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Archive of Selected Past Events

March 10: Ambassador Emerson visits School in Berlin-Lichtenberg

Ambassador Emerson answers questions from students of the Johann-Gottfried-Herder Gymnasium in Berlin-Lichtenberg

Ambassador Emerson answers questions from students of the Johann-Gottfried-Herder Gymnasium in Berlin-Lichtenberg

On March 10, 2015, Ambassador Emerson visited the Johann-Gottfried-Herder Gymnasium in Berlin-Lichtenberg, on invitation by Dr. Martin Pätzold, MdB. After being received with hot Brazilian beats from the percussion group “Bateria Brincadeira” and a welcome by some student participants in the school’s GAPP exchange with a partner school in Texas, he sat down for a very intense discussion with approx. 300 students from the upper grades. We thank all those involved for your hospitality, the outstanding organization and for the excellent and critical questions. A special thank-you to Antonia, Alina and Julia for the wonderful greeting and introduction and to Janina and Christopher for the professional moderation! It was a perfect morning!

If you are interested in learning more about the GAPP program you can find further information at this link:

March: Teacher seminars

  • Ramona Curry, University of Illinois, Urbana:
    The U.S., Immigration and Diversity in the 21st Century
    Tuesday, March 10, 2015, 15:00-17:30
  • Annual Chemnitz Teacher Training Seminar in American Studies coordinated by the U.S. Embassy Berlin and the Consulate General Leipzig
    The U.S., Immigration and Diversity in the 21st century Wednesday, March 11, 2015
  • Teach about the USA
    Annual Rostock In-Service Training for English Teachers
    The U.S., Immigration and Diversity in the 21st Century
    Friday, March 13, 2015

March 10 – 11: International G7 Stakeholder Conference: Promoting decent work worldwide through sustainable supply chains

March 11: Amy Bloom reading at the English Theatre Berlin

Full house at the ETB for the Amy Bloom reading

Full house at the ETB for the Amy Bloom reading

RBB Moderator Jörg Thadeusz introduced American writer Amy Bloom and her new novel Lucky Us to a full house at the English Theatre Berlin.  Actress Milena Karas read from the German translation Wir Glücklichen (Hoffmann & Campe).  Amy Bloom’s portrayal of ordinary life in the United States in the 1940s captivated the audience, which included more than 60 Berlin area high school students and their teachers.

March: Park Ranger

Allyson Gantt, United States Park Ranger

Allyson Gantt, United States Park Ranger

A United States National Park ranger, Ms. Allyson Gantt, from the Everglades National Park in Florida, will be visiting Germany from 2-7 March 2015.  The goals of Ranger Allyson’s visit are to inform the German public about the U.S. National Park system and its role in nature conservation and environment protection, to highlight environment-friendly tourism in the U.S., and to support President Obama’s National Tourism and Travel Strategy.  During her visit to Germany, Ranger Allyson will conduct youth outreach programs at area high schools; meet with officials from the Wattenmeer National Park, Sylt to discuss climate change challenges; participate in a roundtable discussion on environmental issues; and promote tourism to U.S. national parks at the ITB Berlin, the leading trade fair for the worldwide travel industry.

March 4-5: Deputy Secretary of State visited Berlin

Dep. Secretary Blinken speaking at the Hertie School

Dep. Secretary Blinken speaking at the Hertie School

Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken visited Berlin March 4-5 to discuss bilateral, regional, and global issues with a number of senior German government officials, including the Chancellor’s Director General for Foreign Security and Development Policy, Christoph Heusgen and Foreign Office State Secretaries Markus Ederer and Stephan Steinlein.  During his trip, he also held a meeting with Bundestag members and opinion leaders at the Körber Stiftung.  As part of his public outreach, Deputy Secretary Blinken spoke to over 200 students and others at the Hertie School of Governance on transatlantic cooperation and the crisis in Ukraine.  Before departing Germany, he gave an interview about US policy on Ukraine and Russia to Deutschlandfunk.  Prior stops on the Deputy Secretary’s first official visit to Europe included France, Moldova, and the United Kingdom; Ukraine was the next and final country to be visited on this trip.

