The general management applies itself to the institutes’s performance in an administrative way. The general management - whilst taking into account the principles and decisions of the members' meeting and the presidium – is responsible for the arrangement and implementation of all the actions that need to be taken in order to achieve the institutes’s registered objectives.
The general management appoints the president of the German Maritime Institute directly. The general management is elected by the annual members' meeting and remains in the office for at least one year.
- Rear Admiral Karsten Schneider was born in 1956 and joined the German Navy in 1974. On completion of his officer training he started his sea-going carreer in fast patrol boats in 1979. He also served as an exchange officer with the US Navy from 1982 to 1984 and he commanded the fast patrol boat S-59 Reiher from 1985 to 1987.
- Later he was aide-de-camps to Commander-in-Chief, German Fleet. On completion of the staff course at the German Armed Forces Command and Staff College he served as military assistant to the diplomatic advisor in the Federal Chancellor’s Office.
- From 1995 to 1997 he commanded the frigate LÜBECK participating twice in Operation SHARP GUARD, the NATO embargo operation in the Adriatic Sea. He then became staff officer for the NATO programme “Partnership for Peace” in the Federal Ministry of Defence (FMoD). Later he served as staff officer supporting the Defence Reform Commission (Weizsaecker-Commission). Rear Admiral Schneider then was assigned as Branch Chief for Personnel, Leadership, and Training in the Policy Planning and Advisory Staff to the Federal Minister of Defence from 2000 to 2002.
- In August 2002 Rear Admiral Schneider assumed command of the 4th Frigate Squadron with four F-122 class frigates homeported in Wilhelmshaven. In 2003 he also commanded the French German Naval Force.
- In February 2005 Rear Admiral Schneider was assigned Branch Chief “Plans & Policy; International Co-operation” at the German Naval Staff, FMoD. From July 2008 to March 2012 he was Branch Chief “Concept of the Bundeswehr, Transformation” in the Armed Forces Staff, followed by an assignment as Branch Chief “Concepts and Planning Targets” in the Defence Plans & Policy Department of the FMoD from April to September 2012.
- As from October 2012 Rear Admiral Schneider was appointed as Deputy Commander and Director of Courses, German Armed Forces Command and General Staff College.
- In April 2013 he took up the position as chairman of the German Maritime Institute