Cem Özdemir

Cem Özdemir, Co-Chairman of the German Green Party
Cem Özdemir, Co-Chairman of the German Green Party

May 10, 2011

Cem Özdemir will visit New York City and Washington, DC from May 11-14, 2011. He will speak at the event Quo Vadis, Germany? Making Sense of Berlin's Foreign and European Policy in an Era of Global Change on May 13 and meet representatives from think tanks and the media.


Cem Özdemir is the Co-Chairman of the German Green Party (Alliance '90/The Greens). As party leader, he focuses on ecological and economic issues, including the development of a "Green New Deal", as well as educational reforms and migration and integration issues.

He is an educator by profession and completed his studies in social pedagogy at the Evangelical Technical College (Evangelische Fachhochschule für Sozialwesen) in Reutlingen, Germany.

Mr. Özdemir was elected to the German Parliament in 1994, becoming its first-ever member of Turkish descent. Özdemir served two consecutive legislative terms (1994-2002). During this time, he held the position of Speaker on Internal Affairs for the Green Parliamentary Group, where he advocated for reforms to Germany’s citizenship laws.

In 2003, Cem Özdemir joined other senior policy-practitioners and academics as a "Transatlantic Fellow" at the German Marshall Fund in Washington, DC and Brussels. During his fellowship, he furthered his familiarity with transatlantic relations and developed research on the ways that minority groups in the United States and Europe organize themselves politically.

From 2004 until 2009 Mr. Özdemir was a Member of the European Parliament (The Greens / European Free Alliance), where he was Speaker on Foreign Affairs for his political group.

He is a founding member of the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR) and sits on the advisory board of the American Jewish Committee's Berlin office

Mr. Özdemir is the author of two books on multicultural Germany. In 2008, he published a book for young people titled Turkey: Politics, Religion, Culture. He regularly writes commentaries and articles for the German, Turkish and international media.

Cem Özdemir is married, has two children and lives in Berlin.

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