March 5: Goldberg @ Impact Hub

March 2: Reading by Tom Drury, English Theater Berlin

Tom Drury reading from his book

Tom Drury reading from his book "The Driftless Area"

Tom Drury, currently the Mary Ellen von der Heyden Fellow at the American Academy Berlin, read from his 2006 novel The Driftless Area as part of the U.S. Embassy Literature Series.  Felicitas von Lovenberg moderated the session and Helmut Mooshammer read from the German translation Das Stille Land, just published by Klett-Cotta in Germany.  Tom Drury took the audience on a journey to Idaho, the “driftless area” in the mountainous northwest of the United States, and followed his protagonist  Pierre Hunter, “a young bartender with unfailing optimism, a fondness for coin tricks, and an uncanny capacity for finding trouble” (goodreads).  As the Austin Chronicle’s review pointed out, “There's some serious weirdness going on here, but it isn't of an overpowering sort” – and makes readers and listeners curious.

February 27: Cybersecurity

open lecture and a subsequent panel discussion hosted by the European School of Management and Technology (ESMT) in cooperation with the U.S. Embassy in Berlin on the topic of:

Cybersecurity: How To Respond To Growing Threats
on Friday, February 27, 2015, at 18:00 hrs at the ESMT – European School of Management and Technology Schlossplatz 1, 10178 Berlin

Melissa Hathaway Senior Advisor, Project on Technology, Security, and Conflict in the Cyber Age, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University

February 24: A Dialogue with International Venture Capitalists

A Dialogue with International Venture Capitalists:

Is Germany (or Europe) the

Next Big Opportunity for Venture Capital?


Much has been written about the hot startup hubs in Europe; from Berlin to London to Amsterdam to Dublin to Budapest.

But what does Venture Capital truly think about Berlin and Europe as an investment opportunity, particularly for early stage startups?

How can European entrepreneurs tap into the global VC scene?

We have assembled a panel of distinguished investment experts to discuss these topics and more:

  • Dr. Christian G. Nagel, Co-Founder of EarlyBird Venture Capital
  • Michael Treskow, Investment Team, Accel Partners
  • Scott Sage, Partner, DFJ Esprit
  • Praveen Paranjothi, European Investment Fund

The Event is hosted by U.S. AMBASSADOR John B. Emerson

For those who cannot be at the U.S. Embassy, you can watch it from 17:30 to 19:00 at

February 23: Transatlantic Business Forum

Dr. Eric Schweitzer, Ambassador John Emerson, Minister Sigmar Gabriel and Ulrich Grillo

Dr. Eric Schweitzer, Ambassador John Emerson, Minister Sigmar Gabriel and Ulrich Grillo

Ambassador Emerson today delivered welcome remarks on the importance of the Transatlantic Trade & Investment Partnership (T-TIP) to small and medium-sized German businesses at the Transatlantic Business Forum 2015 in Berlin.  Other speakers were Sigmar Gabriel, the Federal Minister of Economic Affairs and Energy, and EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström.  The conference was hosted by the BDI and the DIHK in partnership with the American Chamber of Commerce and the German American Chambers of Commerce.

