Philipp Rösler

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Philipp Rösler
Philipp Rösler 2012.jpg
Rösler in 2012
Vice Chancellor of Germany
In office
16 May 2011 – 17 December 2013
ChancellorAngela Merkel
Preceded byGuido Westerwelle
Succeeded bySigmar Gabriel
Honorary Consul of Vietnam to Switzerland
Assumed office
1 September 2021
PresidentNguyễn Xuân Phúc
Võ Thị Ánh Xuân (Acting)
Võ Văn Thưởng
AmbassadorLe Linh Lan
ConsulateZürich and Zug
Leader of the Free Democratic Party
In office
13 May 2011 – 7 December 2013
Preceded byGuido Westerwelle
Succeeded byChristian Lindner
Federal Minister of Economics and Technology
In office
12 May 2011 – 17 December 2013
ChancellorAngela Merkel
Preceded byRainer Brüderle
Succeeded bySigmar Gabriel (Economics and Energy)
Federal Minister of Health
In office
28 October 2009 – 12 May 2011
ChancellorAngela Merkel
Preceded byUlla Schmidt
Succeeded byDaniel Bahr
Leader of the Free Democratic Party in Lower Saxony
In office
18 March 2006 – 25 September 2011
Preceded byWalter Hirche
Succeeded byStefan Birkner
Deputy Minister President of Lower Saxony
In office
18 February 2008 – 27 October 2009
Prime MinisterChristian Wulff
Preceded byWalter Hirche
Succeeded byJörg Bode
Minister of Economics, Labour and Transport of Lower Saxony
In office
18 February 2008 – 27 October 2009
Prime MinisterChristian Wulff
Preceded byWalter Hirche
Succeeded byJörg Bode
Member of the Landtag of Lower Saxony
In office
2 February 2003 – 27 October 2009
ConstituencyFDP List
Personal details
Born (1973-02-24) 24 February 1973 (age 50)
Khánh Hưng, Ba Xuyên Province, South Vietnam
Political partyFree Democratic Party
Wiebke Lauterbach
(m. 2002)
Alma materHannover Medical School
Military service
Allegiance Germany
Branch/service Bundeswehr
Years of service1992–2003
Unit Joint Medical Service

Philipp Rösler GOM (born 24 February 1973)[1] is a German former politician who served as federal minister of health from 2009 to 2011 and federal minister of economics and technology as well as vice-chancellor of Germany from 2011 to 2013.[2]

Rösler was chairman of the liberal Free Democratic Party (FDP) from 2011 to 2013. Following the 2013 federal election in which the FDP left the Bundestag, he announced his resignation from the chairmanship. Born in Vietnam, Rösler was the first cabinet minister and vice-chancellor of Asian background in Germany.[3] Before entering politics, Rösler was a cardiothoracic surgeon.

Early life and education[edit]

Rösler was born in Khánh Hung, Ba Xuyên Province, in South Vietnam (now Sóc Trăng Province, Vietnam) on 24 February 1973.[4][5] He was adopted from a Roman Catholic orphanage near Saigon[6] by a German couple who already had two biological children, and brought him to Düsseldorf, West Germany, in a plane of children's rights charitable humanitarian organization Terre des Hommes[7] at the age of nine months.[5] He was raised by his adoptive father, who is a career military officer, after the couple separated when he was four years old.[8]

Rösler grew up in Hamburg, Bückeburg and Hanover, where he graduated from high school in 1992.[9] After training to become a combat medic in the German Bundeswehr (the Federal Defence Force), Rösler was accepted to study medicine at the Hanover Medical School. Following this, he continued his education at the Bundeswehr hospital in Hamburg. He earned his Doctorate in cardiothoracic surgery in 2002.[9] He left the service as a Stabsarzt (a rank for German medical officers equivalent to an army captain)[10] in 2003.[11]

Political career[edit]

State politics[edit]

Rösler with Richard Grenell in 2019

Rösler joined the FDP and its political youth organization, the Young Liberals, in 1992.[8] He was secretary of the FDP in the state of Lower Saxony from 2000 to 2004 and served as chairman of the FDP parliamentary group in the Lower Saxon state assembly from 2003. From 2001 to 2006, Rösler was a member in the regional assembly of Hanover (district), where he was also deputy chairman of the parliamentary group. In May 2005, he was elected an observer of the federal FDP executive committee. He received 95% of the votes, the best result of that party conference. At the state party conference in March 2006, Rösler was elected as chairman of the Lower Saxon FDP with 96.4% of the votes; he succeeded Walter Hirche, who had decided to step down after twelve years at the helm. In April 2008, Rösler was confirmed as the Lower Saxon FDP party chairman, receiving 95% of the votes.

At the federal party conference in June 2007, Rösler was re-elected as a member of the party executive committee. The following month, he was elected to stand as his party's main candidate in the Lower Saxon state election in January 2008. In that election, he received 10.9% of the votes in his local constituency, Hanover-Döhren. On 18 February 2008, Rösler was appointed State Minister for Economic Affairs, Labour and Transport[12] as well as Deputy Minister-President in the cabinet of Minister-President Christian Wulff of Lower Saxony.

