A Message from the Director
Under President Joe Biden, the transatlantic partnership promises to turn a corner and rebuild the alliance between Europe and the United States that historically connected our regions. The beginning of a broad vaccination campaign to stem the Covid-19 pandemic, too, offers glimpses of a possible return to calmer times and economic recovery. And yet, the past year has also thrown a stark light on the frightening fragility of our democracies and the deep inequalities marring affluent societies on both sides of the Atlantic. The unfolding climate crises around the world have only added to the sense of urgency in tackling complex global problems. The BMW Center has responded to the challenges of the past year in our teaching, our events programming, and in collaborations with our trusty networks in DC and beyond. We have prioritized supporting our students, retrained ourselves to communicate in an exclusively virtual environment, and sought out new partnerships.
Our rich events program on the topic of “Green Europe” grappled with the issues of human impact on the environment, and human responsibility for combating climate change. We collaborated with the American Institute for Contemporary German Studies on panels related to the US Presidential election in 2020 and the German Parliamentary election of 2021. In addition, we have grappled with matters of racial justice and continue to do so through both public events and internal reviews. We join our sister programs and institutes in the Walsh School of Foreign Service in committing to global antiracism and are pleased to partner with the new Vice Dean on diversity, equity, and inclusion, Scott Taylor, to ensure that Center is a welcoming and safe community equipping future leaders for a pluralistic world.
Support in difficult times has come from old stalwarts and new friends, from the German Academic Exchange Service, the French Embassy, BMW, the Endesa Foundation, and the Joachim Herz Foundation. We are grateful to our Advisory Council, which has provided sound and sage advice. And we very much look forward to the arrival of two new colleagues, DAAD Professor Thomas Zimmer and Ambassador Peter Wittig in Spring 2021—welcome!
In closing, I want to thank the Center’s very capable and fun-loving staff, my colleagues in the Master’s Program of German and European Studies, as well as alumni and students, for making the Center such an inspiring community.
Graf Goltz Professor and Director
BMW Center for German and European Studies
Walsh School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University