News Release

Brookings announces the launch of the Fritz Stern Chair on Germany and trans-Atlantic relations

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Washington, D.C. — The Brookings Institution announced today the creation of the Fritz Stern Chair on Germany and trans-Atlantic relations. Named in honor of Fritz Stern, the renowned scholar of 19th- and 20th-century German history, the new chair represents a major investment in fostering innovative research and robust debate to guide policy decisionmaking on both sides of the Atlantic.

Since the end of World War II, strong trans-Atlantic ties have been the bedrock of a liberal rules-based international order, but in recent years that system has faced new and growing challenges. The Fritz Stern Chair builds on the vision of its namesake to adapt and revitalize strong international networks to secure peace, prosperity, and democratic values. Through the generous contributions of a consortium of donors, including the Federal Republic of Germany, the new endowed chair provides Brookings with permanent capacity for scholarship on this critical set of issues for the United States and its European allies.

Brookings President John R. Allen stated: “At this unique moment of global instability, rising geopolitical competition, and continued uncertainties about the trans-Atlantic relationship, there is an unprecedented need for sound ideas to enlighten the policy discourse. The Fritz Stern Chair affords Brookings an exceptional new platform for rigorous research and civil debate in responding to these many challenges.”

Welcoming the news, State Secretary of the German Federal Foreign Office Miguel Berger said: “The Federal Foreign Office is proud to support the Fritz Stern Chair. It provides an additional pillar for research on Germany and Europe and serves to enrich the public discourse. It embodies our commitment to a close transatlantic partnership. We are very much looking forward to its future work.”

“The Chair serves as an enduring testament to Professor Stern’s remarkable insight in discerning the significance of history’s intellectual currents and applying their lessons to contemporary policy determinations,” observed Brookings Director of Foreign Policy Suzanne Maloney. “Furthermore, the Chair’s creation — through the combined support of diverse individual, corporate, and governmental donors from the United States and Europe — reflects a renewed commitment to his legacy of advancing trans-Atlantic cooperation and network-building.”

In consideration of her outstanding expertise on Germany and trans-Atlantic relations, groundbreaking scholarship, and proven record of developing practical recommendations to address global policy challenges, Brookings Senior Fellow Constanze Stelzenmüller has been selected to serve as the inaugural Fritz Stern Chair holder. In this capacity, she will engage in research and activities that examine Germany’s alliance with the United States and Germany’s role in Europe.

Director of the Brookings Center on the United States and Europe Thomas Wright noted: “As an extraordinary scholar, bridge-builder, and strategic thinker, Constanze has an exceptional record of providing valuable insights and analysis to tackle thorny policy challenges; no one is better suited to serve as the inaugural Fritz Stern Chair.”

The Chair will launch formally with a public event in early 2021.

About the Support for the Fritz Stern Chair

The Fritz Stern Chair has been generously supported through the contributions of a consortium of international donors, including the Airbus Corporation, the C.H.Beck Stiftung, the von Braun family, the Daimler Fonds, the Federal Republic of Germany, the Hertie Stiftung, Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Foundation, Stefan Quandt, Fay and William Shutzer, and the VolkswagenStiftung.

About Brookings

The Brookings Institution is a nonprofit organization based in Washington, D.C. Our mission is to conduct in-depth, nonpartisan research to improve policy and governance at local, national, and global levels.