New Policy Priorities for the Transatlantic Partnership

Kirsten Verclas

ORISE Science and Technology Policy Fellow

Kirsten Verclas is an ORISE Science and Technology Policy Fellow. Previously, she was a Program Manager in the International Department of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) working on regulatory partnerships in Africa under a NARUC-U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Cooperative Agreement. Before coming to NARUC, Ms. Verclas was a Senior Program Manager at the American Institute for Contemporary German Studies (AICGS) at Johns Hopkins University, where she managed the Institute’s grant projects. She initially joined AICGS as Executive Assistant in 2003 and started working in the Institute’s Research Program in 2008. Ms. Verclas has written extensively on energy and climate as well as security policy in the transatlantic context. She holds a BA in International Relations with a Minor in Economics from Franklin and Marshall College and an MA in International Relations with a concentration in Security Studies from The Elliott School at The George Washington University. She also earned an MS in Energy Policy and Climate from Johns Hopkins University in August 2013.

She is a 2017-2018 participant in AICGS’ project “A German-American Dialogue of the Next Generation: Global Responsibility, Joint Engagement,” sponsored by the Transatlantik-Programm der Bundesrepublik Deutschland aus Mitteln des European Recovery Program (ERP) des Bundesministeriums für Wirtschaft und Energie (BMWi).

More than twenty-five years after the end of the Cold War, the United States and Germany remain close political and economic allies. However, personal ties between the two allies have diminished. In Germany, favorable opinions of the United States are at an all-time low. On the other side of the Atlantic, the United States is focusing more on Asia and criticizes Europe—and especially Germany—for not stepping up to its leadership role on pressing policy issues from the European Union’s economic crisis to EU-Russian relations. While Washington and Berlin will never agree on all policy issues, several US and German policy objectives could be aligned, providing a basis for increased cooperation. This would allow the two allies to renew personal ties and develop a mutual understanding of each other’s internal policy goals and constraints—strengthening the US-German relationship in the process. Continue reading at the Atlantic Council’s blog here.

Kirsten Verclas is a Senior Program Officer in the International Department of the National Association of Regulatory Utilities (NARUC), where she works on capacity building programs with African energy regulators at the regional and bilateral levels.  Ms. Verclas writes on energy issues in the transatlantic context as a Nonresident Fellow at Johns Hopkins University’s American-German Institute (AGI), and as participant in the Atlantic Council’s Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security’s US-German Next Generation Project. The views expressed in this article are the author’s alone, and do not represent the views of NARUC or AGI.

The views expressed are those of the author(s) alone. They do not necessarily reflect the views of the American-German Institute.