Michael Georg Link (Germany) began his tenure as ODIHR director on 1 July 2014. Before joining the Office, he served from January 2012 to December 2013 as the Minister of State for Europe in the German government, responsible for OSCE, EU, Council of Europe and NATO affairs. He was elected to the German parliament for the Free Democratic Party (FDP) in 2005, representing Heilbronn/Baden-Württemberg, and served through 2013. During that term, from 2006 to 2013, Link established a strong OSCE connection as a member of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly.
The ODIHR director is a past chairman of the supervisory board of the Center for International Peace Operations (ZIF), the board of the German Foundation for Peace Research and a past council member of the Foundation for German-Polish Cooperation, and remains active in international NGOs, including the German Council on Foreign Relations, the German Association for Eastern European Studies, the Southeast Europe Association, and the German Atlantic Association.
Born in Heilbronn in 1963, Link studied Russian, French, Political Science, Public Law and Eastern European History at the University of Augsburg, the University of Lausanne and Heidelberg University.
Public Lecture by Director Link at the National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, during the launch of the civil society project in Ukraine: