AGI News

Dr. Nikolas Stihl Receives Global Leadership Award

Building a Smarter German-American Partnership

New York, NY, June 13, 2024 – The American-German Institute at Johns Hopkins University (AGI) honored Dr. Nikolas Stihl, Chairman of the Advisory Board and Supervisory Board at STIHL, with its 2024 Global Leadership Award at a gala dinner on June 12 in New York. The award recognizes Dr. Stihl’s enduring positive influence on the German-American partnership as STIHL marks the 50th anniversary of its manufacturing presence in the United States. 

For over ten years, Dr. Nikolas Stihl has chaired the advisory and supervisory boards of the STIHL Group, setting the company’s path for worldwide growth and a strengthened position in the United States. As the grandson of the founder of STIHL, Dr. Stihl embodies the qualities of German economic engagement—tradition and innovation—that have made the STIHL presence in the United States such a success. 

“Through Dr. Nikolas Stihl’s leadership, STIHL has continued to succeed in a challenging international environment through innovation and investment in sustainable and future-focused technology. STIHL is an example of the best of German-American economic cooperation,” said Martin Richenhagen, Chairman of the AGI Board of Trustees. Dr. Stihl joins AGI’s list of distinguished Global Leadership Award recipients.

Since its founding almost 100 years ago, STIHL has grown from a one-man business into the world’s top-selling chainsaw brand. For fifty years, this growth has included significant investments in American manufacturing in Virginia Beach, Virginias, creating thousands of jobs across the United States. The impact that STIHL has made on global markets and the transatlantic economic relationship is the result of foresight and vision on the part of the Stihl family.

“As the leader of a global brand with deep roots in Germany and a 50-year presence in the United States, it is an honor to be recognized by the only research institute in the United States that focuses exclusively on the German-American relationship,” said Dr. Stihl.

Sponsors of the 29th Global Leadership Award Dinner include among others Accenture, Bryan Equipment, Crader Distributing Company, Commerzbank, Gregory Welteroth Advertising, McGuireWoods LLP, PowerChord Inc., Red Letter Communications, STIHL Southeast, and STIHL Southwest. Chuck Leavell, principal keyboardist and musical director for the Rolling Stones, provided the entertainment. The cocktail hour featured STIHL TIMBERSPORTS® athletes and displays.

AGI inaugurated the Global Leadership Award in 1994 as part of the Institute’s mission to strengthen ties between the United States and Germany. The Award recognizes the achievements of business and government leaders who have advanced the transatlantic partnership. Germany is a key partner of the United States in its most important international relationships: in transatlantic trade, within the NATO security alliance, and beyond. 


The American-German Institute (AGI) is a nonprofit, non-partisan policy research center affiliated with Johns Hopkins University and dedicated to deepening understanding of the challenges facing Germany and the United States in a broader global arena. Based in Washington, DC, AGI focuses exclusively on the most pressing issues at stake for Germany and the United States. With in-depth policy expertise and understanding of both countries, AGI collaborates with the public sector, corporate leaders, and other research centers to deliver timely analysis and recommendations that help anticipate trends, reduce risk, and positively influence policy choices.

The STIHL Group develops, manufactures, and distributes outdoor power equipment for professional forestry and agriculture as well as for garden and landscape maintenance, the construction sector and residential users. The product range is complemented by digital solutions and services. Products are distributed by 120 importers and more than 55,000 servicing dealers in over 160 countries – including more than 10,000 authorized local STIHL Dealers in the U.S. STIHL has manufacturing operations in seven countries: Germany, USA, Brazil, Switzerland, Austria, China and in the Philippines. Since 1971 STIHL has been the world’s top-selling chainsaw brand. In the U.S., STIHL is the number one selling brand of battery and gasoline-powered handheld outdoor power equipment among landscape and tree care professionals in America1 and the number one selling brand of gasoline-powered handheld outdoor power equipment in America2. The company was founded in 1926 and is based in Waiblingen near Stuttgart. In 2023, the STIHL Group achieved a worldwide sales volume of 5.27 billion euros with a workforce of 19,805.

1“Number one selling brand” is based on 2007-2022 syndicated and commissioned surveys and 2023 surveys conducted by Irwin Broh Research of the U.S. professional landscaper and tree care markets. 2“Number one selling brand” is based on syndicated and commissioned surveys conducted by Irwin Broh Research among U.S. professional landscapers, as well as independent consumer research of 2009-2022 U.S. sales and market share data for the gasoline-powered handheld outdoor power equipment category combined sales to consumers and commercial landscapers. 

For more information contact:

Elizabeth Hotary
Communications Officer