From 2002 to 2007 he was director of the Goethe-Institut in Cairo and regional director for North Africa and the Middle East. Subsequently he served as director of the Goethe-Institut in Moscow and regional director for Eastern Europe and Central Asia from 2007 to 2012.
In his work, Johannes Ebert focuses not only on advancing European collaboration and integration, but also on intensifying engagement in crisis-ridden regions and countries going through radical change, for example in Ukraine, North Africa and the Middle East. He is particularly dedicated to supporting refugees with cultural and educational projects in the neighbouring countries of Syria and in Germany. In addition, he has been campaigning for years for the expansion of digital offers in foreign cultural and educational policy, the introduction of global debates in Germany and the continual expansion of the worldwide network of the Goethe-Institut.