Vol. 21 No. 1
Middle East turmoil, the rise of Asia, and weaknesses in the US-German relationship:
New York Alumni Dinner
By Clay Risen (Burns 2009)
The past year of unrest in the Middle East demonstrates how important the transatlantic relationship remains, said diplomat Kurt Volker at this year’s annual Arthur F. Burns Alumni Dinner at the Goldman Sachs building in New York City. And yet, he added, “Our institutions don’t seem up to the task.”
|Kurt Volker speaks at Alumni Dinner.
The address by Volker, the United States ambassador to NATO from 2008 to 2009, was similar in topic and tone to last year’s Burns speech by journalist Fareed Zakaria. Both discussed the historic uprisings in the Middle East, and both declared that it was too early to tell whether they would benefit or harm the rest of the world.
But while Zakaria’s speech dealt with the geostrategic implications of events in Tunisia, Egypt and the Gulf States, Volker concentrated on what they, and the subsequent violence in Syria, meant for relations between the United States and Europe.
Volker, speaking in a 43rd floor banquet hall with a stunning view of the Hudson River behind him, underlined the common interests and basic affinities between the two sides of the Atlantic. But he said he was concerned that both Washington and Europe, and in particular Berlin, had let the storied relationship lag as the world shifted its focus to the Middle East and East Asia over the past decade.
“There isn’t the kind of mutual understanding between the United States and Germany that there could have been,” he said.
Volker’s speech was an effort to explain why, despite the rise of China and the decade of unrest in the Middle East, those ties still mattered.
|Burns Trustees Stan Warshawsky
and John Rogers.
For one thing, he said, the United States and Europe still represent the world’s closest and richest economic partnership. “Asia is new, dynamic and growing, whereas Europe is big and important,” he said. “The risks to the United States economy from Europe are bigger than the risks from Asia.”
Moreover, while the world has been shaken by the Middle East, the response to those successive crises, from Iraq to Libya, has come through a concerted transatlantic effort. “There will always be add ons—Japan, Qatar—but the United States and Europe are always the core,” Volker said.
Much of that leadership capability was made possible by the institutions created in the wake of World War II, he said, including the International Monetary Fund, NATO, and the prototypes of what became the European Union.
But recent events both inside and out of Europe have pressed those organizations to the breaking point. What is needed, Volker said, was a similarly ambitious round of institution-building.
“We need our leaders to ask themselves, and answer, how to shape the world we want to have fifteen to twenty years from now,” he said.
The first challenge, in Volker’s view, is already underway in Syria. There was a strong case to be made for multilateral action against the Assad government, he said, but as long as Russia and China succeeded in blocking a United Nations mandate, Germany and several other NATO members would refuse to participate.
2011 alumni Heather Struck, Catherine Cheney and Mark Garrison at the New York Alumni Dinner.
How the United States and the rest of Europe decided to act, and how they adapted or replaced transatlantic institutions to facilitate doing so, Volker said, would set the stage for the next generation of western policymaking.
It was, everyone agreed, a sobering speech, expertly delivered. “I take comfort in the fact that at least one person has managed to get all this under one head,” said Goldman Sachs’s Alex Dibelius, who thanked Volker at the end of the dinner.
Volker’s speech provided much fodder for conversation around dessert afterward, though talk soon turned to catching up with old friends and making new acquaintances.
Guests enjoy the reception at Goldman Sachs headquarters.
“It was wonderful to catch up with my fellow Burns alumni and learn what they are up to as well as their continued links to the program, to Germany and to Europe,” said Brian Montopoli, a reporter for CBS.com and a Burns alumnus from 2006. “It’s clear that the opportunities presented by the Burns last not a few months but a lifetime.”
Grants for German Journalists Reporting on Global Health Issues
The Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting is offering grants to German journalists and German news organizations for reporting projects on global health issues. They are particularly interested in funding cross-platform, multimedia reporting projects dealing with water and sanitation, non-communicable diseases, HIV/AIDS and reproductive health issues in the developing world.
The Pulitzer Center is a non-profit journalism organization based in Washington, D.C. Since their founding in 2006, they have been giving grants to journalists to undertake independent reporting projects on important international stories that are sometimes overlooked by news organizations with tight budgets. In the United States, reporting from their grantees has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Time, Newsweek, Foreign Policy, The Atlantic, National Public Radio and Public Broadcasting’s NewsHour. In Britain, this work has appeared in The Guardian and The Economist, among other outlets. They are now hoping to extend their model to Germany and elsewhere in the European Union.
Their grants typically cover the hard costs of reporting the story—travel, hotels and meals, translators, local transport, etc. There are no strings attached to this funding; they exercise no editorial control over what is written. Their agenda is to promote quality journalism on under-reported topics. To learn more about the Pulitzer Center, please visit their website at
www.pulitzercenter.org. If you are interested in applying for a grant, or if you have any questions, please contact senior editor Tom Hundley at
Holbrooke Research Grants - Call for Applications
|Ulrike Langer (Burns 1994) used her Holbrooke Research Grant to report on new business models for the digital media age.
