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German-American Working Group on Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility

“As we fight the myriad repercussions of a global pandemic and also work to overcome inequality and heal deep societal wounds at home, I am reminded that we live in a world of challenges that know no international boundaries. Increasingly, we must work together – at home and abroad – to bring the peace and prosperity that defined the last 70 years to all of our citizens, regardless of their race, color, or creed. In doing this, we need to engage with our partners.” – Dr. Steven E. Sokol in response to the killing of George Floyd and the global protests against racism 

The American Council on Germany, with the support of the ZEIT-Stiftung Ebelin und Gerd Bucerius, convened a German-American working group to discuss and explore diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility issues in a transatlantic context. To be more inclusive and to promote diversity in German-American affairs, the working group explored the underrepresentation of minorities in this field and developed recommendations for promoting diversity and inclusion in transatlantic affairs.

From September 2021 to March 2022, the group of 24 young professionals met virtually twice a month to parse the issues and develop policy recommendations to promote greater diversity to produce a policy paper on the critical importance of DEIA in transatlantic relations. The working group drew on the expertise of group members and external speakers from the United States and Germany to discuss the challenges facing communities of color and minority groups, including but not limited to LGBTQI+, individuals with disabilities, migrants, and experts in transatlantic relations.

This initiative builds on the 2019 series “Social Disruption: How to Confront the Fraying Social Fabric and Social Inequality in Germany and the U.S.?” in which the Council collaborated with the ZEIT-Stiftung Ebelin and Gerd Bucerius to facilitate exchange through a series of events in five U.S. cities. The ACG hosted discussions on political polarization, fragmentation of society, and growing social inequity on both sides of the Atlantic. The series continued in early 2020 with events focused on the digital divide and inequities in access to technology – and would have included additional events.

The working group represents young professionals in the public and private sectors with various backgrounds.

Click Here to read the policy paper.

Members of the group include:

Natalia Aguirre
Director of Justice Programs
Healing Justice
Berlin, Germany

Dyria Sigrid Alloussi
Policy and Strategic Communication
United Europe e.V.
Berlin, Germany

Varoon Bashyakarla
Data Scientist
San Diego, CA

Amy Berger
Assistant Director
American Jewish Committee – Dallas
Dallas, Texas

Johannes Boermann
Programme Manager – Financial and Programmes Unit
European Commission – Directorate-General Justice and Consumers
Brussels, Belgium

Erica J. Bolden
Head of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Engagement
Atlanta, Georgia 

Courtney Bowe-Hanss
Global Lead, Communications & Change Management
Merck KGaA Darmstadt
Darmstadt, Germany

Eve Bower
Senior Editor, The Row
Atlanta, Georgia

Kimberley Davidson-Wiessler
Head of External Activation and Identity Management
Berlin, Germany

Jacob Sebastian Eder
Professor of Modern and Contemporary History
Barenboim-Said Akademie
Berlin, Germany

Jamillia N. Kamara
Program Officer for Education
Pittsburgh Foundation
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Ilke Kiral
Head of Culture and Education
German Embassy
Cairo, Egypt

LaSean Knox-Brown
Public Diplomacy Desk Office for the West Balkans
U.S. State Department
Washington, DC

Tania Mancheno Moncada
Lecturer at the Institute of Geography
Univerität Hamburg
Hamburg, Germany

Lea-Friederike Neubert
Diversity and Inclusion Leader
Diakonie Deutschland
Berlin, Germany

Matt Ohm
Arnall Golden Gregory, LLP
Mableton, Georgia 

Roxanne Paisible
Senior Manager, Children and Youth Initiative
Washington, DC

Tria Raimundo
Director, Global Development Programs
Chicago Council on Global Affairs
Chicago, Illinois

Rupert Rivera III
Technology Consultant
Mannheim, Germany 

Timothy A. Rivera
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Advisor to the CEO
World Learning/School of International Training
Washington, DC

Maryum Saifee
Senior Policy Advisor, Secretary’s Office for Diversity and Inclusion
U.S. State Department
New York, New York 

Albina Smajli
Diversity Liaison
German-American Fulbright Commission
Berlin, Germany

Paul J. Treadgold
Director, Corporate Policy and External Affairs
EMD Serono Inc.
Washington, DC

This program is generously supported by: