In 1992, the American Council on Germany launched a program to engage regions beyond the business community in New York and the policy community in Washington, DC, in a dialogue about transatlantic issues. Through its network of 21 Eric M. Warburg Chapters, the ACG promotes a deeper understanding of German and European affairs in communities throughout the United States. The Council hosts government officials, journalists, policy analysts, academics, and substantive experts to deepen mutual understanding about common challenges and strengthen transatlantic ties. This national outreach effort is named after one of the ACG’s founders and longtime Treasurer, Eric M. Warburg.
The Warburg Chapters provide ACG members and the general public in cities across the country with a dynamic forum for discussing important economic, political, and social issues on the transatlantic agenda, while also providing visiting speakers with the opportunity to exchange ideas with a diverse group of Americans. On occasion Warburg Chapters have also hosted policy conferences that are tailored to interests and concerns of the local community, with a view toward exchanging best practices and policy recommendations across the Atlantic.
Through its network of Chapters, the ACG convenes more than 140 events annually, ranging from small group discussions to gatherings of more than 100 people. Some visiting speakers travel to various Chapters for discussions tailored to different audiences. The Warburg Chapter Directors, working closely with the ACG team in New York, cooperate with local partner organizations, including German Consulates and honorary consuls, German American Chambers of Commerce, Goethe-Instituts, and World Affairs Councils. Through the Chapters, the Council is also making efforts to engage students and faculty at the high school and college level.
Since September 2015, the ACG has been able to organize speaking tours for up-and-coming German policy experts through a generous grant from the German government. Under the auspices of the “European Recovery Program – Transatlantic Encounters,” which is managed by the Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and the Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau, the ACG has hosted dozens of speakers.
Origins of the Warburg Chapters
After the death of one of the ACG’s founders and long-serving treasurer, Eric M. Warburg, in 1990, the Council established Eric M. Warburg Chapters in cities across the United States as a lasting memorial to his steadfast commitment to promote transatlantic ties. Lionel Pincus, a business associate of Mr. Warburg’s, provided the initial funding for these Chapters.
The number of Chapters has grown to 21 in 18 states. Each Chapter is unique, but they all have tremendous convening power in the communities they serve. Through a variety of events and activities, the Chapters provide fora for the discussion of the most pressing issues on the transatlantic agenda. As the ACG’s outreach has grown through the years, the Chapters have reached thousands of Americans across the country.