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Bridging Divides: The Role of Subnational Ties in Strengthening Transatlantic Relations

June 5 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm EDT

The transatlantic relationship is a cornerstone of the international order and ties at the subnational level are essential for effectively addressing the common challenges facing communities on both sides of the Atlantic, now and in the future. Complex global and local issues like climate change, promoting sustainable development, and supporting workforce preparedness can be tackled by working together. As we edge into an increasingly polarized global system, strengthening subnational ties across the Atlantic is key to maintaining the transatlantic partnership.

The American Council on Germany (ACG) and the Association of German-American Centers (Verbund Deutsch-Amerikanischer Zentren, VDAZ) are excited to launch a series of digital events aimed at exploring the challenges confronting local communities and the importance of subnational diplomacy. In the coming months, we will delve into specific aspects of transnational diplomacy and how people-to-people connections help strengthening transatlantic relations for the future.

Join us on Wednesday, June 5 at 1:00 pm ET for the opening discussion with Ambassador Nina Hachigian (ret), Special Representative for City and State Diplomacy at the U.S. Department of State, and Michael Georg Link, Coordinator for Transatlantic Cooperation at the German Federal Foreign Ministry and Member of the German Bundestag (FDP). They will make the case for subnational diplomacy.

Ambassador Nina Hachigian (ret) is the first U.S. Special Representative for City and State Diplomacy at the U.S. Department of State. Previously she served as the first Deputy Mayor for International Affairs for the City of Los Angeles. From 2014 to 2017, Ambassador Hachigian served as the second U.S. Ambassador to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). She was awarded the State Department’s Superior Honor Award for her service. Earlier, Ambassador Hachigian was a Senior Fellow and a Senior Vice President at the Center for American Progress focused on Asia policy and U.S.-China relations. Prior to that, she was the director of the RAND Center for Asia Pacific Policy for four years. Ambassador Hachigian served on the staff of the National Security Council in the Clinton White House from 1998-1999. She is the editor of Debating China: The U.S. – China Relationship in Ten Conversations (Oxford University Press, 2014) and co-author of The Next American Century: How the U.S. Can Thrive as Other Powers Rise (Simon & Schuster, 2008). She writes frequently about city and state diplomacy.

Michael Georg Link is a member of the German Bundestag, where, in his fourth term, he represents the Free Democratic Party (FDP) and his home electoral district, Heilbronn in Baden-Württemberg. He has served as the Coordinator of Transatlantic Cooperation at the Federal Foreign Office since March 2022. He is also Deputy Chairman of the FDP parliamentary group in the German Bundestag, responsible for international policy. In addition, Mr. Link is a member of the party council of the European Liberals (ALDE) and a member of the FDP national executive board in his capacity as party treasurer. Previously, Mr. Link was Director of the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR), based in Warsaw, from 2014 to 2017, and served as Minister of State for Europe at the Federal Foreign Office and Federal Government Commissioner for Franco-German Cooperation from 2012 to 2013. In 2020, he was the Head OSCE observer of the US general elections.


June 5
1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
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