Internationale Journalisten Programme (IJP) and the Arthur F. Burns Fellowships are providing a special opportunity for journalists with a passion for research and storytelling around the globe.
The Holbrooke Research Grants offer stipends of up to €4,000 to as many as 10-15 print, broadcast and new media journalists. Grantees will be selected by an advisory board, including professionals and trustees working in journalism.
The grants were recently renamed to honor Richard Holbrooke and his outstanding service in the field of international relations and specifically the German-American relationship. Holbrooke was an American diplomat, magazine editor, author and investment banker. He served as the U.S. Ambassador to Germany from 1993-1994 and the Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs from 1994-1996. He also helped form the American Academy in Berlin and was its founding chairman. Most recently, he served as the Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan. He died in December 2010. These travel and research grants honor his legacy of cross-cultural exchange and diplomacy.
Who: All IJP and Burns alumni are eligible—both newsroom staffers and freelancers.
What: The grants support ambitious journalism projects including, but not limited to, the global economic crisis. Joint projects between journalists from different countries are encouraged, but individual projects will also be considered. A transatlantic perspective should be part of the project.
When: The deadline is ongoing throughout 2012 until funds are exhausted.
Selection Criteria: When choosing, we consider each candidate’s professional accomplishments and potential; his or her individual and organizational commitment; and the potential impact of the proposed journalistic project. For collaborative projects, each applicant should submit a separate application that incorporates the jointly developed project proposal. Click
here for details on what to submit.
Requirements: The program will only review completed applications endorsed by a news organization. Stories must be published or broadcast within four months of grant award date. Eighty percent of the amount of each grant will be paid at the outset of the project, with the remaining 20 percent to be paid upon publication or broadcast. Applicants are expected to join
ijpcommunity.org, a new web 2.0 Community for IJP alumni and the official web site for the grants.
Sponsored by: The Holbrooke Research Grants are financed by contributions from Goldman Sachs and the Ford Foundation. Additional funding comes from the transatlantic program of the Federal Republic of Germany with funding from the European Recovery Program (ERP) of the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology (BMWi).
The Arthur F. Burns Fellowship News is published four times a year by the International Center for Journalists.
Burns Program Staff:
Frank-Dieter Freiling, Director, IJP
Emily Schult, Program Manager, ICFJ
Maia Curtis, ICFJ Consultant
Leigh Burke, Burns Fundraising Consultant
Named in honor of the late former U.S. ambassador to the Federal Republic of Germany and former Federal Reserve Board chairman, the Arthur F. Burns Fellowship Program fosters greater understanding of German–U.S. relations among future leaders of the news media.
The Burns program was established in 1988 in Germany by the Internationale Journalisten-Programme (formerly the Initiative Jugendpresse) and was originally designed for young German journalists. In 1990, the fellowship expanded to include American journalists, making it a true exchange.
Each year 20 outstanding journalists from the United States and Germany are awarded an opportunity to report from and travel in each other’s countries. The program offers 10 young print and broadcast journalists from each country the opportunity to share professional expertise with their colleagues across the Atlantic while working as “foreign correspondents” for their hometown news organizations.
Fellows work as part-time staff members at host newspapers, magazines and radio and television stations. In addition to covering local news, fellows report on events for their employers back home, while learning more about their host country and its media.
This competitive program is open to U.S. and German journalists who are employed by a newspaper, news magazine, broadcast station or news agency, and to freelancers. Applicants must have demonstrated journalistic talent and a strong interest in U.S.–European affairs. German language proficiency is not required, but is encouraged.
1616 H Street, NW, Third Floor
Washington, D.C. 20006
The Burns Fellowship program is
administered jointly by:
Dr. Frank-Dieter Freiling
Once again, we are in the process of selecting the new fellows for 2012. This will be the 25th class of fellows, a quarter century of this German-American exchange! We will be celebrating this anniversary all year, so I hope you will attend as many of the alumni events as possible. We really encourage you to reconnect with Burns and be part of the alumni family that is ever expanding.
We started the celebrations with the New York Alumni Dinner on February 21. A San Francisco Dinner will follow in early June, and the Berlin Dinner will be held on June 6. At the end of July, the usual reception at the German ambassador’s residence in Washington will be expanded to a Burns Alumni Dinner to give everyone a chance to meet the new class of fellows.
This year, we will offer alumni trips for German alumni, to attend the Republican Party Convention for example. We have also increased funding for the Holbrooke Research Grants, which are available to all Burns alumni for transatlantic reporting not financed by your home media.
