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ACG Honors CEOs of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, and Palantir Technologies

Photos by Karsten Staiger

The American Council on Germany honored Belén Garijo, Chair of the Executive Board and CEO of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, and Alexander C. Karp, Co-Founder & Chief Executive Officer of Palantir Technologies Inc., at its 30th John J. McCloy Awards Dinner on January 31 for their deep commitment to forging transatlantic economic cooperation and harnessing innovation for a better world. Ambassador John B. Emerson, Chairman of the American Council on Germany, served as the master of ceremonies.

The McCloy Awards Dinner brought together around 300 thought leaders, decision-makers, and stakeholders from both sides of the Atlantic to pay tribute to the honorees while celebrating the longstanding partnership between Germany and the United States. The proceeds provide crucial support for the ACG’s discussions, conferences, and exchange programs that convene transatlantic peers to examine political, economic, and social issues and develop collaborative solutions. The dinner also helps fund the American-German Young Leaders Conference and fellowships, thus representing an important investment in the next generation of transatlanticists.

Ambassador Andreas Michaelis, German Ambassador to the United States, delivered remarks and also read a greeting from German Chancellor Olaf Scholz. Ambassador Emerson shared a greeting from President Joe Biden.

“More than 70 years ago, the American Council on Germany was tasked to promote reconciliation and understanding between Germans and Americans after the horrors of the Second World War,” Ambassador Emerson said. “The challenges we face today may be different, but transatlantic cooperation and our values-based relationship remains just as relevant today as it was in 1952.”

In her acceptance speech, Dr. Garijo – the first woman to lead one of Germany’s 30 largest listed companies on the DAX – talked about the potential for solving global problems by pooling efforts beyond borders and working together, giving mRNA vaccines as a prime example.

Dr. Karp talked about his formative years working on his Ph.D. in neoclassical social theory at Goethe University Frankfurt, weaving in philosophy from Habermas to Hegel. His education on both sides of the Atlantic helped inform the founding of Palantir, whose work today includes thwarting terrorist attacks.

The ACG is deeply grateful to the many supporters who helped make the McCloy Awards Dinner a resounding tribute to two exemplary globalists.