20 Facts About Alexander Schallenberg


Alexander Georg Nicolas Schallenberg OMRI is an Austrian diplomat, jurist, and politician who has served as Minister of Foreign Affairs in the government of Chancellor Karl Nehammer since 2021, previously holding the office from 2019 to 2021.


Alexander Schallenberg announced his pending resignation on 2 December 2021, after less than two months in office.


Alexander Schallenberg's mother is a native of Switzerland, and the daughter of Swiss banker and president of UBS Alfred Schaefer.


Alexander Schallenberg was raised in India, Spain and France where his father served as ambassador; his father eventually became Secretary-General of the Foreign Ministry.


Alexander Schallenberg speaks German, French, English and Spanish fluently, and has basic knowledge of Russian.


Alexander Schallenberg is a 2nd great-grandson of Austro-Hungarian general Karl Kostersitz von Marenhorst.


Alexander Schallenberg has mainly Swiss ancestry on his mother's side and Austrian, Bohemian, Moravian, Hungarian and Saxon ancestry on his father's side.

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Alexander Schallenberg is the first chancellor since Kurt Schuschnigg and Prince Starhemberg to belong to a noble family.


Alexander Schallenberg is the daughter of Erik Henin and noted equestrian and 1960s Parisian socialite Isabelle Le Maresquier, and a granddaughter of the prominent French architect Noel Le Maresquier and Spanish noblewoman Conchita Lopez de Tejada; Isabelle Le Maresquier was a niece of French prime minister Michel Debre.


Alexander Schallenberg's family was discussed as an example of French "state nobility" by Pierre Bourdieu.


Alexander and Marie-Isabelle Schallenberg have four children; they later divorced.


When Sebastian Kurz became foreign minister, Alexander Schallenberg was appointed as director of strategic foreign policy planning in 2013.


Alexander Schallenberg was widely seen as a mentor to the inexperienced Kurz who knew little of foreign policy, who in turn promoted him to senior posts.


In 2016 Alexander Schallenberg became head of the European department of the foreign ministry.


On 3 June 2019, Alexander Schallenberg succeeded Karin Kneissl as foreign minister of Austria.


Alexander Schallenberg maintained his position as part of the second Kurz cabinet, which was sworn in on 7 January 2020.


Alexander Schallenberg stepped down when he became chancellor, but returned to the position following his resignation.


In November 2021, Alexander Schallenberg announced that COVID-19 vaccines would be mandatory in Austria from February 2022.


Alexander Schallenberg announced his resignation on 2 December 2021 following Kurz's announcement that he was leaving politics just a few hours prior.


Since 2020, Alexander Schallenberg has been a trustee of the National Fund of the Republic of Austria for Victims of National Socialism.