Who We Are, What We Do

The American Institute for Contemporary German Studies (AICGS) in Washington, DC, is the only think tank focused exclusively on the most pressing issues at stake for Germany and the United States. Affiliated with Johns Hopkins University (JHU), the Institute possesses in-depth policy and academic expertise and an extensive network on both sides of the Atlantic. AICGS collaborates with policymakers, corporate leaders, and scholars to deliver in-depth, actionable analysis and fresh ideas that help anticipate trends, manage risk, and shape policy choices.

Our work addresses the top economic, foreign, security, domestic, and social policy issues affecting the United States, Germany, and the broader transatlantic relationship. This includes the trade and investment relationship, German-American defense and security ties and the NATO alliance, the impact of migration and integration on politics and the economy, common approaches to the challenges surrounding China, and issues of Holocaust remembrance and reconciliation.  AICGS anticipates transatlantic developments and explains how they will affect Germany, the United States, and the world.

AICGS has always had its finger on the pulse as a renowned forum for an open and indeed critical, but always constructive and thus productive, exchange of views. That makes it a cornerstone of the wide bridge between our countries. I am very grateful for this.
– Angela Merkel, Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany

Building a Stronger German-American Partnership

President  |  Board of Trustees  |  Team

Foreign & Security Policy Program

The AICGS Foreign & Security Policy Program seeks to understand the different factors that shape important foreign and security policy debates in the United States, Germany, and Europe as they pertain to German-American relations and the German role in the transatlantic and international arenas.

Gale Mattox


Directed by Dr. Gale Mattox



Featured Topics:  German Foreign Policy | NATO | Cybersecurity | Terrorism & Counterterrorism

Geoeconomics Program

The AICGS Geoeconomics Program promotes original thinking and debate on U.S., German, and EU global economic strategy with a focus on ways that trade, financial, climate, and technology policies can advance their shared interests, prosperity, and values.

Lily Gardner Feldman


Directed by Mr. Peter Rashish



Featured Topics: Trade & Investment | Global Economic Order | Digital Policy | Domestic Economics | China

Society, Culture & Politics Program

The AICGS Society, Culture & Politics Program focuses on four main themes with relevance for the German-American dialogue: 1) demographic change, including migration/integration and aging societies; 2) electoral politics at the national, state, local, and supranational levels; 3) regional diversity and challenges within Germany, Europe, and the United States; 4) the politics of collective memory and identity, looking at the cultural beliefs and values, evolving interpretations of historical experiences, and shifting conceptions of national identity that shape perspectives and policy responses.

Eric Langenbacher


Directed by Dr. Eric Langenbacher



Featured Topics: Immigration & Integration | Demographic Change | Domestic Politics | Politics & Elections | European Integration | Historical Memory

Recent AICGS News

Olaf Scholz in Washington: AICGS Expert Analysis in the Media

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz met President Biden on March 3, 2023, for a one-on-one meeting. AICGS President Jeff Rathke discussed the chancellor’s visit with multiple media outlets. The two leaders …

Jeff Rathke on the 2022 Midterm Elections

AICGS President Jeff Rathke appeared in German media to discuss the 2022 midterm elections. Mr. Rathke gave his analysis of U.S. politics and what to expect following the elections on …

U.S.-German Futures Forum: U.S. Department of State Announces Partnership with American Institute for Contemporary German Studies at Johns Hopkins University

The U.S. Department of State will partner with the American Institute for Contemporary German Studies at Johns Hopkins University (AICGS) for the U.S.-German Futures Forum. The inaugural Futures Forum took …

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AICGS and Johns Hopkins

AICGS was founded in 1983 by Dr. Steven Muller, then President of Johns Hopkins University, and Dr. Robert Gerald (Gerry) Livingston, the Institute’s first Executive Director. Since its founding, AICGS has enjoyed an affiliation with JHU. The University is renowned for its research and has long-standing relationships with German academic institutions. While the Institute has its own Board of Trustees and raises its own funds, Johns Hopkins University continues to be an important resource for the Institute, its staff, and its fellows. AICGS is proud to be affiliated with this world-class university and support its motto to provide “Knowledge for the World.”

AICGS is the preeminent thought leader on the critical policy issues affecting the United States, Germany and the rest of the world. It has been such a privilege to be part of an organization that, especially in today’s uncertain political climate, remains to be a neutral voice for in depth analysis and actionable intelligence that leads to significant policy impact on both sides of the Atlantic.
– Jacques Brand, Senior Partner, PJT Partners and AICGS Chairman Emeritus


AICGS was founded in 1983 with the idea of establishing an institute at Johns Hopkins University that would help American policymakers, corporate executives, and the media better understand both the Federal Republic of Germany and the German Democratic Republic, as well as their pivotal role in the transatlantic alliance. It was the only think tank to do so.

Steven Muller
Steven Muller

The Institute’s two founders—Steven Muller, then President of Johns Hopkins, and Robert Gerald Livingston—were determined that the Institute would be forward looking in its research and programming. The new organization would seek to explain postwar contemporary Germany—a democratic state with a market economy, a founding and influential member of the European Community, a pivotal ally in NATO, and an important partner for the United States. The Institute’s programs would examine the changing dynamics of German economics, politics, and society. In looking at both Germanys, in a certain sense, AICGS anticipated unification of the two German states.

Robert Gerald Livingston
Robert Gerald Livingston

The fall of the Berlin Wall on November 9, 1989, signaled the end of the Cold War and opened up the possibility for German unification, which occurred formally on October 3, 1990. The Institute’s programmatic focus now embraced a broader agenda that increasingly considered the German-American partnership in the context of transatlantic and global affairs. It was also during this period that the Institute’s core research structure fully developed into the current tri-part model of Foreign & Security PolicyGeoeconomics; and Society, Culture & Politics.

AICGS is proud to celebrate Dr. Muller’s foreword-looking, innovative legacy with the Muller New Initiatives Fund.


AICGS is supported by generous contributions from individuals and corporations in the United States, Germany, and throughout the world. It also regularly receives grants from private foundations and governments to conduct its research agenda.

Financial Information

Form 990s

Audited Statements


Documents and information submitted to the State of Maryland under the Maryland Charitable Solicitations Act are available from the Office of the Secretary of State for the cost of copying and postage.

AICGS is a nonpartisan, non-profit organization with a 501(c)(3) charitable status.