Konrad Pesendorfer

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Konrad Pesendorfer (born February 6, 1969 in Vienna ) is an Austrian economist . From January 2010 to December 2019 he was General Director of Statistics Austria .


His father is Bernhard Pesendorfer , a philosopher and management consultant. Pesendorfer studied economics at the Vienna University of Economics and Business , where he received his doctorate in economics in 2002. The topic of his dissertation was " The Euro as an International Currency: Economic and Economic Policy Implications ", the work was supervised by Ewald Nowotny . He did not complete his studies in jazz guitar . He was university lecturer at the École des hautes études commerciales de Paris , at the Institut d'études politiques de Paris (Sciences Po) and at the University of Applied Sciences for European Business and Management in Vienna. He worked as an economist in the Oesterreichische Nationalbank and in the Federal Ministry of Finance . From 2003 to 2005 he was an advisor to the board of directors of the European Central Bank in Frankfurt am Main, then economic and financial attaché at the Permanent Representation of Austria to the OECD in Paris. In 2008, Federal Chancellor Werner Faymann brought him into his cabinet as an economic advisor.

Since January 2010 he has been the General Director of Statistics Austria. Pesendorfer is a member of the Fiscal Council and President of the Austrian Statistical Society . He is chairman of the Committee on Statistics and Statistical Policy of the OECD , co-chairman of the International Comparison Program Governing Board of the UN / World Bank (together with India) and also vice-chairman of the UN Conference of European Statisticians .

Understanding of office as Director General of Statistics Austria

While his predecessor, Peter Hackl , rarely appeared in public in Statistics Austria, Pesendorfer endeavors to bring data and facts closer to as many people as possible and to make their socio-political relevance clear to them. Christina Pausackl portrayed him in the German weekly newspaper Die Zeit as a surveyor : “He not only provides mere figures, but also an argumentation aid for explosive debates.” Pesendorfer has made Statistics Austria “a political factor that wants to get involved in all important debates” . He sees himself in the tradition of the economist Otto Neurath , who founded the Vienna method of image statistics . Neurath was considered a political scientist who, from 1918 onwards, used statistical methods to propagate the achievements of Red Vienna . Pesendorfer describes his role as follows: He wants to support all those who might get lost in the labyrinth of numbers - “with suitable visualization and by providing them with the necessary context”. Together with the editor-in-chief of the Austrian weekly newspaper Falter , Florian Klenk , Pesendorfer published the fact book “Pay, please! Everything you need to know about Austria ”. The book is the summary of a series that was published in Falter from late summer 2016 .

In February 2019, a debate about the future of Statistics Austria developed. Federal Chancellor Sebastian Kurz , who was responsible for the appointment of the governing bodies, intended to drastically cut the number of posts for public relations work within the authority. The Chancellor also wanted to dissolve the Analysis Department . Thereupon the acting director general spoke up and demanded that the authority should be directly subordinate to the National Council in order to maintain its independence. A president should be at the top, elected by a two-thirds majority in the National Council and thus recognized in a non-partisan manner. These proposals were sent to the Federal Chancellor and the National Council. Pesendorfer also called for the proposed reforms to be in line with EU principles.

Pesendorfer's term of office expired at the end of 2019. On January 1st, 2020 Werner Holzer was entrusted with the function of the statistical general director on an interim basis. Pesendorfer is to become head of the statistics agency in Saudi Arabia . In May 2020 it was announced that Tobias Thomas would become General Director of Statistics Austria.


Pesendorfer is the father of two sons.


  • Florian Klenk, Konrad Pesendorfer: Numbers, please !: Everything you always wanted to know about Austria. 2018, ISBN 978-3-85439-617-8


Individual evidence

  1. Christina Pausackl: "I've also had screaming duels with red ministers" , Die Zeit (Hamburg), April 10, 2017
  2. Christina Pausackl: The portrait: The land surveyor . In: The time . April 10, 2017, ISSN  0044-2070 ( zeit.de [accessed February 20, 2019]).
  3. Christina Pausackl: "Der Landvermesser" , Die Zeit (Hamburg), April 10, 2017
  4. Ilse M. Seifried: Book review: Konrad Pesendorfer, Florian Klenk: Numbers, please! Falter Verlag , ÖLI-UG ÖSTERREICHISCHE LEHRER / INNEN INITIATIVE, accessed on February 14, 2019
  5. Wiener Zeitung : Change of color: Statistics Austria boss defends independence , February 14, 2019
  6. derStandard.at: Chancellor Bierlein has to make decisions at Statistics Austria . Article dated June 4, 2019, accessed June 6, 2019.
  7. ^ Pesendorfer becomes head of statistics in Saudi Arabia. In: The press . January 8, 2020, accessed January 8, 2020 .
  8. Pesendorfer becomes head of statistics in Saudi Arabia on ORF from January 8, 2020, accessed on January 8, 2020.
  9. EcoAustria boss Thomas is to head Statistics Austria in the future. In: Wiener Zeitung . May 14, 2020, accessed May 15, 2020 .
  10. "Numbers, please": A pink book with lots of numbers , review in: Die Presse
  11. "Pay please!" - New book wants to counter "fake news" with "facts" , review in: Der Standard