The Federal Returning Officer – Dr. Georg Thiel
Dr. Georg Thiel was appointed President of the Federal Statistical Office and Federal Returning Officer on 16 October 2017 with effect from 1 November 2017. He succeeded Dieter Sarreither, who retired.
It has been long-standing state practice to entrust the President of the Federal Statistical Office with the tasks of the Federal Returning Officer. As an independent electoral body, the Federal Returning Officer is responsible for holding Bundestag and European Parliament elections.
Dr. Thiel was born in Cologne in 1957. After completing his legal studies and obtaining his doctor’s degree in Cologne, he joined the Federal Civil Defence Agency in 1988 where he was promoted to Head of Section. From 1997 to 2002 he headed the Division “Organization and Information Technology” and various project groups at the Federal Ministry of the Interior. Then he was President of the Federal Agency for Technical Relief.
In 2006, Dr. Thiel returned to the Federal Ministry of the Interior, where he was Deputy Head of the Directorate-General “Administrative Modernization; Administrative Organization”. There he was responsible, among other things, for geoinformation, statistics, procurement and the single government service telephone number.
From October 2015 to October 2016, Dr. Thiel was deputy head of the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees. In October 2015, he was appointed Vice-President of the Federal Statistical Office and Deputy Federal Returning Officer. Since January 2017, he has also been deputy of the Commissioner for Refugee Management.