Episode 60: Economic Headwinds—U.S. and German Responses to Russia’s War in Ukraine, Energy Transition, and Inflation
President of AICGS
Jeffrey Rathke is the President of the American Institute for Contemporary German Studies at the Johns Hopkins University in Washington, DC.
Prior to joining AICGS, Jeff was a senior fellow and deputy director of the Europe Program at CSIS, where his work focused on transatlantic relations and U.S. security and defense policy. Jeff joined CSIS in 2015 from the State Department, after a 24-year career as a Foreign Service Officer, dedicated primarily to U.S. relations with Europe. He was director of the State Department Press Office from 2014 to 2015, briefing the State Department press corps and managing the Department's engagement with U.S. print and electronic media. Jeff led the political section of the U.S. Embassy in Kuala Lumpur from 2011 to 2014. Prior to that, he was deputy chief of staff to the NATO Secretary General in Brussels. He also served in Berlin as minister-counselor for political affairs (2006–2009), his second tour of duty in Germany. His Washington assignments have included deputy director of the Office of European Security and Political Affairs and duty officer in the White House Situation Room and State Department Operations Center.
Mr. Rathke was a Weinberg Fellow at Princeton University (2003–2004), winning the Master’s in Public Policy Prize. He also served at U.S. Embassies in Dublin, Moscow, and Riga, which he helped open after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Mr. Rathke has been awarded national honors by Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, as well as several State Department awards. He holds an M.P.P. degree from Princeton University and B.A. and B.S. degrees from Cornell University. He speaks German, Russian, and Latvian.
Katharina Gnath is senior project manager at the Bertelsmann Stiftung and coordinates the liaison office for the “Repair and Prepare: Strengthening the Euro” research project at the Jacques Delors Institut – Berlin. Dr. Gnath is an expert on European and international economic governance and is currently conducting research on the governance of the eurozone. Prior to this she held fellowships at the stiftung neue verantwortung and the German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP) in Berlin and in 2014 was a member of the Think 20 advisory team during the Australian G20 Presidency. After graduating Dr. Gnath was a trainee at the European Central Bank in Frankfurt and taught in the master´s programme at the Hertie School of Governance. She holds a PhD from the Free University and the Hertie School of Governance in Berlin on the external relations of the euro zone in international financial institutions. She studied Philosophy, Politics and Economics at the University of Oxford and holds an MSc in EU Politics from the London School of Economics (LSE). She has received grants from the Fritz Thyssen Stiftung, the DAAD, and was awarded a Fox International Fellowship at Yale University.
She is a 2016-2017 participant in AICGS’ project “A German-American Dialogue of the Next Generation: Global Responsibility, Joint Engagement,” sponsored by the Transatlantik-Programm der Bundesrepublik Deutschland aus Mitteln des European Recovery Program (ERP) des Bundesministeriums für Wirtschaft und Energie (BMWi).
Senior Fellow; Director, Geoeconomics Program
Peter S. Rashish, who counts over 25 years of experience counseling corporations, think tanks, foundations, and international organizations on transatlantic trade and economic strategy, is a Senior Fellow and Director of the Geoeconomics Program at AICGS. He also writes The Wider Atlantic blog.
Mr. Rashish has served as Vice President for Europe and Eurasia at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, where he spearheaded the Chamber’s advocacy ahead of the launch of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership. Previously, Mr. Rashish was a Senior Advisor for Europe at McLarty Associates, and has held positions as Executive Vice President of the European Institute, on the Paris-based staff of the International Energy Agency, and as a consultant to the World Bank, the German Marshall Fund of the United States, the Atlantic Council, the Bertelsmann Foundation, and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.
Mr. Rashish has testified on the euro zone and U.S.-European economic relations before the House Financial Services Subcommittee on International Monetary Policy and Trade and the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Europe and Eurasia and has advised three U.S. presidential campaigns. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the Jean Monnet Institute in Paris and a Senior Advisor to the European Policy Centre in Brussels. His commentaries have been published in The New York Times, the Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, Foreign Policy, and The National Interest, and he has appeared on PBS, CNBC, CNN, and NPR.
He earned a BA from Harvard College and an M.Phil. in international relations from Oxford University. He speaks French, German, Italian, and Spanish.
While the U.S. and German governments successfully adopted expansionary fiscal policies to deal with massive economic disruptions brought about by the COVID 19 pandemic, they are now faced with new challenges as Russia’s invasion in Ukraine and China’s persistent pandemic measures have further disrupted global supply chains, driven up inflation, set off a race to secure alternative energy sources, and muddled the trajectory of climate policy on both sides of the Atlantic.
On this episode of The Zeitgeist, AICGS President Jeff Rathke and Geoeconomics Program Director Peter Rashish talk with Matthias Matthijs, Senior Fellow for Europe at the Council on Foreign Relations and Associate Professor of international political economy at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), and Katharina Gnath, Senior Project Manager at the Bertelsmann Stiftung, about the economic challenges the United States and Europe are grappling with. Will the war in Ukraine foster long-term changes in Germany’s economic policy, despite the commitment to return to the country’s debt brake? Can the EU member states overcome their differences over national fiscal policy and Eurozone debt financing? What are the risks of diverging U.S. and EU approaches to energy and climate policy? Is the G7 group still able to play an effective role in coordinating macroeconomic policies?
Jeff Rathke, President, AICGS
Katharina Gnath, Senior Project Manager, Bertelsmann Stiftung
Matthias Matthijs, Associate Professor of international political economy, Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS)
Peter S. Rashish, Senior Fellow & Director, Geoeconomics Program, AICGS