Martin Kern was the Interim Director and Chief Operating Officer at the EIT from 1 August 2014 until his appointment as Director by the EIT Governing Board on 23 August 2019. Prior to joining the EIT, he worked at the European Commission for 15 years in a variety of posts, mainly in the area of enlargement policy and with financial assistance to support economic and social development programmes.
Working for the EU, he held a variety of positions, the latest being Head of Operations at the EU Delegation to Serbia where he coordinated the programming and implementation of EU funds to bring Serbia closer to EU accession and among many issues, he led the EU’s rapid response following the disastrous floods in Serbia in May 2014.
Previously, he worked as country coordinator for financial assistance for the Turkey team in the European Commission’s DG Enlargement. In 2009, he was seconded to the Swedish Foreign Ministry in Stockholm during their EU Presidency by the European Commission. He started his career in the EU in Lithuania and Estonia, working in the EU Delegations and helping the two countries join the EU and ending his six years in the Baltic States as Acting Head of the EU Representation in Tallinn. Following the accession of the 10 new Member States to the EU in 2004, he continued working on financial assistance, dealing, among other things, with the follow-up in the use of EU funds in Bulgaria and Romania around the time of their accession.
He began his career after a brief stint at the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe in Geneva, and has Master's degrees in Economics and English from the University of Heidelberg and in European Studies from the University of Reading.
The EIT Director is part of the EIT Management Team, which oversees the day-to-day work of the EIT implementing its Multiannual Strategy and Annual Work Programme.