The Global Parliament of Mayors  has named Rainer Kern as its new Executive Director, succeeding Caroline Schep, who recently stepped down. Kern, an experienced leader in international governance and urban affairs, will bring fresh perspectives to the organization.

GPM Chair Mayor Rio praises the role both of them had in the organization: “Caroline Schep is a inspiring person and was the soul of GPM during these years. It was a great honor to work with her and I am sure she will continue to be with us in a different context. Rainer is the right option to fill in the place now vacant from Caroline. He is enthusiastic, has a deep knowledge of GPM and will be a fantastic Executive Director. I trust all the cities and mayors will gain from his experience and commitment to our cause.”

Caroline Schep, the former Executive Director, played a vital role in advancing the GPM’s mission during her tenure, earning respect both within and beyond the organization. Dr. Schep reflected on her role as ED: “I am grateful that the city of The Hague has enabled me to serve as Executive Director of the GPM Secretariat over the past seven years. I am proud to leave behind a sustainable organization that is gaining influence on a global scale and with an increasing number of members. I am convinced that the GPM Secretariat will be in good hands with Rainer Kern as the new Executive Director. His engagement in the strategic development of the GPM since the start in 2016, his networking skills and his proven ability to create successful partnerships will take the GPM Secretariat to a next level in the near future.” 

Kern’s appointment is expected to inject new energy into the GPM’s mission. Under his leadership, the organization will continue addressing issues like climate change, public health, and social inclusion, leveraging his commitment to urban development and extensive network. Rainer Kern stated: “From the very beginning, it was a privilege to drive the foundation of the GPM in 2016 on behalf of the City of Mannheim and then to support the development of the organisation since then. Under Caroline Schep’s leadership, I was able to help develop the strategy and witness the energy, vision and friendly connection with which she established the GPM as an important and reliable partner for global governance, always in close and friendly cooperation with the other global urban actors. It is more than a stable foundation on which we can continue and develop our work. In this, the GPM will continue to be a reliable and strong partner alongside the many friendly urban networks and colleagues. Together with the new Chair of the GPM, Mayor Ricardo Rio of Braga, Portugal, the GPM will continue to work towards these goals and take the necessary responsibility. I would like to thank the City of Mannheim, its long-time mayor Dr. Peter Kurz and SKEW*, whose generous support makes the further development of the GPM under my leadership possible.”

The GPM expresses gratitude to Caroline Schep for her dedicated service and hard work and welcomes Rainer Kern with optimism.

*This project is supported by Engagement Global’s Service Agency Communities in One World (SKEW) on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).