Ambassador Emerson invites Youth to Exclusive Advance Selma Screening

Ambassador with guests

Ambassador with guests

Days after the international premiere of Selma at the 65th Berlin International Film Festival—the Berlinale—the U.S. Embassy in Berlin organized an exclusive advance screening of the historical drama Selma at the Zoo Palast cinema on February 19. Nearly 250 students from Berlin-based schools and fellows of different organizations, such as the Hertie Foundation and the Deutschlandstiftung Integration, accepted Ambassador Emerson’s invitation. Set during the height of the American Civil Rights movement in 1965, Selma depicts the historic march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama to the state capital of Montgomery to secure voting rights for black people. The movie informed the audience about a defining episode in the life of the legendary civil rights campaigner, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. In his remarks, Ambassador Emerson highlighted the recent 50th anniversary of Dr. King’s visit to West and East Berlin in September 1964, and elaborated on the effect this visit had on the citizens of a divided city, Germany, and Europe as a whole. In his interviews to the members of the local, national, and international press, Ambassador Emerson also touched upon the future and made clear that although both U.S. and German societies have made great progress, there is still hatred, intolerance, and discrimination, and films like Selma can serve as a bridge to long-overdue conversations on race, inequality, and injustice in both countries.

Selma was directed by U.S. filmmaker Ava DuVernay and was nominated for two Academy Awards in the categories of “Best Motion Picture of the Year” and “Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures” for the original song “Glory.” Selma won an Oscar in the latter category and the prize was bestowed on John Legend and rapper Common at the 87th Academy Awards on February 22, 2015.

The exclusive preview was made possible by the generous support of the film’s distributor, Studiocanal.

February 10: Berlinale reception

Ambassador and Mrs Emerson with the director Ava DuVernay and Colman Domingo and David Oyelowo from the cast of

Ambassador and Mrs Emerson with the director Ava DuVernay and Colman Domingo and David Oyelowo from the cast of "Selma" More photos

On February 10, 2015, Ambassador and Mrs. Emerson hosted a reception for nearly 350 guests in honor of the American ties to the 65th Berlin International Film Festival (Berlinale), one of the world’s leading film festivals, featuring over 400 films each year. The reception honored the German-American cooperation in the film industry with a focus on those Studio Babelsberg Hollywood productions that have won or have been nominated for Academy awards. Special recognition was given to the film “The Grand Budapest Hotel,” which has been nominated for nine Oscars and to the film “Selma,” which had its international premiere the same evening. The director of “Selma” Ava DuVernay as well as actors David Oyelowo and Colman Domingo were among the guests at the Embassy, as was the entire International Berlinale Festival Jury, including well-known German actor Daniel Brühl and Jury President Darren Aronofsky. Other notables included German actor Christoph Waltz, actresses Sibel Kekilli and Dennenesch Zoudé, German directors Oliver Hirschbiegel and Volker Schlöndorff, African-American-German filmmaker and actor Mo Asumang, Turkish-German award-winning actrress Yasemin Samdereli, and Iranian filmmakers Ayat Najafi and Farhad Payar as well as American chef, activist and author Alice Waters who received the Berlinale Kamera this year. In addition, several members of the Academy of Motion Pictures and representatives of the European Film Market were present. In their remarks, the Ambassador and Mrs. Emerson highlighted the German-American cooperation in the entertainment industry and talked about the history of the Berlinale as a German-American Marshall Plan project.

Feb. 10: Projections of America

invites you to an exclusive screening of PROJECTIONS OF AMERICA
at the COSIMA Cinema on TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 10, at 3:30pm.
Mrs. Emerson will be delivering brief welcome remarks.

The screening includes one of the original WWII propaganda films featured in the documentary - for the first time on a Berlin screen since 1945: The Autobiography of a Jeep

a film by Peter Miller
produced by DOCDAYS Productions

The film addresses an untold World War II story which brings to life the production and distribution of a series of documentary films collectively titled Projections of America. The project was headed up by the Academy Award®-winning Hollywood screenwriter Robert Riskin, whose personal and political journey is the dramatic heart of the story. Teaming up with an improbable collection of brilliant filmmakers – including Josef von Sternberg and John Houseman, as well as many of the giants in the documentary field – Riskin created some of the most indelible images of America ever put to film. But 70 years later, the Projections of America movies have disappeared, hidden away in a government archive.

