Vienna, 23 April 2013 – Foreign Minister Michael Spindelegger has appointed Michael Linhart, former head of the department for Development Cooperation at the Austrian Ministry of European and International Affairs, new Secretary General of the Ministry. The appointment followed a public tender and a unanimous proposal made by the Appointments Committee. Michael Linhart will take over the post from Ambassador Johannes Kyrle who has served as Secretary General for Foreign Affairs since January 2002.
"Michael Linhart will be able to draw on his many years of experience in diplomatic missions; he has held various positions of great responsibility at the Foreign Ministry. His contributions to development cooperation and his work as Austrian Ambassador to Syria and Greece were excellent, he displayed diplomatic sensitivity and management skills. Two qualities he will certainly be able to put to good use as Secretary General of the Foreign Ministry in future", Foreign Minister Spindelegger said.
Dr. Michael Linhart, born in Ankara in 1958, grew up in Vorarlberg, Austria. After his law studies in Salzburg and Vienna, he joined the Foreign Ministry in 1986. In the course of his career he was posted, among other positions, to the Austrian representations in Addis Ababa and Zagreb; he was the Austrian Ambassador in Damascus and later on in Athens.
From 1995 to 2000 Linhart was a member of the cabinet of former Foreign Minister Wolfgang Schüssel. When Schüssel became Federal Chancellor, Linhart followed him to the Chancellery in the position of foreign policy consultant. At the end of the year 2000, Linhart again changed to a position abroad. Between 2003 and 2007, Michael Linhart was CEO of the then newly founded Austrian Development Agency where he gave proof of his management skills. He has been the Director of the Department for Development Cooperation at the Foreign Ministry ince 2012. Michael Linhart is married and the father of three children.
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