Dr Peter SchoofCourse Director, CPDS Europe
Peter was born in Düsseldorf/Germany and holds a PhD in Political Science and History from the University of Freiburg.
After five years of service with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Geneva and Islamabad/Pakistan, he joined the German Foreign Service in 1988. His diplomatic career had a focus on multilateral affairs with an emphasis on the EU. After initial postings at the German Embassy in Damascus/Syria and at the Human Resources Department at Headquarters, he was posted to Germany’s Permanent Mission to the UN in Geneva, During this posting, he was elected to the office of „Rapporteur“ of the UNHCR Executive Committee in 1996/1997 where he chaired the drafting committee for the committee’s annual conclusions.
In 1997 he was transferred to the Permanent Representation of Germany to the EU. During the German EU presidency in 1999 he chaired working groups on Common Foreign and Security (CFSP) and on the Western Balkans. In view of the human rights violations in Kosovo and other parts of Former Yugoslavia the work of these groups focussed mainly on negotiating ΕU sanctions.
From 2002 to 2006 he served as the Permanent Representation`s press spokesman covering the wide range of both Coreper I and Coreper II topics. In 2006 he was called back to headquarters in Berlin to serve as task force manager for Germany’s EU-Presidency in 2007 during which the architecture of the Lisbon Treaty was negotiated. In 2011 he became Deputy Director-General for European Affairs.
In 2014 he was appointed German Ambassador to Greece. During this period of tension caused by the sovereign debt crisis, his role was to maintain and facilitate channels of communication both at government as well as civil society level.
In 2017 he was appointed Inspector-General of the German Foreign Office. In this role he evaluated the work of German Embassies and Consulates in Ukraine, South Africa, Namibia, Argentina, Brazil as well as of the German Permanent Representations to the European Union and to NATO in Brussels.
In his last posting as German Ambassador to Indonesia and Timor-Leste as well as to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) his work focussed on global affairs, e.g. climate change policy and international public health. He also contributed to the German government’s new „Guidelines on Indo-Pacific“.
Peter has two grown up daughters. Since his retirement in 2021 he lives with his partner in Athens and Berlin. He enjoys literature and history, is passionate about classical music and loves sailing.