Dr. Martin Ney studied law at the universities of Würzburg and Geneva, as well as politics and economics at Oxford (1976-1983). He has a law degree from the University of Würzburg and an M.A. from Oxford University, where he was as a Rhodes scholar. From 1983 until 1986 he taught constitutional and public international law as a junior lecturer at Würzburg University, where he received his Doctorate in international law in 1985.
In 1986, he started his diplomatic career in the Legal Department of the German Foreign Office. He then headed the Cultural and Press Section of the Embassy in Bangkok, Thailand, from 1988 – 1990. During the negotiations on the external aspects of German unification (the so-called "2+4-Negotiations"), he acted as legal advisor and chaired the legal committee in the final round. He then served as Executive Assistant to the State Secretary of the Foreign Office from 1991 till 1993. In 1993, he was posted to Washington DC as Counsellor for Politico-Military Affairs before moving on to Tokyo in 1997. After one year as the Embassy’s Deputy Head of the Economic Section, he became Head of its Political Department (1998-2001).
From 2001 till 2005, he was the European Correspondent of the Foreign Office, responsible for coordinating the German input into the EU Common Foreign and Security Policy. In 2005, he was appointed Ambassador and Senior Deputy High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina in Sarajevo, mainly in charge of political reforms. From June 2006 till July 2007, he was Commissioner for the United Nations, Human Rights and Humanitarian Aid of the German Foreign Office. From August 2007 till July 2010, he served as Deputy Permanent Representative of Germany to the United Nations in New York (Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary). In August 2010, he was appointed Deputy Director General, Legal Affairs, and in July 2012 The Legal Adviser of the German Foreign Office. Since July 2015, Dr. Ney has been the German Ambassador to India.
He is married to Dr. med. Gabriele Ney. They have two adult sons. Hobbies include tennis, sailing and playing chamber music – which has been particularly close to his heart ever since he served as co-principle flautist in the First German Airforce Band during his military service (1974-1976). When he served in Sarajevo he performed as a soloist with the Sarajevo Symphony Orchestra in the National Theatre. Several times, he played solo concerts in the Wiener Musikverein. Since 2005, he has performed repeatedly with the “Frankfurter Solisten”, the chamber ensemble of the Frankfurt Opera orchestra. Four of these concerts have been recorded on CD. In 2010, he played a concert as a soloist with the Nürnberger Philharmoniker in the General Assembly of the United Nations.
Since 1984, Dr. Ney has been a member of the Toenissteiner Kreis and, since 2001, a member of the Atlantik-Bruecke (after having been a ‘young leader’ of the Atlantik-Bruecke and of the American Council on Germany in 1991).