Link succeeds Ambassador Janez Lenarčič of Slovenia, who headed ODIHR for six years.
Prior to joining the Office, Link served from January 2012 to December 2013 as the Minister of State for Europe in the German government, responsible for OSCE, EU, Council of Europe and NATO affairs. Elected to the German parliament in 2005, representing Heilbronn/Baden-Württemberg, Link established a strong background in the work of the OSCE as a member of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, in which he served from 2006 to 2013.
The ODIHR director is a past member of the boards of the Center for International Peace Operations (ZIF), the German Foundation for Peace Research and the Foundation for German-Polish Cooperation. He remains active in international NGOs, including the German Council on Foreign Relations, the German Association for Eastern European Studies, the Southeast Europe Association and the German Atlantic Association.
Born in Heilbronn in 1963, Link studied Russian, French, Political Science, Public Law and Eastern European History at the University of Augsburg, the University of Lausanne and Heidelberg University.