In addition to this newsletter and the usual emails about events, we have a closed Facebook page called “
Arthur F. Burns.” If you are on Facebook and have not yet joined, please ask to join. We want to make sure we can reach you in many different and effective ways to keep you informed about events and opportunities.
Twenty-five classes of Burns fellows is quite an assembly of journalism excellence and thanks to you all, the alumni network is more active and vibrant than ever. Stay involved and keep it that way! It’s been a pleasure having you all with us over the years and we look forward to many more years and classes of Burns fellows to come!
All the best and see you soon,
Douglas Blackmon left The Wall Street Journal as their senior national correspondent to take an academic post at the University of Virginia (UVA) and to cover politics for The Washington Post as a contributing editor. At UVA, he will be a lecturer in media studies and chairman of the Miller Center Forum. His book Slavery by Another Name, which won a Pulitzer Prize in 2009, premiered as a documentary at this year’s Sundance Film Festival.
Please see Nikolaus Blome’s joint listing under 2004.
Cordula Meyer and Markus Verbeet (Burns 2003), are now jointly in charge of the Deutschland department at the weekly Der Spiegel, along with head Alfred Weinzierl. Since February 1, Adrienne Woltersdorf has served as the new country director of the German political foundation the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung in Kabul, Afghanistan. Her husband, Cem Sey, is working as a freelance correspondent from Kabul. If anyone needs articles, interviews or simply information on Afghanistan, please contact them.
Katja Ridderbusch Bauser, after living in Atlanta for many years, now has joint citizenship, and continues to work as a freelance journalist there.
In January 2012, Oliver Becker accompanied German police officers as part of UNMISS on a fact finding mission to the Republic of South Sudan, bordering Ethiopia.
They were investigating the number of casualties from ethnic clashes in the region. Oliver reported on the trip in an article for the Schweriner Volkszeitung. He will also publish a video clip in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung’s multimedia and politics section. He will be returning to South Sudan soon to produce an in-depth documentary on “Sports for Peace.” Silvia Feist was appointed deputy editor-in-chief for the magazine Emotion. Mary Ore has left Architectural Digest and is now working freelance. Peter Riesbeck will move from Berlin to Brussels in May to work as a political correspondent for Berliner Zeitung and Frankfurter Rundschau. Prior to this, he worked as head of the combined news desk for both papers in Berlin.
Megan Mulligan moved to Boulder, CO, at the end of January to become editor-in-chief of SNEWS, an outdoor and fitness publishing outlet.
Please see Markus Verbeet’s joint listing under 1998.
Stephan Haselberger will leave the daily Tagesspiegel to become co-chief, along with Nikolaus Blome (Burns 1993), of the capital bureau of the daily Bild. After nearly three years of covering South Africa for Bloomberg BNA, Paul Stinson will move to Cologne in June or July, where he will continue working for Bloomberg BNA. He will cover the European Central Bank, labor/unions (IGMetall), United Nations developments from Bonn, pharmaceuticals (and possibly biotech), infrastructure and U.S. trade.
Fred Pleitgen received much attention for his work as a correspondent for CNN with his documentary “Death in the Desert.” He reported on refugees from Sudan and Eritrea who get kidnapped and often killed on their flight across the Sinai while trying to reach Israel.
Florian Gathmann had a son, Anton Nikolaus, in December.
Damaso Reyes was recently awarded a 2012 Knight Luce Fellowship for Reporting on Global Religion from the University of Southern California - Annenberg. He will investigate the growth of European Pentecostalism led by immigrants from former European colonies. Reporting from Spain, England and Ukraine, Reyes will examine how Charismatic faiths are growing while traditional European Christian religious observance continues to decline. Peter Wagner had a daughter, Ida, seven months ago. Her godfather is James Hagengruber (Burns 2002), who hosted Peter in Spokane, WA, during his fellowship. James is now a diplomat in Sarajevo.
Johannes Boie co-heads the digital production of Süddeutsche Zeitung for iPads in Munich. Steffi Dobmeier became the managing editor of die tageszeitung in Berlin this past November. Henning Engelage is the proud new father of son Simon Leonardo. Since November, he has been an editor at the media magazine epd Medien out of Frankfurt. Andreas Grosse Halbuer left the business magazine Capital to become a reporter at the daily Financial Times Deutschland, based in Hamburg. He also recently wed his longtime girlfriend. Christian Salewski has extended his assignment as a reporter in the Agenda section at G+J Wirtschaft in Hamburg.
Catherine Cheney now works as a reporter for World Politics Review.
San Francisco Alumni Dinner:
(Exact date TBA)
Berlin Alumni Dinner:
June 6, 2012
(Exact date TBA)
German Ambassador's Residence
July 24 - Sept. 30, 2012
U.S. Trustees (2010-2013)
Patron: The Honorable Dr. Peter Ammon, German Ambassador to the United States
Joyce Barnathan, President, International Center for Journalists (ICFJ)
Elizabeth Becker, Journalist and Author
Albert Behler, President and CEO, Paramount Group, Inc.
