Episode 29: German-American Relations in 2020

Jeffrey Rathke

Jeff Rathke

President of AGI

Jeffrey Rathke is the President of the American Institute for Contemporary German Studies at the Johns Hopkins University in Washington, DC.

Prior to joining AICGS, Jeff was a senior fellow and deputy director of the Europe Program at CSIS, where his work focused on transatlantic relations and U.S. security and defense policy. Jeff joined CSIS in 2015 from the State Department, after a 24-year career as a Foreign Service Officer, dedicated primarily to U.S. relations with Europe. He was director of the State Department Press Office from 2014 to 2015, briefing the State Department press corps and managing the Department's engagement with U.S. print and electronic media. Jeff led the political section of the U.S. Embassy in Kuala Lumpur from 2011 to 2014. Prior to that, he was deputy chief of staff to the NATO Secretary General in Brussels. He also served in Berlin as minister-counselor for political affairs (2006–2009), his second tour of duty in Germany. His Washington assignments have included deputy director of the Office of European Security and Political Affairs and duty officer in the White House Situation Room and State Department Operations Center.

Mr. Rathke was a Weinberg Fellow at Princeton University (2003–2004), winning the Master’s in Public Policy Prize. He also served at U.S. Embassies in Dublin, Moscow, and Riga, which he helped open after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Mr. Rathke has been awarded national honors by Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, as well as several State Department awards. He holds an M.P.P. degree from Princeton University and B.A. and B.S. degrees from Cornell University. He speaks German, Russian, and Latvian.



Peter Beyer

Coordinator of Tranatlantic Cooperation

Peter Beyer, MdB, is the Coordinator of Transatlantic Cooperation in the German Federal Foreign Office (since 2018) and a Member of the Bundestag from the CDU (since 2009).

On this episode of The Zeitgeist, Peter Beyer, Member of the Bundestag and Coordinator of Transatlantic Cooperation in the German Federal Foreign Office, talks with Jeff Rathke about the broad issues facing the German-American relationship today. They cover topics ranging from the defense relationship between Germany and the U.S., to economic relations and economic diplomacy, including sanctions, to China and 5G, to the broader relationship between Americans and Germans, whether students, travelers, or of shared heritage. It is a conversation that reflects how broad and deep the German-American relationship is, and reflects insights from one of the top advocates for and experts on the partnership on the German side.

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Jeff Rathke, President, AGI


Peter Beyer, MdB, Coordinator of Transatlantic Cooperation, German Federal Foreign Office

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