Susanne Keppler-Schlesinger is an Austrian career diplomat and has held the position of Deputy Director of the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna (Diplomatische Akademie Wien), Vienna School of International Studies and Head of its Executive Training Department since 2016. She holds the rank of a Minister Plenipotentiary and is due to take over the Directorate of the Austrian Cultural Forum in New York in September 2022.
About the Lecture
In her lecture, Keppler-Schlesinger will address Vienna as a cradle of diplomacy, host to a great number of international organisations, diplomatic representations, international congresses and conventions. Located in the heart of Europe, Vienna is the capital of a neutral country, Austria. It has served as a safe haven for refugees from Eastern Europe and beyond for many decades. As the home of a rising number of international academic and research institutions as well as think-tanks, Vienna is an internationally renowned center of science and innovation. Vienna has built a solid partnership with the capital of Ukraine, Kyiv, and other cities of this embattled country and thus has become, once again, a haven for thousands of people fleeing armed aggression and warfare.
The lecture is free and open to all. Boxed lunches will be available for attendees starting at 12:00 p.m. while supplies last.
About the Speaker
Keppler-Schlesinger has more than 25 years’ experience in the field of multilateral as well as bilateral diplomacy. From 2009 to 2015 she was the Director of the Austrian Cultural Forum in Paris and thus responsible for the promotion of the cultural and scientific exchange between Austria and France. She chaired negotiations at the United Nations in New York in the context of the Austrian Presidency of the European Union in 1998, and 2006 in the context of the World Conferences and Special Sessions of the UN on Women and Gender Equality, Human Rights and Social Development, Drug Control and Ageing. At the Permanent Mission of Austria to the United Nations in New York from 1996 to 2003 she focused on the promotion and protection of human rights, gender equality, social development, international drug control and the prevention of organised crime as well as the fight against terrorism. At the headquarters of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs in Vienna she was responsible for diplomatic dossiers related to humanitarian and refugee questions, public diplomacy, the European Union, Africa, the recruitment for the Austrian MFA and diplomatic training. She also served in the Cabinet of State Secretary Benita Ferrero-Waldner.
Keppler-Schlesinger holds a Ph.D. in musicology, French language and literature from the University of Vienna. She is a graduate of the Diplomatische Akademie Wien / Vienna School of International Studies (graduation with distinction). She also holds a diploma as a concert pianist.