Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg

Distinguished Statesman (Non-resident)

Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg served as German federal minister of defense from 2009 to 2011 and as federal minister of economics and technology from February 2009 to October 2009. As minister of defense, he led the most significant structural reform of the German armed forces since the Bundeswehr’s founding in 1955. In particular, he spearheaded the effort of transforming the Bundeswehr from a conscription-based army to an all-professional military. Baron zu Guttenberg served as a Christian Social Union (CSU) member of the German Parliament or Bundestag from 2002 to 2011 and as spokesman of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU)/CSU Parliamentary Group on the Bundestag’s Foreign Affairs Committee from 2002 to 2008. He was a member of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe and the Western European Union (2002–2005). He also briefly served as secretary-general of Germany’s co-governing CSU party (2008–2009) before being appointed to Chancellor Angela Merkel’s cabinet in early 2009.

As a distinguished statesman at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington, D.C., Baron zu Guttenberg leads a new high-level transatlantic dialogue initiative focused on global trends and current political, economic, financial, and technology issues. Since December 2011, he has served as senior adviser to the European Commission’s “No Disconnect Strategy,” providing strategic counsel on how to give ongoing support to Internet users, bloggers and cyber activists living under authoritarian regimes. He liaises with EU member states, third countries, nongovernmental organizations, as well as relevant information and communications technology companies to advance the “No Disconnect Strategy” in a coordinated and effective manner. He also advises governments and companies around the globe on economic, European, and international security issues. Baron zu Guttenberg, who holds a law degree from the University of Bayreuth, was in the private sector (as managing director and member of different advisory boards) prior to entering German politics in 2002. He has authored numerous articles and op-eds on foreign, economic, and security policy published in both German and international media.