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Rudolf Niessler was born in Austria. He studied economics and informatics at the Vienna University and holds a PhD in economics. After qualifying he worked in economic research in Vienna. In 1991 he moved to the Federal Chancellery and then to the OECD in Paris where he was councillor for trade and environment. In 1997 he joined the European Commission where he served in several functions, i.p.as Director for policy coordination and policy development. On 1october 2016 he took up duty as Director for the competence centre for Smart and Sustainable Growth and Programmes Implementation in Southern Europe. This covers the implementation of Cohesion Policy in Cyprus, Greece, Italy, Malta, Spain and Portugal..