Constanze Stelzenmüller

Constanze Stelzenmüller

Director – Center on the United States and Europe, Senior Fellow – Foreign Policy, Center on the United States and Europe, Fritz Stern Chair on Germany and Trans-Atlantic Relations

Constanze Stelzenmüller is an expert on German, European, and trans-Atlantic foreign and security policy and strategy. She is the director of the Center on the United States and Europe and the inaugural holder of the Fritz Stern Chair on Germany and trans-Atlantic Relations at Brookings. She held the Kissinger Chair on Foreign Policy and International Relations at the Library of Congress from October 2019 to March 2020, and served as the inaugural Robert Bosch Senior Fellow at Brookings from 2014 to 2019.

Prior to working at Brookings, she was a senior transatlantic fellow with the German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF), where she directed the influential Transatlantic Trends survey program. She also managed the “New Power, New Responsibility” project. Her areas of expertise include: trans-Atlantic relations; German foreign policy; NATO; the European Union’s foreign, security, and defense policy; international law; and human rights.

Stelzenmüller is the former director of GMF’s Berlin office. From 1994 to 2005, she was defense and international security editor in the political section of the German weekly DIE ZEIT; previously, she had covered human rights issues, war crimes tribunals, and humanitarian crises. From 1988 to 1989, she was a visiting researcher at Harvard Law School. She has also been a GMF campus fellow at Grinnell College in Iowa, a Woodrow Wilson Center public policy scholar in Washington, D.C., and a member of the Remarque Forum — a conference series of the Remarque Institute at New York University.

Stelzenmüller’s essays and articles, in both German and English, have appeared in a wide range of publications, including Foreign Affairs, Internationale Politik, the Washington Post and Süddeutsche Zeitung. She writes a monthly column in the Financial Times. Her dissertation, “Direkte Demokratie in den Vereinigten Staaten von Amerika,” was published in 1994 by Nomos. She is also a frequent commentator on American and European radio and television, including PBS Newshour, National Public Radio, and the BBC. Stelzenmüller is an honorary governor of the Ditchley Foundation and a fellow of the Royal Swedish Society for War Sciences.

She has worked in Germany and the United States, and speaks English, French, German, and Spanish. Stelzenmüller holds a doctorate in law from the University of Bonn (1992), a master’s degree in public administration from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University (1988), and a law degree from the University of Bonn (1985).

Photo by Marc Darchinger


  • Centre for European Reform, member, advisory board
  • Ditchley Foundation, honorary governor
  • European Policy Centre, strategic council, member
  • German Council on Foreign Relations, member
  • German Ministry of Defense, Advisory Council for Internal Leadership Issues, member
  • International Institute for Strategic Studies, member
  • Library of Congress John W. Kluge Center, member, alumni advisory group
  • McCloy Fellowship Alumni Association, member
  • Royal Swedish Academy for War Sciences, called lifetime fellow
  • Women in International Security Germany, member
  • Areas of Expertise

    • Trans-Atlantic relations
    • German foreign policy
    • NATO
    • European Union foreign, security and defense policy
    • International law
  • Past Positions

    • Director, Transatlantic Trends, German Marshall Fund of the United States (2012-2014)
    • Senior Transatlantic Fellow, German Marshall Fund of the United States, Berlin (2009-2014)
    • Director, Berlin Office, German Marshall Fund of the United States (2005-2009)
    • Defense and Security Editor, DIE ZEIT, Hamburg (1994-2005)
    • Writer/Reporter, DIE ZEIT, Hamburg (1994-1998)
  • Education

    • Ph.D., Law, University of Bonn
    • M.A., Public Administration, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University
    • 1st State Exam in Law, University of Bonn
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