Eurodefense Network


Date of creation : 1994

President : Ralph Thiele

Vice-President : Winfried Ventker

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The President

Ralph Thiele, born in 1953, retired Colonel, held in his 40-year military career in the German Armed Forces key national and international positions. He:

  • Commanded troops up to the battalion level;
  • Developed concepts and capability requirements in the Ministry of Defence;
  • Drafted speeches and policy papers for Federal Presidents, Ministers of Defence, Major NATO Commanders and Service Chiefs;
  • Drove educational innovation at the German Armed Forces Command and Staff College (Director Faculty) and at the NATO Defense College (Chief of Staff);
  • Shaped the Bundeswehr’s path towards network enabled capabilities (Commander Bundeswehr Transformation Command).

In his honorary and business functions he advices on Defence Innovation in times of digital transformation. He has been frequently consulting, publishing and lecturing in Europe, America and Asia.

The Vice President

Winfried Ventker

Education: State Diploma in law granted by the Hanseatic High Court of Hamburg.

Career as a Civil Servant in the MOD and associate organizations, predominently in the domaine of procurement including among other posts as Chief, Contracts and Finance in the Bureau des Programmes Franco- Allemand (BPFA), Paris, as Chief, Procurement Division of NAMSA, Luxemburg, as First Counsellor to the German Representative to NATO and NATO National Armaments Director’s Representative. Other roles have includet Chairmanship of the WEAG Staff Group and finally Responsibility for Armaments and Logistics in the „Planungsstab“ of the Minister of Defence.

After retirement in 2004 he joined a law office as a barrister and became a member of the European Bar Association.