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

“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 and the ZEIT-Stiftung Ebelin und Gerd Bucerius will convene a German-American working group to discuss and explore diversity, equity, inclusion, and social justice issues in a transatlantic context. In an effort to be more inclusive and to promote diversity in German-American affairs, the working group will explore the underrepresentation of minorities in this field and develop recommendations for promoting diversity and inclusion in transatlantic affairs.

From September 2021 to March 2022, the group of 24 young professionals will convene virtually twice a month to parse the issues and develop policy recommendations to promote greater diversity with the goal of producing a policy paper on the critical importance of DEI in transatlantic relations. The working group will draw on the expertise of group members as well as 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, as well as 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 an 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 but the pandemic made it impossible to hold in-person gatherings.

The working group represents young professionals in the public and private sector with a variety of backgrounds. 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
Mercedes-Benz
Atlanta, Georgia 

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

Eve Bower
Senior Editor, The Row
CNN
Atlanta, Georgia

Kimberley Davidson-Wiessler
Head of External Activation and Identity Management
Bayer
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
Associate
Arnall Golden Gregory, LLP
Mableton, Georgia 

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

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

Terri Register
Board of Directors
Allied Cultures
Charlotte, North Carolina 

Rupert Rivera III
Technology Consultant
EY
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: