Professor Teltschik holds a degree in political science, contemporary history and international law from FU Berlin (Freie Universität Berlin) (1962-1967). He taught as an assistant lecturer in the Department of International Relations of the same university until 1970. From 1970 to 1972 he headed the International Policy and Intra–German Relations Group of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU). In 1972 Professor Teltschik moved to the State Chancellery of Rhineland-Palatinate where he was a senior department official. As of 1977 he was Chief of Staff of the CDU/CSU Parliamentary Group. In 1982 he moved to the German Chancellery where he headed the Department of Foreign and Intra–German Relations, Development Policy and External Security. A year later he was appointed Deputy Chief of Staff of the Federal Chancellery.
Later in his career he was CEO of the Bertelsmann Foundation, a member of the executive board of the BMW Group, president of Boeing Germany and vice-president of Boeing International.
Since 2006 Professor Teltschik has been active as an independent international adviser on foreign, security and foreign trade affairs.
- Vice–president Boeing International and president Boeing Deutschland (2003-2006)
- Chairman of the Munich Security Conference (1999-2008)
- Member of the executive board of the BMW Group (1993-2000)
- Executive director of the Bertelsmann Foundation (1991-1992)
- Director general at the German Chancellery, responsible for foreign and intra–German relations, development policy and external security (National Security Adviser)
- Great Cross of Merit of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany (2008)
- Recipient of an honorary doctorate from Sogang University, Seoul, South Korea (1997)
- Recipient of an honorary doctorate from the University of Budapest (1991)
- Commander of the French Legion of Honor (1983)
- Order of Merit of the State of Bavaria