Areas of Expertise

  • German foreign and security policy
  • Disarmament and arms control
  • German-Polish relations
  • Russia

Short Bio

Ambassador Rolf Nikel has served as DGAP’s vice president since September 2020, when he was elected to this office by DGAP’s general assembly. Before joining DGAP, Nikel spent more than 40 years working for the German Foreign Office. From July 2014 until the end of June 2020, he was Germany’s ambassador to Poland. From 2011 to 2014, Nikel was federal government commissioner for disarmament and arms control. Prior to that, he served in the Federal Chancellery – as deputy head of its foreign and security policy division (2006 to 2011) and head of its United Nations and Global Issues Group (2005 to 2006). During his diplomatic career, he also worked at German embassies in Moscow; Nairobi; Paris; and Washington, DC, where he headed the political department.

Nikel studied political science, economics, and international law in Frankfurt; Durham, North Carolina; and Paris. He was also a fellow at Harvard University.


German, English, French, Russian, Polish

Botschafter Rolf Nikel


In the media


Ein europäischer Frühling an der Weichsel

Nach dem Wahlerfolg der Opposition in Polen atmet Europa auf. Der Weg für einen Neuanfang in den Beziehungen zu Deutschland und den europäischen Institutionen ist geebnet – doch es warten viele Herausforderungen.

Botschafter Rolf Nikel
Creation date

Europäische Ostpolitik mit Augenmaß

Warum derzeit gezielte personengebundene Sanktionen gegen Russland und Belarus besser sind als ein Strategiewechsel
Botschafter Rolf Nikel
Policy Brief