Marking the 30th anniversary of GMF’s Marshall Memorial Fellowship, Manfred Wörner Seminar and APSA Congressional Fellowship, on Monday, November 19, 2012 GMF’s Berlin office hosted a reception at the State Representation of Rhineland-Palatinate to the Federal Government. The event was well-attended by local GMF fellowship alumni, notable figures from Berlin’s policy-making community, and GMF staff from both sides of the Atlantic.
John Harris, Editor-in-Chief of Politico in Washington, DC and a GMF Board Member, delivered the reception’s keynote address. Before Harris assumed the podium, Cornelia Dömer (MMF) from the state representation welcomed guests to the evening’s festivities. Kevin Cottrell, Director of GMF’s Transatlantic Leadership Initiatives team, then took the floor to discuss the strong and ever-growing alumni network that GMF’s fellowship programs have built and sustained over their thirty-year existence. After reflecting on the past, Cottrell then turned to the future, highlighting the range of initiatives the TLI team is spearheading to develop GMF’s longtime expertise in leadership development. Heike MacKerron, GMF’s Senior Director for Europe, then introduced the evening’s keynote speaker, John F. Harris.
Harris spoke to the crowd gathered in Berlin about politics in the United States in the wake of the November 6th presidential and congressional elections. He highlighted what many have come to see as the key takeaway of elections: the diverse coalition of minorities who propelled Obama to victory at the polls. Demographic transformations in the U.S. population, Harris argued, may require the Republicans to consider changes within their own party’s policies and campaign tactics. Harris concluded his remarks with a discussion of the “fiscal cliff” that politicians and policymakers on both sides of the aisle are now facing as Congress regroups.
With Harris’ remarks concluded, the crowd of alumni and local figures continued to mingle and talk well into the evening.