Dr Horst Freitag was born in 1955 in Würzburg, Bavaria. He is a graduate of Bonn University, received his PhD from the University of Passau and passed the bar exam in Düsseldorf. He and his wife Chantal have one daughter.
From 1982-1997 Dr Freitag worked in various German Federal Foreign offices, serving as Chief of Staff, Counselor, and Deputy Spokesman. From 1997-2000, he worked as the Head of the German Representative Office in Ramallah, and from 2000-2003 served as the Head of Defense and Security Policy Division in Berlin. He also served as a Director Defense and Security Policy Division, Director Special Task Force Iraq, and Director General Near and Middle East Affairs, Berlin between 2001 and 2007.
Dr Freitag was Consul General of the Federal Republic of Germany in New York, USA from 2008 to 2011, after which he became the German Ambassador to South Africa.