report lays the foundation for Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development, adopted by the United Nations in 2015. From 2016-17, Köhler, together with Kofi Annan, heads a Special Panel of the African Development Bank, which advises the Bank on the implementation of its strategies. From 2017-19, he is the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General of the United Nations for Western Sahara.
Köhler is Honorary Senator and Honorary Professor of the University of Tübingen. Among the numerous awards he has received are the Grand Cross with Chain of Orders of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic and the Grand Golden Decoration with Star for Services to the Republic of Austria and in 2011, Köhler was awarded Karl Preusker Medal.