Joachim Bitterlich was Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany to the NATO and Spain. Before that he was a close associate of Chancellor Helmut Kohl, working primarily on European Integration Policy. From 1993 to 1998 he was Head of the Chancellery's department for Foreign, Security, and Development Policy. More recently, he was Executive Vice President International Affairs of Veolia Environment in Paris. There, he was responsible for the German market.
Bitterlich studied law and economics at the University of the Saarland and the French École nationale d’administration (ENA).