Role in federal politics[edit]

Federal Minister of Health, 2009–2011[edit]

Following the 2009 national elections, Rösler succeeded Ulla Schmidt as Federal Minister of Health in Angela Merkel's second cabinet.[13]

Over the course of 2010, Rösler pushed through changes to the way drugs are priced on the German market as part of his wider-ranging health-care reform plans.[14] In January 2011, he asked German pharmaceutical companies to refrain from delivering anesthetic sodium thiopental to the US, a request they agreed to. Later that year, he declined a request from his counterpart, United States Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke, that Germany help out with thiopental as dozens of US states were facing shortages of a drug necessary in lethal injections administered to death-row prisoners.[15]

Vice-Chancellor and Federal Minister of Economics and Technology, 2011–2013[edit]

Rösler succeeded Rainer Brüderle as Federal Minister of Economics and Technology on 12 May 2011 and Guido Westerwelle as Chairman of the FDP on 13 May 2011 and was also instated as Vice-Chancellor of Germany on 16 May 2011.[16][17]

On 7 June 2011, Rösler attended the state dinner hosted by President Barack Obama in honor of Chancellor Angela Merkel at the White House.[18]

Rösler strongly supported the presidential candidacy of Joachim Gauck, originally proposed by the SPD and Greens, and reportedly secured his nomination by convincing his opposing coalition partner, the CDU/CSU, to back the nomination. That was seen as a step to demonstrate the independence of his party which was dramatically trailing in polls.[19]

As a consequence of the FDP's defeat in the 2013 state elections in Lower Saxony, Rösler offered to step down as party chairman. The leadership decided that he would remain but not lead the party in the federal elections, instead acting in a team with Rainer Brüderle as top candidate.[20] Following the defeat of 2013 federal elections, when the FDP was for first time in its history voted out of the Bundestag, he stepped down as chairman and retired from politics. Christian Lindner became his successor as leader of the FDP.

Life after politics[edit]

In January 2014, Rösler became a member of the managing board and Head of the Centre for Regional Strategies of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Switzerland, under the leadership of chairman Klaus Schwab.[21] From late 2017 until early 2019, Rösler served as chief executive officer of New York-based Hainan Cihang Charity Foundation Inc., the largest shareholder of HNA Group.[22][23]

In 2020, Rösler founded Consessor AG, a consulting firm based in Zug which advises companies on strategic management and internationalization.[24]

In September 2021, Rösler was appointed as the Honorary Consul of Vietnam to the Swiss cantons of Zürich and Zug.[25][26]

Other activities[edit]

Corporate boards[edit]

  • VinaCapital Ventures, chairman of the advisory board (since 2021)[27]
  • Brainloop, Member of the supervisory board (since 2020)[28]
  • Pure Holding, member of the board of directors (since 2020)[29]
  • Arabesque S-Ray, Partner (since 2019)[30]
  • Numbrs, Member of the advisory board (since 2019)[31]
  • Emmacc, Member of the advisory board (since 2019)
  • Loc Troi Group (LT Group), Independent member of the board of directors[32]
  • Long Anh Province Energy Company, Independent member of the board of directors[32]
  • Fortum, Member of the supervisory board (2019–2023)[33]
  • Siemens Healthineers, Member of the supervisory board (2018–2023)[34][35]
  • KfW, Ex-Officio Member of the supervisory board (2011–2013)
  • Volkswagen, ex-officio Member of the supervisory board (2009)

Non-profit organizations[edit]

Personal life[edit]

Rösler is a Roman Catholic,[41] and a member of the General Conference of the Central Committee of German Catholics (ZdK). He has been married to Wiebke Lauterbach,[7] also a physician, since 2002. The couple has twin girls, Grietje and Gesche, born in 2008. The family lived in Isernhagen before moving to Geneva in 2014 and, in 2017, to Zürich.[7][42]



