Senior Civilian Representative to Afghanistan
Ambassador Cornelius Zimmermann
The Senior Civilian Representative carries forward the Alliance's political-military objectives in Afghanistan, representing the political leadership of the Alliance in Kabul officially and publicly. He liaises with the Afghan Government, civil society, representatives of the international community and neighboring countries. The post is currently held by Ambassador Cornelius Zimmermann.
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Ambassador Cornelius Zimmermann of Germany assumed duties as the NATO Senior Civilian Representative in Afghanistan in March 2017.
Dr. Zimmermann had formerly served in Afghanistan for two years (2013-2015) as the Consul General of the Federal Republic of Germany in Mazar-e-Sharif. In that capacity, he also served as the Senior Civilian Representative for the Regional Command North. Dr. Zimmermann was impressed by the Afghan people he had the chance to meet during extensive travels in the north, and this rewarding experience made him want to return to Afghanistan.
One of his main priorities as the NATO Senior Civilian Representative is to engage with Afghan leaders who are taking on responsibilities and making a difference for Afghanistan. He also focuses on encouraging efforts towards a peace and reconciliation process.
Dr. Zimmermann joined the German Foreign Service in 1989. He has served in various capacities, with a focus on countries going through transition processes. His first posting abroad was at the German Embassy to South Africa from 1992 to 1995 witnessing the end of Apartheid and the first fully democratic elections. Assisting countries in transition was also one of his key tasks as Head of Unit OSCE and Deputy Head of the Task Force for the German OSCE Chairmanship 2016.
From 1999 to 2003, Dr. Zimmermann served as a Desk officer at the Permanent Delegation of the Federal Republic of Germany to NATO in Brussels. His responsibilities included enlargement and NATO's partnership program.
From 2007 to 2013, he served three successive presidents as the Head of Division on basic foreign policy issues in the Office of the Federal President.
Dr. Zimmermann obtained his Doctorate in modern history, mediaeval and legal history in 1992.
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