Helga Maria Schmid is the Deputy Secretary General for Political Affairs of the European External Action Service since 2011. Prior to that she was Director of the Policy Planning of the EU High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy in the General Secretariat of the Council (2006-2010) and held various positions in the German Federal Foreign Office, including Head of the Office of Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer (2003 – 2005), Deputy Head of the Office of Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer (2000 – 2003), Political Adviser to Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer (1998 – 2000) and to Foreign Minister Klaus Kinkel (1994 – 1998) and Press and Public Affairs officer at the German Embassy to the United States (1991 – 1994). She holds a Master of Arts in English and Romance languages, literature, history and politics (1980 - 1987) from Munich University (Ludwig Maximilians Universität) and La Sorbonne, Paris.