During the Covid-19 pandemic, the importance of science and knowledge has brought scientists even closer to policymakers than ever before – as they collectively try to meet the common public health challenge. This has been true in both domestic policy-making and also in global cooperation. Will this trend continue? And, will it embed the transfer of knowledge as a powerful diplomatic tool to shape international relations? What are the challenges and opportunities for “knowledge diplomacy”? And, how do we prepare future generations for this new kind of international exchange?
Join 1014, the American Council on Germany, and the German Center for Research and Innovation New York (DWIH) for a conversation with Dr. Esther Brimmer, Executive Director & CEO of NAFSA: Association of International Educators and former Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs, and Dr. Georg Schütte, Secretary General of the Volkswagen Foundation and former State Secretary at the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research.
Dr. Esther Brimmer serves as the Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer of NAFSA: Association of International Educators. Her distinguished career includes three appointments within the U.S. Department of State, serving most recently as the Assistant Secretary for International Organization Affairs from April 2009 to 2013.
Prior to joining NAFSA, Dr. Brimmer was Professor of Practice of International Affairs at George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs where she served a two-year term as the J.B. and Maurice C. Shapiro Professor. She was also an Adjunct Senior Fellow for international institutions at the Council on Foreign Relations, and a senior adviser at McLarty Associates. She was previously Deputy Director and Director of Research at the Center for Transatlantic Relations at the Johns Hopkins University’s Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) from 2001 to 2009, and was a member of the SAIS faculty. She also taught at the College of Europe in Belgium, and from 1995 to 1999, she was a Senior Associate at the Carnegie Commission on Preventing Deadly Conflict. Earlier, she served on Capitol Hill as a legislative analyst for the Democratic Study Group in the U.S. House of Representatives. Immediately after earning her doctorate from Oxford University, she spent two years as a management consultant with McKinsey & Company.
Dr. Georg Schütte has been the Secretary General of the Volkswagen Foundation since January 2020. The private foundation, based in Hanover, is dedicated to the support of the humanities and social sciences as well as science and technology in research and higher education and is one of the largest foundations in Europe.
Prior to his engagement with the Volkswagen Foundation, Dr. Schütte served as State Secretary at the German Federal Ministry of Research and Education a position to which he was appointed in December 2009 by the then Minister of Education Annette Schavan. In this function, he was particularly involved in the areas of research funding, European research policy, and international scientific cooperation. From 2018 to 2019, he was in charge of negotiations at State Secretary level between the Federal Government and the Länder on the future financing of the German science system and was responsible for the ministry’s budget.
Before this, in 2004, Dr. Schütte was appointed to the post of Secretary General of the Humboldt Foundation in Bonn – his third term of employment at this foundation. From 2001 to 2003, he was Director of the German-American Fulbright Commission in Berlin. He switched to Berlin following his second appointment at the Humboldt Foundation, where he had headed its policy department from 1998 to 2001. Before this career step, he had worked as a research assistant at the University of Siegen, held teaching positions at various universities, and occupied a position as program manager at the Humboldt Foundation from 1993 to 1998.