President of Germany, 2004-2010
Date and Place of Birth:
22 February 1943, Skierbieszów, Poland
Dr. Köhler earned a Doctorate in Economics and Political Science from the Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen, where he was a scientific research assistant at the Institute for Applied Economic Research from 1969 to 1976.
Horst Köhler was President of Germany from 2004 to 2010. As the candidate of the two Christian Democratic sister parties, the CDU and the CSU, and the liberal FDP, Köhler was elected to his first five-year term by the Federal Assembly on 23 May 2004 and was subsequently inaugurated on 1 July 2004. He was re-elected to a second term on 23 May 2009 but resigned in May 2010.
Mr. Köhler is an economist by profession. Prior to his election as President, Köhler had a distinguished career in politics, as a civil servant and as banking executive. He was President of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development from 1998 to 2000 and head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) from 2000 to 2004.
Although the office of President is less influential than that of the Chancellor and is mostly concerned with ceremonial matters, Horst Köhler was a highly popular politician during his tenure. He has called for more influence for the President and has suggested the President should be directly elected.