Dr. Friedrich Kitschelt was appointed State Secretary in the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) in January 2014. From 2010 to 2013, he was head of the Directorate-General for Africa and Latin America; Global and Sectoral Affairs and before that head of the Directorate for Asia and South-Eastern Europe. Dr Friedrich Kitschelt held various positions at the BMZ, including Director for Asia, Commissioner for Afghanistan and Commissioner for Europe. Dr Kitschelt also spent some time working at the Federal Chancellery, where he headed the division for North-South relations and human rights policy of the German government.

Friedrich Kitschelt spent more than 12 years working abroad, in countries such as Jamaica, India, Kenya and Belgium. During this period in his career, he worked for several years for the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ) GmbH and was head of the development policy division at the German Embassy in Nairobi as well as at the Permanent Representation of the Federal Republic of Germany to the European Union.

Friedrich Kitschelt trained as a journalist and read sociology, economics and law at the Albertus Magnus University of Cologne and the University of Bielefeld. After completing his degree in 1983, he was awarded a PhD in sociology by the University of Bielefeld in 1985.