GMF’s Response to COVID-19 as of March 27, 2020
The German Marshall Fund of the United States is closely monitoring the spread of COVID-19 and adapting its business practices accordingly. With offices in eight countries and events that convene participants from around the world, this outbreak significantly impacts GMF’s work. The health and safety of our staff, our fellows, and members of our networks are our priority during this global health crisis.
Changes to Events and Activities
Many events and activities organized by GMF have been postponed or cancelled. Where feasible, in-person events have been switched to webinar formats. Participants have been notified of changes via email; questions should be directed to the relevant event organizer.
GMF will not convene Brussels Forum, it’s signature conference, in person in 2020. Brussels Forum has established itself in the last 15 years as the most important and innovative venues to facilitate the transatlantic conversation and cooperation. While we cannot convene Brussels Forum this year, it is important to continue the dialogue that it fosters. We are working to develop digitally-enabled remote convening that can keep the spirit and community of Brussels Forum vibrant.
Travel for the spring cohort of the Marshall Memorial Fellows, GMF’s flagship leadership development program, has been postponed until fall.
GMF’s leadership is reviewing all upcoming events and activities on a regular basis to ensure they are being conducted in the safest manner possible.
Revised Office Policies
A sign-in process for all visitors to GMF offices has been instituted. Within each GMF office, measures are being taken for enhanced housekeeping practices especially related to staff gathering places, high traffic areas, and frequently touched surfaces throughout the office environment.
At this time, GMF’s Washington, DC headquarters, Brussels and Belgrade offices are closed, with staff working remotely. GMF’s other offices remain open, but have shifted operations to a remote work basis for most staff based on guidance from national health authorities.
Any staff who have possible exposure to individuals with COVID-19 are being asked to self-isolate for 14 calendar days prior to returning to GMF’s offices.
GMF is taking steps to equip staff with the digital tools and support needed for remote access should circumstances warrant. Our existing systems and infrastructure will support a smooth transition should remote operations become necessary.
As of March 3, all GMF business travel to a CDC Risk Level 2 or 3 country has been cancelled. As of March 10, all business travel, both domestic and international, requires authorization of the appropriate office director.
Any staff, fellows, or interns traveling from a CDC Risk Level 2 or 3 country must wait 14 calendar days before coming on site to any GMF office.
These policies will be updated as necessary. General questions regarding GMF’s response to COVID-19 should be directed to GMF’s communications team at email@example.com.