Episode 43: Living the American-German Relationship—A Conversation with Martin Richenhagen

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.



Martin Richenhagen

Chairman, AGI Board of Trustees

On this episode of The Zeitgeist, our guest is Prof. Dr. Martin Richenhagen, Chairman of the AGI Board of Trustees and former CEO of the American agricultural machinery manufacturer AGCO Corporation. AGI president Jeff Rathke and Dr. Richenhagen discuss his recent book, “Der Amerika-Flüsterer: Mein Weg vom deutschen Religionslehrer zum US-Topmanager” (The America Whisperer: My Journey from Religion Teacher to U.S. Executive). Dr. Richenhagen recalls his roots in postwar Cologne and the character traits that contributed to his long and successful career in the United States. As a prominent proponent of strong German-American ties, Dr. Richenhagen shares his views on the transatlantic relationship and corporate responsibility as well as his outlook for this year’s German federal election.


Jeff Rathke, President, AGI


Martin Richenhagen, Chairman of AGI Board of Trustees

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