Rita Suessmuth is a German politician and scholar recognized for her leadership on migration policy in Germany and Europe. A member of the CDU party, Suessmuth served as president of the German Federal Parliament (1988–1998) and as federal minister for Family Affairs, Women, Youth and Health (1985–1988).
An expert on migration, Suessmuth has chaired several advisory councils, including the Independent Commission on Migration in 2000 and was a member of the UN-Global Commission on International Migration (2003–2005).
Through her political work Suessmuth changed German attitudes towards immigration. She played a key role in ensuring Germany no longer sees diversity as a burden, but as an opportunity. Germany’s policies on migration and integration can serve as models for others, and Suessmuth continues to work with European Union policymakers on issues relating to migration and integration.
Suessmuth was awarded the 2015 Reinhard Mohn Prize in recognition of her pioneering efforts to create a contemporary immigration and integration policy in Germany. She is a member of the Transatlantic Council on Migration at the Migration Policy institute in Washington, DC.