Permanent Representative – Denmark
Ambassador Michael Zilmer-Johns, Commander of the Order of the Dannebrog, was born 19 June 1957 and studied economics at Copenhagen University and Christian Albrecht University in Kiel. After graduation in 1982 he began his career at the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs working on GATT, EEC accession negotiations with Spain and Portugal as well as development co-operation with Latin America, Angola and Mozambique.
From 1985-88 he served as Secretary of Embassy at the Danish EEC representation in Brussels. Back in Copenhagen he became Secretary of the Corporate Board and Assistant Private Secretary to Minister for Foreign Affairs Uffe Ellemann-Jensen. Between 1992 and 1995 he was Head of the EU and Economic Section at the Danish Embassy in Bonn. After one year as Deputy in the Department for North Africa, the Middle East and Latin America at the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, he became head of the Policy and Planning Department of Danida in 1996.
10 days before the terror attack on 9/11 2001 he was appointed Political Director and worked intensively during the next two years handling the ensuing crisis i.a. chairing the EU Political Committee during the Danish EU Presidency in 2002. In 2003 he became foreign and security advisor to Prime Minister Rasmussen with the Iraq war and the EU Constitutional Treaty among key challenges. In 2005 he returned to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as State Secretary for Foreign and European Affairs. His responsibilities covered the EU, OSCE, Denmark’s strategic partnerships with the US, Russia and China, other bilateral relations as well as security, including NATO and Danish participation in military operations. He was the Danish Sherpa during the negotiation of the Lisbon Treaty, chaired the Danish EU-Committee that co-ordinates Danish positions on all EU-affairs and often represented the Danish Government at EU ministerial meetings.
In 2013 he was seconded to the European External Action Service as advisor on security and defence.
Since1 October 2014 he has served as Danish Ambassador to NATO.
Ambassador Zilmer-Johns is married to Danish PSC-ambassador Lisbet Zilmer-Johns and has 4 children.
Publications: Internationale forhold (International Relations), Erhversøkonomisk Forlag 1986