The Academy as a Public Institution

The Vienna School of International Studies was separated from the Austrian Foreign Ministry in 1996 and has been an independent public institution ever since.

Organs of the Vienna School of International Studies


The director is responsible for the economic, strategic and organizational leadership of the institution. The decisions of the director are subject to examination by the Board of Trustees.

Ambassador Dr. Emil Brix has been the Director of the Vienna School of International Studies since August 2017.

CV: Ambassador Dr. Emil Brix

Deputy Director

The deputy director supports the director with the organization of the postgraduate programmes and curricula as well as the strategic, economic and organizational leadership. In addition, the deputy director manages the following areas: Executive Programmes, scholarships and the Alumni Office.

Dr. Susanne Keppler-Schlesinger has been the Deputy Director of the Vienna School of International Studies since October 2016.

CV: Dr. Susanne Keppler-Schlesinger

Board of Trustees

The Board of Trustees appoints the director and the deputy director of the Vienna School of International Studies. Furthermore, it checks the decisions of the director.


[This information is available in German only.]

Botschafter Mag. Peter Launsky-Tieffenthal
Generalsekretär für auswärtige Angelegenheiten

Stellvertretender Vorsitzender

Mitglieder auf Vorschlag des HBK, BMF und BMBWF
Bot. Barbara Kaudel-Jensen, MA
Leiterin Sektion IV (EU- und Grundsatzfragen)

Mag. Matthias Falkensteiner-Kudweis
Kabinett des HBM
Bundesministerium für Finanzen

Sektionschefin Mag. Barbara Weitgruber, MA
Leiterin Sektion V (Wissenschaftliche Forschung; Internationale Angelegenheiten)
Bundesministerium für Bildung, Wissenschaft und Forschung

Mitglieder auf einvernehmlichen Vorschlag der Länder
Hofrat Dr. Peter Piffl-Percevic
Stadt Graz, Gemeinderat

Mag.a Alena Sirka-Bred
Magistratsdirektion, Gruppe Europa und Internationales
Amt der Wiener Landesregierung

Mitglieder des BMEIA
Bot. Mag. Romana Königsbrun
Leiterin der Abteilung VI.1

ADir. Angelina Migsich
Referat VI.3.c

Bot. Dr. Helmut Tichy
Leiter Sektion I (Rechtssektion)

Weitere Mitglieder
Univ.-Prof. Dr. Heinz W. Engl
Rektor der Universität Wien

Mag. Michael Otter
Leiter der Abteilung Außenwirtschaft der WKO

Study Commission

The study commission advises the director on questions of the regarding the setup of curricula and the selection of the faculty members.


[This information is available in German only.]

Prof. Dr. Werner Neudeck (Vorsitzender)

Prof. Dr. Markus Kornprobst
Prof. Dr. Gerhard Loibl
Univ. Prof. Dr. Hanspeter Neuhold
Prof. Dr. Thomas Row
Botschafter Dr. Helmut Tichy

Legal basis for the work of the DA

The legal basis for the work of the Diplomatische Akademie Wien – Vienna School of International Studies is the "Diplomatische Akademie-Gesetz" (DA-G; German version only).

On 10 September 2021, the current version promulgated in Federal Law Gazette I No. 177/2021 entered into force. The amendment explicitly clarified the equivalence of the Master's programmes offered at the DA in cooperation with recognised Austrian and international universities to regular study programmes in accordance with the European Higher Education Area’s Lisbon Recognition Convention (also known as “Bologna Process”). This ensures that the DA's study programmes will continue to be attractive to students from all over the world and that the DA will remain internationally competitive.

The amendment provides the DA with the opportunity to develop innovative new study programmes. Likewise, by anchoring culture as the fifth area of responsibility of the DA, the possibility of setting priorities in the area of cultural diplomacy, which is particularly promising for Austria, has been created.

"The Vienna School of International Studies thus has every opportunity to respond to the new challenges in international relations with innovative teaching programmes and as a public platform for international dialogue. This will also enable Austrian foreign policy to benefit even more from our work," said the DA’s director, Ambassador Emil Brix, on the adoption of the amendment to the DA-G in the Austrian National Council on 8 July 2021.

Diplomatic Academy of Vienna