GMF celebrates 25 years of the Marshall Memorial Fellowship
On Thursday, March 8, The German Marshall Fund hosted a reception on Capitol Hill inaugurating a year long celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Marshall Memorial Fellowship (MMF) program. Over 150 alumni and friends of the program were in attendance, including the Spring 2007 American and European Fellows, US Senators and Congressman, European ambassadors, and Capitol Hill staff.
Guido Goldman, GMF Board of Trustees Co-Chair, served as the master of ceremonies as for the official program of the evening as we honored the past, present and future of the MMF program. Recently elected Senator Bob Corker (R-TN) - who locally supported the MMF program when mayor of Chattanooga - opened the evening and welcomed the crowd highlighting the significance of hosting the event in the impressive Senate Foreign Relations Committee room. Former GMF President Frank Loy then recounted the story of the founding of the program in 1982, touching on its early successes and its evolution throughout the 1980s. The program then featured reflections from Fellows from the four original MMF countries about the impact the MMF experience has had on their lives and careers. Gijs de Waal (Netherlands, 2007) then spoke with energy and anticipation about his hopes as he prepared to embark on his journey just two days later. GMF would most especially like to thank Ambassador Klaus Scharioth (Germany), Ambassador Friis Arne Petersen (Denmark), Ambassador Jean David Levitte (France) and Deputy Chief of Mission Richard van Rijssen (Netherlands) for introducing the MMFs from their respective countries and adding their remarks as well. In addition, we were honored by the presence of the many ambassadors that attended from the other 17 countries that contribute MMF Fellows.
Twenty-five years after the founding of the Marshall Memorial Fellowship program, GMF now has a network of nearly 1,500 Fellows from across Europe and the United States. This network of leaders - representing the best and brightest in government, politics, business, journalism and the non-profit sector - continues to grow and thrive. The program's impact is widespread as MMFs have gone on to become prime ministers, members of European and national parliaments, directors of major foundations and nonprofit institutions, and executives in corporations both large and small. It is our hope that their leadership has been positively influenced by their transatlantic experience, and we look forward to the future accomplishments of our Fellows.
We at GMF are pleased to celebrate the first 25 years of the Marshall Memorial Fellowship program, and this event was a unique opportunity to reflect on the MMF program's impact on the lives and careers of many of the finest leaders throughout Europe and the United States. Congratulations to the Fellows, partners, and staff who have made this program a success since 1982.