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Former Chair of GIZ’s Management Board, Bernd Eisenblätter, has died

Bernd Eisenblätter has died. He died on 17 July 2023 at the age of 78. Bernd Eisenblätter was Chair of GIZ’s Management Board from January 2011 until his retirement on 1 July 2012.

Upon his retirement, the press referred to him as ‘a globetrotter with an eye for what matters’. A doctor in political science, Bernd Eisenblätter was the architect of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH as we know it today. He worked for the company and its predecessor organisation, the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ) GmbH, for almost 20 years. On 17 July, Bernd Eisenblätter died, aged 78.

‘Bernd Eisenblätter shaped GTZ as a company as well as the merger between DED, GTZ and InWEnt into GIZ as we know it today. He was consistent and committed in his actions and was a key figure of his time in German development cooperation. We have lost a tremendous personality, whose achievements we deeply admire and respect. Our thoughts are with his family,’ said Thorsten Schäfer-Gümbel, Chair of GIZ’s Management Board.

From 1986 to 1993, Bernd Eisenblätter headed the Programme Department of the Deutscher Entwicklungsdienst (DED) GmbH (German Development Service) in Berlin, holding power of attorney as a member of the extended Board of Directors. In 1993, Bernd Eisenblätter joined GTZ as Director of the Country Department for Latin America, Europe and Maghreb. From 1996, he was Managing Director of GTZ. He became Chair of the Managing Directors in 2010 and from January 2011 to June 2012, he was Chair of GIZ’s Management Board.

GIZ was formed as a federal enterprise with worldwide operations in 2011 out of the merger between the German Development Service, GTZ and InWEnt – (Capacity Building International, Germany). Bernd Eisenblätter played a pivotal role in this process.