Advisory Board

Volker Schlegel

Volker Schlegel is a former Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany and State Secretary of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg.

He studied law and economics, and subsequently worked as a lawyer in Düsseldorf. He then joined the German Diplomatic Service with postings abroad in Geneva and Tehran, as ambassador to Singapore, Mali, Senegal and Jamaica, and as economic envoy in Washington, D.C.

For more than four years he worked outside the civil service as head of central sales for a large German company in Cologne. From 2002 to 2004, Volker Schlegel was State Secretary for Economics and Labor in the Hamburg Government.

His eight years in Tehran, during which he headed the economic department of the embassy, had a particular impact on him. He was one of the first international diplomats visiting the frontline during the Iran-Iraq war. Today, he is a highly demanded advisor and legal expert on Iran-related issues, in particular with regard to the bilateral economic relations.

Bernd Erbel

Bernd Erbel is a former German diplomat and Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany in Iran.

He studied law and Oriental Sciences, after travelling to Iran and Arab countries from the age of 15. He then joined the German Diplomatic Service.

Bernd Erbel spent 25 years in the Middle East as a diplomat. He first held various positions in Beirut, Sanaa, Riyadh and Cairo. During the Iraq war in 2003, he was sent to Kuwait. Then, from 2004 to 2006, Bernd Erbel was German ambassador to Iraq. From 2006 to 2009, he assumed the position of ambassador in Cairo.

From October 2009, Bernd Erbel was the German Ambassador in Tehran. After his retirement in 2013, he worked in the Foreign Office’s international diplomatic training programme for the countries of the Near and Middle East and as a lawyer.

Bernd Erbel speaks Arabic and Persian. 

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