Helge Braun

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Helge Braun
Braun in 2017
Chair of the Budget Committee
Assumed office
15 December 2021
DeputyBettina Hagedorn
Preceded byPeter Boehringer
Head of the Chancellery
Minister for Special Affairs
In office
14 March 2018 – 8 December 2021
ChancellorAngela Merkel
Preceded byPeter Altmaier
Succeeded byWolfgang Schmidt
State Minister to the Chancellor for Bureaucracy reduction, better regulation and Federal-State Relations
In office
17 December 2013 – 14 March 2018
ChancellorAngela Merkel
Preceded byEckart von Klaeden (Bureaucracy reduction and better regulation)
Succeeded byHendrik Hoppenstedt
Parliamentary State Secretary in the Ministry of Education and Research
In office
28 October 2009 – 17 December 2013
ChancellorAngela Merkel
MinisterAnnette Schavan
Johanna Wanka
Preceded byAndreas Storm
Succeeded byStefan Müller
Member of the Bundestag
for Hesse
Assumed office
26 October 2021
Preceded bymulti-member district
ConstituencyChristian Democratic Union List
In office
27 October 2009 – 26 October 2021
Preceded byRüdiger Veit
Succeeded byFelix Döring
In office
17 October 2002 – 18 October 2005
Preceded bymulti-member district
Succeeded bymulti-member district
ConstituencyChristian Democratic Union List
Personal details
Born (1972-10-18) 18 October 1972 (age 50)
Giessen, Hesse, West Germany
Political partyChristian Democratic Union (1990–)
Alma materUniversity of Giessen
  • Politician
  • physician

Helge Reinhold Braun (born 18 October 1972) is a German physician and politician of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU). Between 2018 and 2021, he served as Head of the Chancellery and Federal Minister for Special Affairs in the fourth coalition government of Chancellor Angela Merkel. He was the Parliamentary Secretary of State for Bureaucracy Reduction and Federal-State Relations at the Chancellery between 2013 and 2018.

Braun, who was thought of as a party insider, loyal to moderate Merkel, ran in the December 2021 CDU leadership election, but only came in a distant third.

Early life and education[edit]

After passing the Abitur in 1992 at the Liebigschule in Giessen, Braun studied medicine at the Justus-Liebig University in Giessen. From 2001 until 2009, he was a scientific assistant at the Clinic for Anaesthesiology, Intensive Care and Analgesic Therapy of the University Hospital of Giessen and Marburg. He speaks German and some English.[1]

Political career[edit]

From 1989 until 2007 Braun was a member of the Young Union (JU). He was the district leader of the JU Giessen from 1992 till 1997 and from 1998 until 2001 he was the regional leader of the JU Mittelhessen.

He has been a member of the Christian Democratic Union since 1990.

Member of Parliament[edit]

Braun first served as a member of the Bundestag from October 2002 to September 2005. From 2003 until 2005 he was the deputy leader of the Hessian Members of the Bundestag. He also served on the Committee on Education and Research, the Committee on Environment, Nuclear Safety and Nature Conservation and on the Parliamentary Advisory Board for Sustainable Development.

Braun lost his seat in the 2005 federal elections. He was able to re-enter the Bundestag in 2009, winning the constituency of his home town of Gießen[2] with a majority of 59,441 votes or 36.7%. After the election, he was again elected as deputy leader of the Hessian MPs. In the subsequent federal elections of 2013 and 2017 he was able to defend his seat.

In Merkel's second coalition government, Braun was Parliamentary Secretary of State for Education and Research,[3] serving alongside Thomas Rachel under successive ministers Annette Schavan (2009–2013) and Johanna Wanka (2013). During his time in office, he notably stepped up Germany's activities on research into neglected tropical diseases.[4]

In the negotiations to form a Grand Coalition of Christian Democrats (CDU together with the Bavarian CSU) and the Social Democrats following the 2013 federal elections, Braun was part of the CDU/CSU delegation in the working group on education and research policy, led by Johanna Wanka and Doris Ahnen. Merkel subsequently appointed him as Parliamentary Secretary of State for Bureaucracy Reduction and Federal-State Relations,[5] serving directly under her in the Federal Chancellery. In that capacity, he was one of the officials co-ordinating Germany's response to the European migrant crisis in 2015.[6]

After the 2017 elections and the successful coalition talks between the CDU/CSU and SPD in February 2018, Braun became the designated Head of the Chancellery and Federal Minister of Special Affairs in the fourth Merkel government.[7] On 14 March 2018, he succeeded Peter Altmaier.

