Joachim Bitterlich was born in 1948. He studied Law, Economics and Politics at the University of Saarbrücken, and was research assistant at the same university. He was also student at the French National School of Administration (ENA) in Paris (1974-75).
Joachim Bitterlich entered in 1976 into the Federal Foreign Office; he was posted to Algiers (1978-81) and Brussels (Permanent Representation to the European Communities –1981-85). He was Advisor in the private office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hans-Dietrich Genscher (1985-87), head of the European Policy Department at the Federal Chancellor’s Office (1987-93) and Foreign and Security Policy Advisor to Federal Chancellor Helmut Kohl (1993-98), and then Ambassador, Permanent Representative of the Federal Republic of Germany on the North Atlantic Council Brussels (1998-99), Ambassador to the Kingdom of Spain and the Principality of Andorra (1999-2002).
Since 2003, Joachim Bitterlich is Executive Vice President International Affairs Veolia Environment SA in Paris, and since 2009, also Chairman of Veolia Environment Germany in Berlin.
Joachim Bitterlich is member of several Boards of Directors: of Veolia Environmental Services and Veolia Transport, Paris, of DEKRA e.V., Stuttgart – Germany, of HESAM Paris (Pôle de recherche et d’enseignement supérieur “Hautes Etudes-Sorbonne-Arts et Métiers”), of the Ecole Nationale d’Administration ENA, Paris/Strasbourg, of MEDEF International, Paris, and of the Commission “Europe” of MEDEF. He is Vice-President of the Committee France-China, member of the Board of Trustees of « Friends of Europe » Brussels, member of the Advisory Council EU-China Brussels, Co-President and Co-Founder of the “Club Rhénan”, Professor at the Ecole Supérieure de Commerce de Paris (ESCP Europe) and Vice-President of the Jacques Delors Institute.