On 17 June 2022, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres appointed Markus Potzel of Germany as his new Deputy Special Representative (Political) for Afghanistan in the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan.
Mr. Potzel brings to the position over 27 years of professional experience in diplomacy and international cooperation, including eight years of professional experience working in and on Afghanistan. Most recently, he served as Ambassador of Germany to Afghanistan.
Mr. Potzel has held several senior positions with the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs, including as German Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan (2017-2021), Commissioner for Crisis Management (since 2016), Ambassador of Germany to Afghanistan (2014-2016) and Head of the German Federal Foreign Office Middle East Division (2010-2014). He also served as Personal Assistant to the Foreign Affairs Minister (2006-2009), in the Parliamentary and Cabinet Division of the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs (2004-2005), as Head of the Economics and Trade Section in the German Embassy in Tehran (2000-2004) and as Head of the Cultural Section in the German Embassy in Singapore (1997-2000).
In 2010, he was a visiting Fellow at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs studying the relations between Iran and Afghanistan.
Mr. Potzel holds a master’s degree in Persian and English language and literature studies from the Humboldt University Berlin in Germany and the University of Dushanbe in Tajikistan. He is fluent in German, English, Persian and Dari.