About 325 members of the German-American community came together for the American Council on Germany’s 29th Annual John J. McCloy Awards Dinner on Friday, December 9, to honor Ola Källenius, Chairman of the Board of Management of Mercedes-Benz Group AG, and Christiana Riley, member of the Management Board of Deutsche Bank AG and CEO of Deutsche Bank USA Corp. The event also marked a special milestone for the ACG: 70 years of working to promote transatlantic dialogue.
Ambassador John B. Emerson, Chairman of the American Council on Germany, served as emcee for the evening. He welcomed those gathered and underlined that “While the challenges we face today are different, transatlantic cooperation remains just as relevant today as it was in 1952.” He also read greetings from President Joe Biden. Ambassador Emily Haber, German Ambassador to the United States, also stressed the importance of the partnership between Germany and the United States, particularly during these volatile times. She shared a letter from German Chancellor Olaf Scholz. New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy, former U.S. Ambassador to Germany, and First Lady and ACG Board member Tammy Murphy also sent greetings via video.
Dr. Steven E. Sokol, President of the American Council on Germany, shared remembrances of John J. McCloy from Edzard Reuter – who was honored at the first McCloy Awards Dinner nearly 30 years ago in 1993 when he was the Chairman of the Managing Board of Daimler-Benz AG – and Deutsche Bank’s Hilmar Kopper a year later. Dr. Sokol noted that the Council had held hundreds of virtual policy discussions on the most pressing economic, political, and social issues shaping the transatlantic relationship – reaching thousands of people in all 50 states and all 16 Bundesländer, and in more than 60 other countries. As we come back to in-person activities, he added that that very week, the ACG conducted two study tours, one in Hamburg, Rostock, and Schwerin to discuss digitalization and the future of work and another in Cleveland and Charlotte to discuss equity and social cohesion. In his words: “After nearly three years of online discussions, there is no substitute for in-person gatherings to have conversations like the ones you are having tonight and to network and build new relationships.”
The evening featured a fireside chat with Dr. Tobias Lindner, Minister of State in the German Federal Foreign Office, together with Mr. Källenius and Ms. Riley. They discussed the importance of the transatlantic partnership today, global economic trends this year and into the near term, and the importance of sustainability today and for the future.
Both Mercedes-Benz Group and Deutsche Bank USA and their leaders were honored for their work to promote strong transatlantic economic ties. Mr. Källenius and Ms. Riley are true globalists who have worked on both sides of the Atlantic and are tireless advocates of international cooperation in an effort to tackle today’s most pressing challenges, with sustainability as a top priority. Throughout their careers, they have demonstrated their resilience and their abilities to navigate complex challenges. Deutsche Bank and Mercedes-Benz have been longtime supporters of the ACG’s initiatives – Deutsche Bank since 1980 and Mercedes-Benz/Daimler since 1965.
The American Council on Germany is very grateful to the numerous companies and individuals who supported the dinner. The proceeds provide crucial support for the programs offered by the ACG, including policy discussions, conferences, and exchange programs.