Kilian Kleinschmidt – Keynote Speaker

Expert on Humanitarian Aid

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Specialist Subjects

  • Management of Complex Structures and Crisis Situations
  • Leadership and Teambuilding
  • The Linkage of Private and Public Players
  • Innovative Concepts for the Global Challenges of the 21st Century
  • Cities of the Future
  • Migration and Integration


  • German


Kilian Kleinschmidt is an international networker and humanitarian expert with over 25 years experience in a wide range of countries, emergencies and refugee camps as United Nations official, Aid worker and Diplomat. He is the best known and most published aid worker in the world.


He most recently became known as the “Mayor of Zatari” when he managed on behalf of UNHCR the refugee camp of Za’atari in Northern Jordan from 2013-2014. Za’atari has become a symbol for new and innovative approaches in refugee and humanitarian management under his leadership.


His previous senior roles included Deputy Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia, Deputy Special Envoy for Assistance to Pakistan, Acting Director for Communities and Minorties in the UN administration in Kosovo, Executive Secretary for the Migration and Refugee Initiative (MARRI) in the Stability Pact for South Eastern Europe and many field based functions with UNHCR, UNDP and WFP. He worked extensively in Africa, South Eastern Europe, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.


As the founder and President of the Startup “Innovation and Planning Agency” (IPA) Kilian Kleinschmidt now aims at connecting the millions of poor and dispossessed with the idle and under-utilised resources and modern technologies of the 21st century. He is part of a number of arts projects and various initiatives which aim at global connectivity through better use of globalisation.  He is challenging the Humanitarian Aid Sector through a range of new and unorthodox partnerships, technologies, and financing.  His work on emerging cities and urbanisation is widely recognised.  Team building and leadership in Crisis situations are a focus of his work.


Kilian Kleinschmidt is a frequent speaker and has held public inspirational and thematic speeches and lectures for instance at TEDx Hamburg and many international conferences. Kilian Kleinschmidt has appeared in over 100 documentary TV reports, talkshows (Germany, Japan, US, etc) and featured prominently in hundreds of news and feature articles in numerous languages.

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