Expert Profile

H.E. Ms Ursula Plassnik
Position(s) Retired, former Ambassador of Austria in Switzerland and former Austrian Minister of Foreign Affairs

Ursula Plassnik is an Austrian diplomat and politician. She served as minister of Foreign affairs (2004-2008) and member of the Austrian parliament (2008-2011). A lawyer by formation (Doctor iuris, University of Vienna, post-graduate diploma College of Europe, Bruges), Ursula Plassnik currently serves as the Austrian Ambassador to Switzerland, after having served as the Austrian Ambassador to France from 2011 to Mid-2016.

She has been a member of the Austrian Diplomatic Service for more than 40 years and participated in numerous multilateral and bilateral negotiations (CSCE/Helsinki Process, Council of Europe, EFTA, EU, UN). During Austria's EU presidency in 2006, she chaired the EU-Council of Foreign ministers.

From 1997 to 2004, she served as Chief of Staff of Wolfgang Schüssel (ÖVP, Austrian People’s Party), Vice-Chancellor and later Federal Chancellor of Austria. She teaches “Applied Diplomacy” at the Paris School of International Affairs/SciencesPo.

Her specific areas of interest are European integration, crisis management, leadership and women in international relations.

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