A business journalist by profession, the member of Austria's Social Democratic Party served as spokesman of the SPÖ's parliamentary group leader in the mid-1990s, before he became a senior manager in Austria's leading electricity company Verbund AG . In 2010, Kern was appointed CEO of the state-owned Austrian Federal Railways (ÖBB), chairing the Community of European Railway and Infrastructure Companies (CER) from 2014 onwards. Following the resignation of Werner Faymann amidst the Austrian presidential election , the governing Social Democrats nominated Kern for the country's highest executive office .
Kern was sworn in as Chancellor of Austria on 17 May 2016, vowing to continue the "Grand coalition " with Austrian People\'s Party (ÖVP), but promising a " New Deal " that would bring about more jobs by cutting red tape while ensuring ordinary workers receive a share of economic prosperity. Kern criticized the Austrian political elite as being power-obsessed and devoid of a meaningful political agenda about the country's future.
* 1 Early life and education
* 2 Career
* 3 Other activities * 4 Personal life * 5 References * 6 External links
EARLY LIFE AND EDUCATION
Kern was raised in Simmering , a working-class district of Vienna, as
the son of an electrician and a secretary. He studied journalism and
communication at the University of
Kern started his career in 1989 as a business journalist writing for the _Wirtschaftspressedienst_ and Austrian business magazine _Option_. In 1991, he became an assistant of the Federal Chancellery 's undersecretary of state for civil service, Peter Kostelka (de). When Kostelka became chairman of the Social Democratic Party (SPÖ) parliamentary group in 1994, Kern remained his chief of office and spokesman.
In 1997, Kern moved to the largest Austrian electricity supplier, the Verbund AG , where from 1999 he oversaw marketing and sales. In 2007 he was appointed a senior manager overseeing foreign mergers ">_ Kern 2011 at the opening of the modernized Bahnhofscity Wien West _ Kern with Transport Minister Doris Bures at the ground-breaking ceremony of the Semmering-Basistunnel (de)
In 2010, Kern was selected to take over the post as CEO of the
Austrian Federal Railways (ÖBB). He was appointed chairman of the
Community of European Railway and Infrastructure Companies (CER) in
2014. Kern has been a board member of FK
In 2012, ÖBB celebrated the 175th anniversary of the _Nordbahn _,
the earliest predecessor company marking the start of rail transport
In the course of the 2015 migrant crisis , Kern organized the transport of hundred thousands of migrants coming from the "Balkan route " across the country. He is considered a supporter of German Chancellor Angela Merkel 's migration policy. Leading Austrian trade unionist Roman Hebenstreit (de), who is also chairman of the ÖBB's works council described Kern in 2016 as "the first ÖBB boss to really stand by his workers."
CHANCELLOR OF AUSTRIA
Kern with outgoing President
Since 2014, Kern was repeatedly named as one of the possible successors for Werner Faymann 's Chancellor post. In 2015, Austrian news magazine _profil _ referred to him as the "Chancellor of hearts" and the Federal Railways he led as "the only state institution that flawlessly worked amidst the refugee crisis."
Half a year later, when on 9 May 2016 Chancellor Faymann resigned
from all his posts, Kern was again named one of the candidates
alongside Time Warner manager
Gerhard Zeiler and former Siemens
manager Brigitte Ederer (de). On a 12 May party session, the Social
Democrats agreed on nominating Kern for the country's highest
executive office. He was announced to be appointed the new Chancellor
by 17 May, and to be nominated as party chairman at the upcoming party
congress on 25 June. Kern was sworn into office on 17 May by
At his first press conference, Kern called for a change in the style
of cooperation within the coalition government, warning the two
parties risked otherwise "disappearing from the screen". He reaffirmed
his position that in the refugee crisis,
In spite of his credentials as a manager, Kern's nomination of
members of the party's left wing, Sonja Wehsely (de) and Jörg
Leichtfried as new ministers was interpreted as a turn towards the
party's left. The appointment of Wehsely, who is known for her
staunch pro-asylum course during the
European migrant crisis
Kern appointed Muna Duzdar , a lawyer and chairwoman of the Palestininian-Austrian Society, as state secretary in the Chancellery, where she will be the first Muslim to hold a government post. The fact that Duzdar, who has previously come out as a sharp critic of Israel, will now be in charge of Jewish community affairs, irritated the Jewish community. According to _ Jerusalem Post _ author Samuel Laster, Duzdar's appointment may however be considered a "signal of openness" for Kern who is "widely regarded as a friend of Israel."
Soon after taking office, Kern's government implemented several law-and-order measures, including a ban on Muslim face-covering veils and a tightening of immigration rules.
In June 2017, Kern criticized the draft of new U.S. sanctions against
In 1985 Kern married Karin Wessely, with whom he has three sons. In 2001, his marriage with Wessely, who is a local SPÖ politician in Mödling , a district capital south of Vienna, ended in divorce. Wessely however supported his nomination as successor to Faymann, and highly praised him as a charismatic personality, who is able to unite the more left-aligned and the more right-aligned factions of their party. With his second wife, Eveline Steinberger, he has a daughter.
* ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ _D_ "Christian Kern: no more normal service". The
Local . 13 May 2016. Retrieved 23 May 2016.
* ^ _A_ _B_ Luise Ungerboeck (10 March 2010). "Kopf des Tages:
Christian Kern". _
Der Standard _ (in German). Retrieved 11 May 2016.
* ^ "CER Chairman