  1. ^ Rösler's exact date of birth is unknown; 24 February 1973 is used in official documents.
  2. ^ "Dr. Philipp Rösler". Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology. Archived from the original on 13 December 2013. Retrieved 13 December 2013.
  3. ^ "German Parties Agree on New Coalition". Der Spiegel. 24 October 2009. Retrieved 4 September 2012.
  4. ^ Von Jurgen Damsch (1 November 2009). "Erinnern Sie sich an diesen Waisenjungen, Schwester?". Das Bild. Retrieved 2 November 2009.
  5. ^ a b "Abgeordnete – Niedersächsischer Landtag". Landtag-niedersachsen. Retrieved 4 September 2012.
  6. ^ "Our guest on 08.02.2009 Philipp Rösler, Politician and Doctor". Deutsche Welle. 8 February 2009. Retrieved 29 October 2009.
  7. ^ a b c Sven Gösmann (17 September 2011), Der nette Herr Rösler Rheinische Post.
  8. ^ a b "Philipp Rösler: From Vietnamese orphanage to vice chancellor". The Local. 10 May 2011. Retrieved 4 September 2012.
  9. ^ a b "Diversity in Germany's cabinet". German Missions. Archived from the original on 5 January 2013. Retrieved 4 September 2012.
  10. ^ Archived 27 September 2013 at the Wayback Machine (in German)
  11. ^ Biography at (in German)
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^ Nicole Goebel (10 March 2010), [Berlin takes aim at drug makers in health-care reform bid] Deutsche Welle.
  15. ^ Charles Hawley (9 June 2011), [European Opposition to Death Penalty: German Minister Denies US Request for Execution Drugs] Spiegel Online.
  16. ^ Gessat, Michael (13 May 2011). "Vietnam-born doctor takes reins of German liberal party". Deutsche Welle. Retrieved 13 May 2011.
  17. ^ "Philipp Rösler neuer Vizekanzler" (in German). German government. 18 May 2011. Retrieved 18 May 2011.
  18. ^ Expected Attendees at Tonight's State Dinner Office of the First Lady of the United States, press release of 7 June 2011.
  19. ^ "FDP beharrt auf Gauck: Rösler feiert gefährlichen Sieg – Politik". 20 February 2012. Retrieved 4 September 2012.
  20. ^ Melissa Eddy and Nicholas Kulish (21 January 2013), Merkel's Strong Standing Takes a Hit in Local German Elections New York Times.
  21. ^ "E: Philipp Rösler". World Economic Forum. Archived from the original on 5 February 2014. Retrieved 9 January 2014.
  22. ^ Eyk Henning (7 November 2017), HNA's Top Owner Is Said to Name Ex-German Minister as Chief Bloomberg News.
  23. ^ Michael B. Berger (26 May 2019), [„Mein Abgang war nicht freiwillig": Was ist eigentlich aus Philipp Rösler geworden?] Hannoversche Allgemeine Zeitung.
  24. ^ "Consessor AG". Consessor AG. Retrieved 25 November 2021.
  25. ^ Thuc, Minh (6 September 2021). "Former German vice chancellor to become Vietnam's honorary consul to Switzerland". Vietnam Investment Review. Retrieved 4 October 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  26. ^ Rösler, Philipp (6 September 2021). "Thank you for the great honor. Particularly in the year of the celebration of the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relationships between #Vietnam and #Switzerland". Twitter.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  27. ^ joelweiden. "VinaCapital Ventures names Dr. Philipp Rosler as Chair of Advisory Board, New Investments in UrBox and Wee Digital". VinaCapital. Retrieved 25 November 2021.
  28. ^ Sebastian Matthes (30 June 2020), Ex-FDP-Chef Philipp Rösler wird Aufsichtsrat beim IT-Unternehmen Brainloop Handelsblatt.
  29. ^ Welcome to the team Dr. Philipp Rösler Pure Holding, press release of 7 August 2020.
  30. ^ Katharina Schneider (18 July 2019), Fintech Arabesque setzt auf Nachhaltigkeit – und den Partner Philipp Rösler Handelsblatt.
  31. ^ Dr.Philipp Rösler joins Numbrs' Advisory Board Numbrs, press release of 24 May 2019.
  32. ^ a b Philipp Rösler Fortum.
  34. ^ Caspar Busse (28 February 2018), Bei Siemens gelandet Süddeutsche Zeitung.
  35. ^ Siemens Healthineers names new candidates for election to the supervisory board Siemens Healthineers, press release of 25 November 2022.
  36. ^ Board of Trustees World Vision Germany.
  37. ^ Starke politische Kompetenz: Neue Mitglieder im Kuratorium von World Vision World Vision Germany, press release of 14 December 2020.
  38. ^ Governance Jacobs University Bremen.
  39. ^ "Rösler berufen. Bertelsmann-Stiftung: Ex-Minister im Kuratorium". Westfalen-Blatt (in German). 22 December 2017. p. 17.
  40. ^ Board of Trustees Green Helmets.
  41. ^ "D: Rösler und die Kirche". Vatican Radio. 6 April 2011. Archived from the original on 4 April 2012. Retrieved 4 September 2012.
  42. ^ Caspar Busse and Christoph Giesen (8 November 2017), Der rätselhafte Job des Herrn Rösler Süddeutsche Zeitung.
  43. ^ "Cidadãos Estrangeiros Agraciados com Ordens Portuguesas". Página Oficial das Ordens Honoríficas Portuguesas. Retrieved 29 January 2017.
  44. ^ "Honorary Doctorate Conferment Ceremony to H.E. Dr. Philipp Rosler". The University of Cambodia. Retrieved 4 May 2018.

External links[edit]

Party political offices
Preceded by Leader of the Free Democratic Party
Succeeded by
Political offices
Preceded by
Walter Hirche
Minister for Economics, Labour and Transport of Lower Saxony
Succeeded by
Preceded by Minister of Health
Succeeded by
Preceded by Vice-Chancellor of Germany
Succeeded by
Preceded by Minister of Economics and Technology