Regional Director

Mr Heinz Werner Koller (Germany)

Heinz Koller, Assistant Director-General and Regional Director for Europe and Central Asia

Heinz Koller was appointed Regional Director of the ILO Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia, based in Geneva, on 1 June 2014.  The responsibilities of the Regional Director cover relations with the tripartite constituents from 51 ILO Member States in the EU/European Economic Area, Central and Eastern Europe, Russia and the Community of Independent States (CIS), Israel and Turkey, as well as relations with the European institutions. He is also Member of the Global Management Team of the ILO.

Mr Koller is in charge of supporting the ratification and implementation of International Labour and Social Standards, in particular the ILO Core Conventions on Fundamental Principles and Rights at work, as well as the promotion of the ILO Decent Work Agenda, specifically through technical cooperation projects with the ILO constituents. Latest priorities are the implementation of the 2030 agenda, notably SDG 8 on Decent Work, the ILO’s Centenary Declaration of 2019 and the ILC 2021 Global Call to Action for a human centred recovery from the COVID-19 crisis.

Prior to joining the ILO, in 2010 Mr Koller was appointed Director General at the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs in Berlin, where he managed the Directorate General for European and International Employment and Social Policies and the European Social Fund. In this capacity he was also responsible for ILO relations. His main focus was on the development of a coordinated strategy on employment and social policies, together with European and international partners, to respond to the economic crisis. Notably, he contributed to the establishment of a permanent Labour Minister track in the G20 process and acted as German Sherpa.

He began his career in the field of European integration in the Bavarian Ministry for Economic Affairs in 1990, moving to the European Commission in 1993. He was instrumental in setting up and managing the Technical Assistance and Information Exchange office (TAIEX). From 2000 to 2010, he worked, first as senior advisor for Economic Affairs and then as Deputy Director, for the Representation of the Free State of Bavaria to the European Union.

Mr Koller studied law at the Universities of Regensburg and Augsburg, specializing in European and Economic law, and has been licenced to practice law since 1989. During his studies he completed a solicitor traineeship in South Africa. He is married with two children