Managing Director, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), Bonn / Eschborn, Germany
Hans-Joachim Preuss was born in Neuwied am Rhein, Germany. After passing his final school exams, he completed business-oriented vocational training. In 1980 he began his university degree in agricultural science in Giessen, followed by post-graduate studies at the German Development Institute.
Preuss started his professional career in development cooperation in 1986 at the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit - GTZ (German Technical Cooperation). Up until 1990, he held various positions in Africa and at the GTZ head office in Eschborn. From 1991 to 1994 he was employed as a research associate at the center for regional development research at Justus Liebig University in Giessen, where he wrote his doctoral thesis on target group-oriented agricultural research in developing countries. After returning to GTZ in 1994, he was a member of the corporate development unit until 1996.
In 1996, Preuss transferred to Welthungerhilfe in Bonn, a non-governmental world hunger aid organization, where he was initially in charge of the programs and projects department. From 2003 to 2009 he served as secretary general and managing director. On 1 July 2009, Preuss was appointed managing director of GTZ. In 2011, GTZ merged with other German development cooperation organizations to form GIZ, of which he is now one of five managing directors that constitute the management board. His areas of responsibility include human resources and the administrative units for information technology and auditing.
He believes that successful development work requires more than commitment and professional expertise. Passion and excellence are needed to do good work with mind, body and soul.