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40th Anniversary of the ACG Fellowships

2016 marks the 40th Anniversary of the American Council on Germany’s Fellowships Program. With over 1100 participants, the fellowships have become a cornerstone of the ACG.

The foundation of the ACG’s Fellowships was built in the White House Rose Garden, when ACG founding Chairman John J. McCloy was honored by German Federal Walter Scheel on his 80th birthday. With President Gerald R. Ford and Secretary of State Dr. Henry A. Kissinger looking on, President Scheel paid tribute to Mr. McCloy’s work as a soldier, statesman, lawyer, banker, and former U.S. High Commissioner for Germany by awarding a generous grant that would become the John J. McCloy Fund of the American Council on Germany. The Fund’s purpose was “to further exchanges between the United States and the Federal Republic of Germany and meetings of important social groups not included in existing programs” and to honor Mr. McCloy.

The following year, in 1976, the ACG launched the McCloy Fellowship program with the hopes of giving young American and German professionals an opportunity to broaden their professional experiences and to establish working relationships with their transatlantic counterparts. From the outset, the fellowships were designed for promising young people who have demonstrated outstanding talent and show promise of professional leadership.

The McCloy Fellowships have taken several shapes in their 40-year history. Ranging from month-long independent research trips to group leadership missions, more than 1,100 people from the fields of journalism, agriculture, the arts, environmental policy, government, labor, and urban affairs have participated in the exchanges.

Since the McCloy Fellowships’ founding, the ACG has had the opportunity to expand its fellowship offerings thanks to additional donors. In 1997, the ACG launched the Anna-Maria and Stephen M. Kellen Fellowship for Berlin-based journalists. This fellowship, made possible by the Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Foundation, has allowed some 60 fellows to complete research in the United States on key issues in the transatlantic partnership.

In 2003, the ACG launched two additional fellowship programs, this time to enable American Ph.D. students and recent doctoral graduates to conduct research in Germany. The Dr. Richard M. Hunt Fellowship for the Study of German Politics, Society, and Culture was established in honor of ACG Vice Chairman Richard M. Hunt, who devoted much of his career as a Harvard University historian to mentoring younger scholars. Dr. Hunt also served as President of the American Council on Germany for 15 years. The ACG launched the Dr. Guido Goldman Fellowship for the Study of German and European Economic and International Affairs in recognition of Dr. Goldman’s commitment to German-American exchange. Nearly 40 academics have participated in these two fellowships.

For 40 years, the fellowship programs have been a cornerstone of the work of the ACG. In 2016, the ACG will reimagine the McCloy Fellowship with the goal of engaging a new group of transatlanticists to look at key global trends in the 21st century. The research completed by the fellows will be shared with the ACG community through articles and discussions. It is the hope of the ACG that the fellowship programs will continue to be a key asset of the Council as we move into the future, and that we will all benefit from the fellows’ findings.