The Arthur F. Burns Fellowship Program was established in 1988 in Germany by the Internationale Journalisten-Programme and was originally designed for young German journalists. In 1990, the fellowship expanded to include American journalists, making it a true exchange program. In 2013 it expanded to include Canadian journalists].Named in honor of the late former U.S. ambassador to the Federal Republic of Germany and former Federal Reserve Board chairman, the program fosters greater understanding of German-U.S./Canadian relations among future leaders of the news media. The program is administered jointly by the International Center for Journalists in Washington, D.C., and the Internationale Journalisten-Programme (IJP) in Konigstein, Germany.
The U.S. portion of The Arthur F. Burns Fellowship Program is funded exclusively by donations from individuals and private-sector corporations and foundations. A board of trustees presently headed by former The Washington Post Executive Editor Marcus Brauchli oversees fundraising and other program activities. Costs for the German participants are paid for by grants from German corporations, government agencies and international foundations.
One German and one North American current or former fellow are selected each year for the Arthur F. Burns journalism prize in the amount of €2,000 for the best published print or broadcast segment. Additionally, the George F. Kennan Award for best commentary on transatlantic relations is awarded annually in the amount of €2,000.