How GMF is Rising to the Crisis
A Message from President Karen Donfried
Dear Friends and Colleagues,
Like you, all of us at the German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF) are rapidly adapting to the outbreak of the coronavirus. Our priority is the health and safety of our colleagues and the networks we touch. We believe GMF’s mission of strengthening transatlantic cooperation is only more relevant and urgent at a time when national approaches mark the response to this pandemic. Our experts, whether in DC, Berlin, Brussels, Paris, Warsaw, Bucharest, Belgrade, or Ankara, offer invaluable insights on the lessons we can learn from each other in response to the coronavirus crisis and the big questions about what comes next in the relationship between the United States and Europe.
The coronavirus has profound implications for every aspect of GMF’s work across our programs and offices. We are focusing programming on immediate responses to this health emergency, as illustrated by today’s webinar on Europe’s response to the coronavirus crisis, featuring three of our European colleagues. We also continue to work on the longer term with initiatives such as our high-level transatlantic task force, which is meeting virtually today to develop concrete policy solutions to shared challenges. I encourage you to sign up for our newsletters and digital event listings to stay engaged with GMF and informed by our insights during this uniquely challenging time. Highlights of our work include:
GMF experts are providing analysis of the crisis, sharing perspectives from across our transatlantic network, and providing deep dives into the consequences for particular countries such as Italy. In the weeks to come we will continue to publish analysis, offer webinars and digital convenings, and expand our Out of Order podcasts—we’ll be adding to the Coronavirus Crisis section of our website as new content becomes available.
Countering coronavirus disinformation. False and misleading news—often driven by the same bad actors who have interfered in our elections—exploits divisions within society and exacerbates the threat posed by the pandemic. Our Alliance for Securing Democracy is shedding light on Russian and Chinese manipulation of information on the coronavirus. Our Digital Innovation & Democracy Initiative’s newly published policy roadmap, Safeguarding Digital Democracy, outlines the ways that platforms enable disinformation and lays out a set of policy prescriptions to curb the crisis.
We are creating an ad hoc working group of more than thirty frontline experts from our alumni community to provide advice on how to manage ourselves, our employees, and our constituents through this crisis. We also intend to harmonize our regular alumni working groups on democracy, inclusion, citizen diplomacy, and business and society and adapt our thinking in each area for the post crisis environment. Two issues that are already gaining traction are: strategies to mitigate the inequality produced by the crisis and corporate-social responsibility in assisting with the recovery and greater preparedness for the next crisis cycle.
GMF believes that when the United States and its European partners work together toward a common goal, they are a powerful force for good. The past seven decades have shown that we are, in fact, stronger together. Our heritage, as an organization dedicated to the openness, generosity, and leadership embodied by the Marshall Plan, reminds us that it is possible to overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles with our values intact when we join forces.
We hope that all of you in our community are safe and healthy. We are committed to catalyzing solutions and fostering leadership on both sides of the Atlantic—together with you—that will empower democratic societies to emerge from this pandemic robust and resilient.
Take good care,