Farewell to the Country Director of GIZ Thailand and Malaysia

After 36 years with GIZ and more than 2 years as Country Director of GIZ Thailand, Mr. Stefan Helming is taking his well-earned retirement.
Mr. Helming first joined GIZ (then GTZ) back in 1982 as a Project Assistant in Somalia and went on to hold various top positions in partnerships with Africa, the Middle East and Asia including spells as the Director of the Corporate Policy Department and the Department of North Africa and Middle East at the GTZ head office in Eschborn. From 2003 to 2006, he was Deputy Director General of Planning and Development then headed the GTZ International Services in Ethiopia. From 2010 to 2014, he held the position of Programme Director of Innovation Centers for Agriculture and Food and was Country Director of GIZ India.
Through his commitment to GIZ Thailand and Malaysia since 2015, he has led the GIZ Thailand team to great accomplishments and enhanced the long-standing partnership between Thailand and Germany. Examples of the successful initiatives organised under his tenure include: 
• 60 Years: Thai-German Partnership for Sustainable Development, an event hosted by TICA to celebrate the cooperation for Sustainable Development between Thailand and Germany during the past 60 years in various fields including agriculture, health, energy, environment, climate change and technology.
• The opening of the Academy for International Cooperation (AIZ) in Thailand. AIZ is GIZ’s in-house training facility, and about 10% to 15% of all GIZ training globally now takes place in Thailand.
• The launch of the of Thailand Refrigeration and Air Conditioning - Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Action (RAC NAMA) funded by NAMA Facility, German Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB)-Department of Energy & Climate Change, UK
• The introduction of the German-Thai Climate Change Programme, which has 5 components, namely  agriculture, energy, national climate policy, waste and water  
• The New Energy Nexus Southeast Asia, a project to support smart energy startups 
• The successful implementation of a number of small-scale projects such as Improving Safety in Healthcare for Protecting Patients and Healthcare Workers Health, Renewable Energy Hybrid Grid System for Thai Islands and Sustainable Transport Indicators for ASEAN
• The celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Thai-German Dairy Project
• The adoption of the Corporate Sustainability Handprint (CSH), a scheme initiated by GIZ Head Office that can be voluntarily implemented in country offices. The scheme emphasises socially responsible activities including economic capability, political participation and ecological balance.
• The creation of a Branch Office to allow GIZ to implement projects that are not covered by Government-to-Government contracts.
Beyond his portfolio, Mr. Helming demonstrated unforgettable qualities in leading the team. His open door policy allowed for discussion of any issues that emerged as a result of work activities. Result-based solutions could always be expected.  He emphasised personal development of his staff and partners as a foundation to their moving up to the next level and ensured that innovations and changes to allow for improved environmental responsibility were implemented in the workplace alongside the security of the workforce.
His efforts have greatly contributed to the strong cooperation between the two countries leading to sustainable development and the continued prosperity of GIZ Thailand and Malaysia. His replacement, Mr. Tim Mahler, takes up the position of Country Director, with effect from 1st February 2018.

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