AGI News

American-German Institute Mourns Loss of Founding Executive Director Gerry Livingston

Building a Smarter German-American Partnership

The American-German Institute was saddened to learn of the passing of Robert Gerald Livingston, our first Executive Director. Gerry was an outstanding figure in American foreign affairs across seven decades, a true legend in German-American relations, and a role model for so many in his varied service to the transatlantic relationship. He was 95 years old.

Alongside Johns Hopkins President Steve Muller, Gerry founded the American Institute for Contemporary German Studies in 1983 and served as our executive director until 1994. Gerry had previously been President of the German Marshall Fund, which followed a nearly twenty-year career in the U.S. diplomatic service. He earned his Bachelor’s (1952), Master’s (1953), and Doctoral (1959) degrees at Harvard, after enlisting in the U.S. Army in the immediate aftermath of World War II. Even after stepping down from his positions at the Institute in the 1990s, Gerry continued his intellectual contributions to our work, writing frequently on German-American relations until he was nearly 90. Gerry recounted some of his experiences in foreign affairs in an oral history with the Association for Diplomatic Studies and Training, which provides fascinating insights into his life and career.

“Gerry Livingston created a lasting legacy for our Institute and for the transatlantic community,” said AGI President Jeff Rathke. “We draw continuous inspiration from his creativity and dedication and are proud to carry on the work that Gerry and Steve Muller began forty years ago.”

On behalf of the Board, the staff, and the entire AGI family, we offer our condolences to Gerry’s family and loved ones.