Director of the Austrian Cultural Forum New York
Dr. Susanne Keppler-Schlesinger holds the position of Director of the Austrian Cultural Forum New York since September 2022. She is an Austrian career diplomat. Before starting her position at the ACFNY, she was Deputy Director of the Diplomatische Akademie Wien / Vienna School of International Studies and Head of its Executive Training Department.
In addition, Dr. Keppler-Schlesinger´s work experience includes more than 30 years 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. Dr. Keppler-Schlesinger served in the Permanent Mission of Austria to the United Nations in New York from 1996 to 2003 where she focused on the promotion and protection of human rights, international drug control and the prevention of organized crime as well as the fight against terrorism. At the headquarters of the Ministry for European and International 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.
Dr. Keppler-Schlesinger gives lectures on modern diplomacy and diplomatic skills at the Nanovic Institute for European Studies of the University of Notre Dame (Indiana, USA).
She holds a PhD in Musicology, French language and literature from the University of Vienna and 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. Dr. Keppler-Schlesinger is fluent in English and French, and has a working knowledge of Spanish and basic proficiency of Russian. She is married to an Austrian diplomat, and a mother to a daughter and a son. Her passions include music (from jazz to classical music and world music), working with young, creative talents from all over the world, and mountain hiking. She is thrilled to be back in New York, a city she loves.
Image Credits: Peter Lechner