Leadership Profile: BND President Dr. Bruno Kahl

Dr. Bruno Kahl became president of Germany’s Federal Intelligence Service (Bundesnachrichtendienst – BND) on 1 July 2016, replacing Gerhard Schindler about two years ahead of his expected retirement. As head of Germany’s only foreign intelligence service, Kahl heads an agency of about 6,500 personnel charged with the collection and analysis of political, economic, military, and technical information and the production of integrated intelligence products to support foreign and security policy decision-makers as well as foreign deployments of the German armed forces. He is subordinate to Chancellery State Secretary Klaus-Dieter Fritsche, who is responsible for the coordination of Germany’s intelligence services and their cooperation with other government departments and agencies.

Kahl is a long-time associate of Wolfgang Schäuble and Peter Altmaier, who opposition parties fear is likely to slow or put the brakes on further reforms at the BND. It could be possible that the government’s decision to replace Schindler with Kahl at this time is intended to keep the Greens from having any say over the appointment of a new BND Chief following next year’s election. In this profile, defense and security analyst Stephan Wallace gives an overview of Dr. Kahl’s experience and the challenges facing the new president of the BND. Click here to read.

The views expressed are those of the author(s) alone. They do not necessarily reflect the views of the American Institute for Contemporary German Studies.

Stephan Wallace

Defense and Security Policy Analyst

Stephan Wallace is a defense and security policy analyst following political, military, and economic developments in Europe. He has worked more than 33 years on this area for the U.S. government, most recently for the U.S. Department of Defense.