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Urban Affairs and Sustainability

In an effort to promote and sustain dialogue across the Atlantic, the American Council on Germany works with a broad range of government officials, business leaders, journalists, academics and other experts to help them gain a better understanding of the political, economic, social, and environmental-policy landscape on the other side of the Atlantic. The ACG’s Leadership Mission on Urban Affairs and Sustainability is a study tour that enables four to six local government officials to meet with their transatlantic counterparts in order to learn about the challenges cities face and to help them develop possible policy solutions. The Mission allows groups of individuals to receive an in-depth look at city management and local government administration across the Atlantic.

On September 23, the day before Germans went to the polls, six American experts on urban issues and policymakers arrived in Cologne for the 2017 McCloy Leadership Mission on Urban Affairs and Sustainability to meet with their German counterparts. During the 12-day program, the participants met with government officials, think tanks, and nonprofits in five German cities to look at how they address today’s challenges.

The participants include Luke Feeney, Mayor of the City of Chillicothe, Ohio; Ryan Henderson, Assistant to the City Manager in the City of Fort Lauderdale, Florida; Emma Lieberth, Manager of State League Services and Strategic Partnerships at the National League of Cities; Deborah Morris, Executive Director of Resiliency Planning, Policy, and Acquisitions for the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development; Susana O’Daniel, Director of Public Affairs for the Arkansas Education Association; and Catherine Rollins, Deputy Chief of Staff and Director of Policy in the City of Everett, Massachusetts.

As part of the McCloy Leadership Mission, the Council hosted a small dinner and discussion with journalist Ali Aslan (2010 Young Leader) in Berlin. Mr. Aslan discussed the successes and failures of Chancellor Merkel and the rise of the Alternative für Deutschland, which is not discussed often in American media. Noting this was a turning point in German history, Mr. Aslan said Chancellor Merkel will have to change her governing practices in order to win back the support of her country.

Special thanks go to the Deutscher Städtetag and the National League of Cities for assisting with this program.