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Dr. Rolf Schmachtenberg

March 23, 2018

Permanent State Secretary at the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs

Dr. Rolf Schmachtenberg.

Year of birth: 1959
Place of birth: Aachen

Education and professional career

  • Studies of Mathematics in Heidelberg and Paris
  • Doctorate in economics, 1989 in Mannheim
  • Studies in the USA and Norway

Political Career

  • Since March 2018: Permanent State Secretary at the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs
  • From 2014 to 2018: Head of Directorate-General V "Participation - Matters concerning People with Disabilities, Social Compensation and Social Assistance" at the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs (BMAS). His responsibilities included in particular the Federal Participation Act, the further development of the Act on Equal Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities and the National Action Plan regarding the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
  • From 2011 to 2013: Director of the Indo-German programme for social security at the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) in New Delhi.
  • From 2010 to 2011: Head of the Directorate responsible for "Social Compensation and Medical Care for War Victims" at the BMAS.
  • From 2002 to 2010: Head of the Directorate responsible for "Employment Promotion, Unemployment Insurance, Basic Income Support for Jobseekers, Labour Market Statistics" at the BMAS.
  • From 1991 to 2001: Head of the Directorate-General "Labour" at the Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs, Health and Women (MASGF) of the Land of Brandenburg. The Directorate-General is responsible for Brandenburg’s labour market policy (including the European Social Fund (ESF), vocational education and training, occupational safety and health and labour law).
  • Prior to that policy officer working for the Social Democratic Party’s parliamentary group in the People’s Chamber and at the GDR’s Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs (from April to August 1990).
  • From January to April 1990: Advisor at the State Executive of the Social Democratic Party (GDR) in the field of economic policy
  • From 1984 to 1990: Lecturer at the universities of Mannheim and Bonn
  • From 1981 to 1989: Peace movement activist, participating in many local activities in Heidelberg, and involved in the establishment of an international network comprising initiatives in England, France, the Soviet Union and the GDR.


  • Ver.di trade union
  • Arbeiterwohlfahrt (AWO)
  • Deutsch-Polnische Gesellschaft Bundesverband e.V.
  • Deutscher Arbeitsgerichtsverband e.V.
  • Verein Deutscher Gewerbeaufsichtsbeamter e.V.