Jiří Buriánek was born in Prague, Czech Republic (former Czechoslovakia) on 1 September 1956. He and his family emigrated to Germany in 1968 at the time of the Prague Spring.
He studied law specialising in Public Sector Management at the University of Passau and obtained the First State Exam in Law (1983). He continued his education successfully passing the Second State Exam in Law in Munich in 1987 and completed subsequently a PhD in European Law.
Following his graduation from university, in 1988 Jiří Buriánek embarked on an illustrious legal career and for several years worked as manager in various large scale entities in the German public sector. He formally launched his career in European affairs in 1993 when he moved to Brussels as expert for network industries (postal sector) and subsequently became Secretary-General for PostEurop - the European branch of the United Nations' Special Agency Universal Postal Union (UPU).
In this responsibility he coordinated and represented the interests of 42 European national Universal Service Providers towards the European institutions and international bodies and initiated a close strategic project based on operational cooperation with the European Commission. In 2000 he was also awarded an MBA in IT and Telecommunication Policy by the United Business Institutes in Brussels and he joined in 2001 the European Commission where he worked as Enlargement Manager for the Directorate-General Joint Research Centre.
Since 2006 he has served as Director responsible for Research, Industry and Innovation as well as subsequently for Transport, Telecommunications and Energy in the General Secretariat of the Council of the European Union.
On 24 June 2014 he was formally elected as the Committee of the Regions' Secretary General taking over the post from 1 September the same year.