The Projections of America films were shown exclusively to foreign audiences, many at the point of liberation — and our evidence of their reception points to the fact that the documentaries were welcomed as a breath of fresh air. They calmed and cajoled people to the idea of a different and better world after the war. They were idealistic in that sense yes, and literal in their intent to build post-war institutions led by Allied forces. But they also just showed ordinary people going about their daily lives, working to achieve their goals, striving to make their mark on society. These were very different feelings from much other propaganda through the war that was largely about power, conquest, and denunciation of the enemy. Journalists who finally got to see the films in America in 1944 were so taken with their message that they urged the authorities to show them to home audiences. But they never were.

This special screening includes one of the original WWII propaganda films featured in the documentary: The Autobiography of a Jeep  With friendly support of the Federal Agency for Civic Education the restored film with German subtitles will be screened for the first time since August 1945. The Federal Agency for Civic Education is about to publish ten original films from the collection later this year.

February 6–8: Munich Security Conference

Vice President Biden speaking at the Munich Security Conference

Vice President Biden speaking at the Munich Security Conference

One of the central topics debated at the 51st Munich Security Conference (MSC) was the crisis in Ukraine and its impact on Europe’s security architecture.  Adding some drama to the event was Chancellor Merkel’s and President Hollande’s February 4-5 visits to Kyiv and Moscow, with another round of talks in Minsk scheduled for February 11.  Other key issues discussed at length were the situation in the Middle East, the fight against terrorism, the global refuges crisis, and climate change.  American officials attending included Vice President Joe Biden, who spoke on February 7, and Secretary John Kerry, who took part in a panel discussion on February 8 with French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius and German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier.  US officials from the Departments of State and Defense, plus other agencies, took part in a dizzying number of bilateral, trilateral, and multilateral meetings and various other events during the conference.  A large delegation from the U.S. Congress also participated in MSC2015. 

Before the official opening, 160 people took part in a youth event on February 5 entitled “Privacy, Security, and You!” which included the US State Department’s Cyber Coordinator Chris Painter among others.

February 4: FRUIT LOGISTICA Remains a Successful Global Showcase for U.S. Exhibitors

Ambassador John B. Emerson visited the USA Pavilion at the 23nd annual FRUIT LOGISTICA trade show in Berlin. FRUIT LOGISTICA is the world’s largest trade show for fruits and vegetables. Over the course of three days, the show attracts over 64,000 trade visitors from 141 countries. Nearly 30 companies from the United States exhibit their products and services at the USA Pavilion, ranging from apples, pears, cherries, dates, blueberries, mangos, olives citrus, pistachios, pomegranates, sweet potatoes, and dried fruits to services and products related to fruit trade.

February: Black History is America’s History: Celebrating Black History Month in Berlin

Dr. Layli Maparyan, the Katherine Stone Kaufmann ’67 Executive Director of the Wellesley Centers for Women and Professor of Africana Studies at Wellesley College engaged with diverse youth groups in Berlin on January 27 to discuss the meaning of Black History Month and how it can cultivate social change leadership, not only in the U.S. but also around the world.

“Our differences make us stronger, and everyone has the agency and authority to make a positive difference in the world,“ Dr. Maparyan told a group of young activists who came together at the U.S. Embassy Berlin to discuss how to build cultures of inclusion as part of the Embassy’s celebration of Black History Month.  The diverse group of young leaders, from the Deutschlandstiftung Integration, Zahnräder Netzwerk, JUMA (Young/Muslim/Active), and the Young Transatlantic Initiative, discussed their community projects and the reconciliation methods introduced my Dr. Maparyan during her talk.

Sponsored by the U.S. Embassy Berlin, Dr. Maparyan also delivered a scholarly lecture and engaged in a discussion with students and faculty of the John F. Kennedy Institute at the Free University.  Within the framework of a “womanism” praxis, Dr. Maparyan outlined non-oppositional problem solving tools and illustrated how simple, personal acts can create amity and inclusion from the personal all the way up to the institutional level.