Dr Hans-Joachim Preuß was born in Neuwied am Rhein, Germany, on 5 June 1955. After passing his final school exams, he completed business-oriented vocational training. In 1980 he began his university degree in agricultural science at Giessen, followed by postgraduate studies at the German Development Institute.
Dr Preuß started his professional career in development cooperation at GTZ in 1986. Up to 1990, he held various positions in Africa and at GTZ Head Office in Eschborn. From 1991 to 1994 he was employed as a research associate at the centre for regional development research at Justus Liebig University in Giessen, where he wrote his doctoral thesis on target group-oriented agricultural research in developing countries. After returning to GTZ in 1994, he was a member of the Corporate Development Unit until 1996.
In 1996 Dr Preuß transferred to Welthungerhilfe in Bonn, where he was initially in charge of the Programmes and Projects Department. From 2003 to 2009, he was both Secretary General and Managing Director of Welthungerhilfe. On 1 July 2009 Dr Preuß was appointed Managing Director of GTZ. He has been a GIZ Managing Director since January 2011.
Dr Preuß has written and published many books and articles on rural development, global food supplies and fragile statehood.
In an honorary capacity, Dr Preuß acts as a lecturer at the Institute for Political Science and Sociology at the University of Bonn, is on the Advisory Board of the German foreign and security policy quarterly ‘Zeitschrift für Außen- und Sicherheitspolitik’, and is Deputy Chair of the Peter Hesse Foundation.
Hans-Joachim Preuß is married and has three children.