The International Center has looked within to find its first new leader in more than a decade.
The Indianapolis not-for-profit said Monday it has chosen Martin Baier, vice president of programs and services, to succeed Diane Thomas as president and CEO on Jan. 4.
Thomas, who has led the center since 2006, announced in late July that she would be stepping down at the end of the year to prepare for a 27-month assignment to serve with the Peace Corps in the Ukraine starting in March.
Center officials said Baier was chosen from a “sizable pool of applicants” after a nationwide search.
Baier joined the center in his current position in 2011, after owning and operating his own cross-cultural consulting company, All German Solutions LLC.
A native of Germany, Baier had a 20-year-plus career with the German Air Force, rising to the rank of Lt. Colonel.
He spent time as liaison officer to NATO forces in the International Combined Air Operations Center, as well as liaison to the U.S. Air Force on combined projects, serving alongside representatives from the Pentagon and Air Combat Command.
At The International Center, Baier has grown the center’s extensive offering of programs and services in the categories of Protocol, International Visitor Leadership Program (citizen diplomacy), International Relocation, and Global Competency Training.
He has been an adviser to several community partners, including the mayor’s office, governor’s office, Indiana Economic Development Corp., Indy Chamber and the America China Society, among others. He is immediate past chair of the Cologne Sister City Committee.
Baier earned his bachelor’s in economics/business and English at the University of Duisburg and Essen in Germany. He also has a bachelor’s of military science and master’s of military science.
“In Martin we are confident we have the ideal candidate, and we look forward to lending the board’s full support as he steps into the CEO shoes, a fitting new chapter in a distinguished career,” said board member Marsha Stone, who will become board chairwoman Jan. 1, in a written statement.
The 43-year-old International Center, which promotes global outreach for the city and state, has more than doubled its budget since Thomas took over leadership. Last year, the center received a $5 million sustainability grant from Lilly Endowment.
The center has a staff of 23, including 15 employees who were born or lived overseas. Ten staff members are relocation experts who help business clients adjust to life in Indiana.