The Austrian Service Abroad is a non-governmental non-profit organization accredited and sponsored by the Austrian Federal Ministry of Social Affairs, Health Care and Consumer Protection. It provides Austrians of all genders the opportunity to do a volunteering service abroad. Under certain conditions such volunteering services may be acknowledged as an alternative to Austria’s mandatory military or national service for male Austrians. The organization was founded in 1998 by Andreas MaislingerMichael Prochazka and Andreas Hörtnagl.

The organization prepares candidates for their service abroad, sends them to their placement and supports them during their stay abroad. The preparation period consists of conferences (online & physical), seminars (online & physical), voluntary-based contributions to the workflow of the Austrian Service Abroad organization, literature clubs, study trips, workshops and educational visits. During their service, Austrian Servants Abroad maintain contact with their sending organization.

The Austrian Service Abroad consists of its internal structure according to the organization’s organigramm in addition to organizational projects.

The Austrian Service Abroad provides the opportunity to do a Gedenkdienst, Austrian Social Service and Austrian Peace Service and has partner institutions around the world organized in 9 geographical areas.

Working with  young adults brings with it major challenges. Their protection is the club’s top priority and requires ongoing, critical reflection
and acting responsibly so that they can feel safe and comfortable in the association. To this end, measures are taken through the Violence Prevention and Integrity Plan (GPIP – Safeguarding Policy). These measures  aim to provide a safe and responsible environment for the volunteers, to ensure the protection of individual interests and the to ensure the quality of the association’s work at a high level.

The Board is the governing body according to the organization’s statutes. Its central task is to advise and support the members. Florian Kössler represents the Board in the leadership team, the body responsible for day-to-day business. The board consists of:

  • Florian Kössler, executive Chairman
  • Tobias Aigner
  • Christoph Shawa
  • Michael Prochazka
  • Regina Rauch-Krainer
  • Tatjana Lang
  • Sigrid Simetzberger
  • Peter Bachlechner
  • Teresa Dujmovits

The leadership team is the management of the organization responsible for strategic planning and implementation. The team consists of the five division heads, who are both strategically and operationally active. Together with the two cohort spokespersons, the treasurer, the chairperson of the association and the CEO, they form the decision-making body in the organization. Here strategic decisions regarding, for example, the sending abroad of Austrian Service Abroad volunteers, choices about new partnerships as well as financial issues are being made.

  • Tobias Aigner, Chairman
  • Milan Feyferlik, Cohort Spokesman 2023
  • Maximilian Gottmann, Cohort Spokesman 2024
  • Moritz Lichtmannegger, Head of Consultancy
  • Robin Adamek, Head of Education
  • David Ditlbacher, Yannik Gruner and Moritz Müller-Ibold, Head of International Affairs
  • Philipp Auberger, Head of Marketing
  • Bernhard Beran, Head of Administration

The five divisions of the organization combine all units and teams of similar subject areas and are led by a department head who, through his or her participation in the leadership team, also acts as a liaison between the department and the management. He / she can, thus, bring forth and discuss issues on behalf of his / her division and make suggestions from the teams of his / her division to the leadership team. There are a total of five divisions, including the preparation, guardianship, marketing, international affairs, and the administration division.

Marina Maier is a lawyer who focuses on international law and socio-legal research. She obtained her degrees from universities in Moscow, Graz, and Leiden, as well as from the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna. She served as an Austrian Peace Servant in Rwanda and Bosnia and has a keen interest in post-conflict reconciliation and the restoration of peace. Marina is married and divides her time between Vienna and Carinthia, where she is raising two children while pursuing her PhD research on international punishment at Leiden University in her free time.

Marina Maier, CEO

Tobias Kohlberger studies business administration at the University of Vienna. Prior to his time as office manager at the Austrian Service Abroad, he gained professional experience in accounting and controlling, as well as grant accounting for EU projects. He enjoys organizing larger events and campaigns and is the contact person at the Austrian Service Abroad for administrative and financial matters in the Vienna office.

Tobias Kohlberger, Finance