For the 2021 elections, Braun was elected to lead the CDU campaign in Hesse.[8] He lost his constituency to the Social Democratic Party but was re-elected on the state list.

On November 12, 2021, Braun announced his candidacy for the Christian Democratic Union leadership,[9][10] joining opponents Norbert Röttgen and Friedrich Merz in the race to succeed Armin Laschet;[11] the position ultimately went to Merz.[12]

Since late 2021, Braun has been chairing the Budget Committee.[13] In this capacity, he also serves as his parliamentary group’s rapporteur on the annual budget of the Federal Ministry of Health. In 2022, he also joined the Subcommittee on Global Health.

Other activities[edit]

Government agencies[edit]

Non-profit organizations[edit]


  • 2015: Global Sepsis Award

Personal life[edit]

Braun is a Roman Catholic and is married.[citation needed]

In April 2023, Braun was one of the 22 guests at the ceremony in which Angela Merkel was decorated with the Grand Cross of the Order of Merit for special achievement by President Frank-Walter Steinmeier at Schloss Bellevue in Berlin.[21]


  1. ^ Christoph Hasselbach (13 March 2018), Angela Merkel's new chief of staff: Helge Braun – the all-rounder Deutsche Welle.
  2. ^ "Deutscher Bundestag - Prof. Dr. Helge Braun". Deutscher Bundestag (in German). Retrieved 11 March 2018.
  3. ^ "Prof. Dr. Helge Braun MdB, Staatsminister bei der Bundeskanzlerin". helge-braun.de (in German). Retrieved 11 March 2018.
  4. ^ Lina Hoffman (29 December 2011), Germany intensifies fight against neglected diseases Deutsche Welle.
  5. ^ "Bundesregierung | Bundeskanzleramt | Staatsminister und Staatssekretär". bundesregierung.de (in German). Retrieved 11 March 2018.
  6. ^ Tobias Buck (25 February 2018), Angela Merkel offers critic Jens Spahn cabinet post Financial Times.
  7. ^ "Barley und Heil komplettieren Minister-Riege: So soll das neue Kabinett aussehen". FOCUS Online (in German). Retrieved 11 March 2018.
  8. ^ Robert Maus (June 12, 2021), Parteitag in Gießen: Helge Braun soll Hessen-CDU zum Sieg führen Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.
  9. ^ "Race to lead Angela Merkel's party in German opposition takes shape". Business Standard. 12 November 2021. Retrieved 20 November 2021.
  10. ^ Geir Moulson (12 November 2021). "Race to lead Angela Merkel's party in German opposition takes shape". AP News. Retrieved 20 November 2021.
  11. ^ "Germany's CDU ready to elect new leader to succeed Armin Laschet". Business Standard. 19 November 2021. Retrieved 20 November 2021.
  12. ^ Glückwünsche und Spott nach Mitgliederentscheid: Braun verpasst CDU-Vorsitz deutlich - und sagt Merz Unterstützung zu Hessenschau, 17 December 2021.
  13. ^ Neuaufstellung der Union: Spahn ist jetzt Stellvertreter des Fraktionsvorsitzenden Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 13 December 2021.
  14. ^ Tatkräftige Unterstützung der Rechtsstaatsförderung – IRZ begrüßt neue Kuratoriumsmitglieder German Foundation for International Legal Cooperation (IRZ), press release of 8 July 2022.
  15. ^ Board Q3 2022 Meeting Minutes, 29 September 2022 Uniting to Combat Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs).
  16. ^ Neues Mitglied im Parlamentarischen Beirat, 1 February 2022 German Network against Neglected Tropical Diseases (DNTDs).
  17. ^ Advisory Board University of Giessen, Loewe Center for Novel Drug Targets against Poverty-Related and Neglected Tropical Infectious Diseases (DRUID).
  18. ^ Organization Friends of the University of Giessen.
  19. ^ About Us Sepsis-Stiftung.
  20. ^ Anja Kühne (18 September 2013), Finanzlücke beim Max-Delbrück-Centrum Berlin: „Mangelhafte Organisation" kostete MDC fast 13 Millionen Euro Der Tagesspiegel.
  21. ^ Kati Degenhardt (17 April 2023), Merkels emotionaler Dank: "Er hatte Vieles auszuhalten" T-Online.

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by Chancellery Chief of Staff
Succeeded by
Minister for Special Affairs