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Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF) Welcomes a New Executive Director

Corporate News


31 Oct 2016

Ambassador Karsten Warnecke Assumes Office as Executive Director of the Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF) 

Ambassador Karsten Warnecke assumes his duties as the 7th Executive Director of the Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF) on 1 November 2016 in Singapore.

A seasoned career diplomat from Germany with extensive experience in Asia, Ambassador Warnecke was elected as the new head of ASEF at the 34th ASEF Board of Governors’ Meeting held on 9-10 June 2016 in Singapore. Having served as ASEF’s Deputy Executive Director between 2012-2016, Ambassador Warnecke will be leading the organisation for 4 years until 2020.

ASEF occupies a unique position in Asia-Europe relations. It translates the priorities and objectives set out at the ASEM Summits and Ministerial Meetings into concrete projects engaging stakeholders from multiple sectors, particularly the civil society, in Asia and Europe and channelling their voices to policy-makers.” Ambassador Warnecke said about his new role as the Executive Director, “Thanks to our diverse, competent and dedicated staff, our many partner organisations, as well as our strong political supporters, we turn goals into impactful programmes. This is why I am so delighted to be able to lead ASEF into its third decade.”

This will be Ambassador Warnecke’s third posting to Singapore after having been the Counsellor for Press and Cultural Affairs at the German Embassy (2003-2008) and the Deputy Executive Director of ASEF (2012-2016). He is married and has 5 children aged 6-26 living in 4 countries.

In accordance with ASEF’s Legal Framework, the ASEF Executive Director, as the head and representative of the organization, is a citizen of an ASEM country and appointed by the Board of Governors for a term of 4 years. When the Executive Director is a European, the Deputy Executive Director will be an Asian, and vice versa.

Since its inception in 1997, ASEF has had 6 Executive Directors from 5 different Asian and European countries: Ambassador Professor Tommy KOH (Singapore; 1997-2000), Ambassador Delfin COLOMÉ (Spain; 2000-2004), Ambassador Wonil CHO (Korea; 2004-2008), Ambassador Dominique GIRARD (France; 2008-2011), Ambassador Michel FILHOL (France; 2011-2012), and Ambassador ZHANG Yan (China; 2012-2016).

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