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Foreign Correspondent: Dream or Nightmare? The Concept of Freedom in the United States and Germany

April 4 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm EDT

The American Council on Germany and the Goethe-Institut invite you to a series of discussions throughout the United States highlighting how German and American journalists based in the United States currently see political and social developments in Germany, the United States, and internationally.

Please join us on April 4, for our first event in the series. No other concept is more closely associated with the American self-image than that of freedom – be it liberation from former colonial masters, individual or economic freedom, freedom of speech, or religious freedom. However, the strong emphasis on the idea of freedom as well as the diversity of its forms of expression has led to internal tensions.

Over the course of the series, our speakers will address a range of topics that affect citizens in both countries. What strikes them most about current trends in Germany and the United States and the political discourse? What surprises them? In which direction(s) is the United States developing? What impact does this have on Germany – and the future of the transatlantic partnership?

Following the in-person gatherings, the discussions will be released as podcasts — and available wherever you find podcasts.

Susan B. Glasser is a staff writer at The New Yorker, where she writes a weekly column on life in Washington. Ms. Glasser has served as the top editor of several Washington publications, including Politico, where she founded the award-winning Politico Magazine, and Foreign Policy, which won three National Magazine Awards, among other honors, during her tenure as editor-in-chief. Before that, she worked for a decade at the Washington Post, where she was the editor of Outlook and national news. She also oversaw coverage of the impeachment of Bill Clinton, served as a reporter covering the intersection of money and politics, spent four years as the Post’s Moscow co-bureau chief, and covered the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. She edited Roll Call, a Capitol Hill newspaper, early in her career.

Her books include “Kremlin Rising,” “The Man Who Ran Washington,” and, most recently, “The Divider,” a best-selling history of Donald Trump in the White House, which she co-wrote with her husband, Peter Baker.

Julian Heißler, born in 1983, has worked as the U.S. correspondent for WirtschaftsWoche in Washington DC since 2018. Prior to that, he spent several years in Berlin writing about German federal politics for various media outlets. He studied Communication Studies, Political Science, and Philosophy at the Free University of Berlin and completed the master’s program in Journalism at the Hamburg Media School. He also reported from countries such as China, Israel, Lithuania, the Czech Republic, and Finland. His book “Dream and Nightmare: America and the Many Faces of Freedom” was published in German in October 2023.

Dr. Steven E. Sokol (moderator) has been the President and CEO of the American Council on Germany since 2015. He served as President and CEO of the World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh from 2010 until 2015. Prior to that, he was the Vice President and Director of Programs at the American Council on Germany for nearly eight years. Dr. Sokol has served as the Deputy Director of the Aspen Institute Berlin, was the Head of the Project Management Department at the Bonn International Center for Conversion GmbH (BICC), and was a Program Officer in the Berlin office of the German Marshall Fund of the United States.