Amb. J.D. Bindenagel, Vice President, Community, Government and International Affairs, DePaul University
Rebecca Blumenstein, Deputy Managing Editor and International Editor, The Wall Street Journal
Marcus W. Brauchli, Executive Editor, The Washington Post
Amb. Richard Burt, Senior Advisor, McLarty Associates (Honorary Chairman)
Dr. Martin Bussmann, Mannheim LLC
Nikhil Deogun, Managing Editor, CNBC
David W. Detjen, Partner, Alston & Bird LLP
Dr. Hans-Ulrich Engel, CFO, BASF SE; Chairman and CEO, BASF Corporation
Dr. Frank-Dieter Freiling, Director, Internationale Journalisten Programme, e.V. (IJP)
Prof. Dr. Ronald Frohne, President and CEO, GWFF USA, Inc.
James F. Hoge, Jr., Director, Human Rights Watch (Honorary Chairman)
Robert M. Kimmitt, Senior International Counsel, WilmerHale
The Honorable Henry A. Kissinger, Chairman, Kissinger Associates
Christian Lange, CEO, President and Co-Founder, European Investors Inc.
The Honorable Frank E. Loy, Former Under Secretary of State for Global Affairs (Chairman)
Sen. Richard G. Lugar, United States Senator
Kati Marton, Author and Journalist
Wolfgang Pordzik, Executive Vice President, Corporate Public Policy, DHL North America
John F. W. Rogers, Managing Director, Goldman, Sachs & Co.
Garrick Utley, President, Levin Institute, SUNY
Stanford S. Warshawsky, Chairman, Bismarck Capital, LLC (Vice Chairman)
Legal Advisor: Phillip C. Zane, Attorney at Law, Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz
German Trustees (2010-2013)
Patron: The Honorable Philip D. Murphy, U.S. Ambassador to Germany
Erik Bettermann, Director-General, Deutsche Welle
Prof. Dr. Reinhard Bettzuege, Former German Ambassador to Brussels
Dr. Martin Blessing, CEO, Commerzbank AG
Prof. Maria Böhmer, State Minister, Member of Parliament, CDU/CSU
Tom Buhrow, Anchorman, ARD
Sabine Christiansen, Journalist, TV21 Media
Dr. Mathias Döpfner, CEO, Axel Springer AG
Thomas Ellerbeck, Chairman, Vodafone Foundation
Leonhard F. Fischer, Partner, RHJI Swiss Management
Dr. Rüdiger Frohn, Chairman, Stiftung Mercator
Emilio Galli-Zugaro, Head Group Communications, Allianz Group
Dr. Tessen von Heydebreck, Former Member of the Board, Deutsche Bank AG (Honorary Chairman)
Dr. Werner Hoyer, State Minister, Foreign Office, FDP
Dr. Luc Jochimsen, Member of Parliament, Die Linke
Dr. Torsten-Jörn Klein, Board member, Gruner + Jahr AG
Rob Meines, Meines & Partners, The Hague
Kerstin Müller, Former State Minister, Member of Parliament, Buendnis 90/Die Grünen
Rainer Neske, Board Member, Deutsche Bank (Chairman)
Dagmar Reim, Director General, Rundfunk Berlin-Brandenburg
Prof. Markus Schächter, Former Director-General, ZDF German TV
Helmut Schäfer, Former State Minister, Foreign Office (Honorary Chairman)
Monika Schaller, Senior Vice President, Goldman, Sachs & Co.
Steffen Seibert, Government Spokesman
Dr. Frank Walter Steinmeier, Former Foreign Minister, Chair of the SPD Parliamentary Group
Tobias Trevisan, CEO, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
Lord George Weidenfeld, Former CEO, Weidenfeld & Nicolson
The Arthur F. Burns Board of Trustees in the United States and Germany acknowledges with gratitude the support of the following organizations and individuals who have made the 2012 Arthur F. Burns program possible.
Sponsors in the U.S.
Alston & Bird, LLP
Robert Bosch Stiftung
The Capital Group Companies Charitable Foundation
DHL North America
European Investors, Inc.
The Ford Foundation
The German Marshall Fund of the United States
Goldman, Sachs & Co.
GWFF USA, Inc.
The Ladenburg Foundation
Paramount Group, Inc.
The Hon. J.D. Bindenagel
Dr. Martin Bussmann
John and Gina Despres
The Hon. Frank E. Loy
Stanford S. Warshawsky
Sponsors in Germany
Bundesministerium für Familie, Senioren, Frauen und Jugend
Deutsche Bank AG
European Recovery Program (ERP), Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology
Goldman, Sachs & Co.