American Academy in Berlin

The American Academy in Berlin is a research and cultural institution in Berlin whose stated mission is to foster a greater understanding and dialogue between the people of the United States and the people of Germany. The American Academy was founded in September 1994 by a group of prominent Americans and Germans, among them Richard Holbrooke, Henry Kissinger, Richard von Weizsäcker, Fritz Stern, and Otto Graf Lambsdorff. It opened in 1998. The organization is funded by private donations, with support coming from individuals as well as corporations and foundations on both sides of the Atlantic. The German weekly magazine Der Spiegel has called the Academy “the world's most important center for American intellectual life outside the US.”[1]

The American Academy in Berlin is located in the Hans Arnhold Center in a villa on the shores of the Wannsee, a lake within the identically-named district in the southwestern part of Berlin. It was the home of banker and cultural leader Hans Arnhold and his family before they were forced to immigrate to the United States in the 1930s. It was then appropriated and occupied by Walther Funk, the Minister of Economics of the Third Reich and later president of the Reichsbank. After the Arnhold family regained ownership, the villa was sold to the Federal Republic of Germany in 1958. Being located in the American Sector of occupied Berlin, after World War II, it had various uses, including as a U.S. Army recreation center until departure of American military forces from reunified Berlin in 1994. The American Academy in Berlin also maintains an office in New York City.

The American Academy is a unique mixture of academic research institute and center for public dialogue. Each year, the Academy's independent search committee nominates twelve or more Fellows from among American scholars, who are in residence for four to six months. Each pursues a research project related to the work of the Academy. Each is also expected to present a public lecture on his or her work. The Academy also invites short term distinguished visitors to lecture and engage in dialogue with Berliners. Several hundred fellows have served since the Academy formally opened its doors in 1998.


Berlin Prize Fellowship

The American Academy in Berlin awards the Berlin Prize Fellowship to Americans in the fields of arts, literature, humanities, politics, economics, law, and composition. Usually 12 fellows are in residence at the Hans Arnhold Center for one academic semester. The Berlin Prize includes a monthly stipend, partial board, and residence at the Academy’s Hans Arnhold Center. In addition, the organization hosts short-term visiting Americans from a variety of disciplines and professions. Past Distinguished Visitors include Paul Krugman, James Wolfensohn, Tom Daschle, Samuel Nunn, and Justice Stephen Breyer.

Past Berlin Prize Fellows

The current class of fellows[2]
Past fellows
Past Distinguished Visitors

Henry A. Kissinger Prize

Since 2007 the Henry A. Kissinger Prize has been awarded annually to a European or American who has made a lasting contribution to bettering the transatlantic relationship. Previous recipients of the prize are former German chancellor Helmut Schmidt (2007); 41st President of the United States of America George H. W. Bush (2008); former President of the Federal Republic of Germany Richard von Weizsäcker (2009); New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg (2010); former German chancellor Helmut Kohl (2011); former US Secretary of State George P. Shultz (2012); founder of the Munich Security Conference Ewald-Heinrich von Kleist (2013); former US Secretary of State James A. Baker, III (2014); former President of Italy Giorgio Napolitano and former Federal Foreign Minister and Vice Chancellor of Germany Hans-Dietrich Genscher (2015); former US Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power (2016)[3]; Germany’s former Federal Minister of Finance Wolfgang Schäuble (2017)[4]; and US Sentator John McCain (2018)[5].


The American Academy's house magazine, The Berlin Journal,[6] contains a range of articles, opinion pieces, fiction, art, and poetry by fellows and distinguished visitors.

Richard C. Holbrooke Forum

The Richard C. Holbrooke Forum brings together international scholars, policy experts, and government officials in a series of workshops to discuss some of the most intractable problems in modern diplomacy. Its core themes are: Statecraft and Values; Enduring Crisis of Governance; Dynamics of Transformation; and Securing the Peace: Post-Conflict Coexistence and Reconciliation.

See also


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