Who We Are, What We Do

Since 1983, the American Institute for Contemporary German Studies (AICGS) has focused exclusively on the most pressing issues at stake for Germany and the United States. An independent, nonpartisan think tank with in-depth policy expertise and understanding of both countries, AICGS collaborates with public sector leaders, policymakers, corporate leaders, and other research centers to deliver in-depth analysis and actionable intelligence on both sides of the Atlantic. Policymakers, business leaders, and the interested public draw on these insights to anticipate trends, reduce risk, and positively influence policy choices.

AICGS provides a comprehensive program of public forums, policy studies, research, and fellowships designed to enrich the political, corporate, and scholarly constituencies it serves.

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 & Domestic Policy Program

Understanding the different factors that shape important foreign and domestic policy debates in the United States, Germany, and Europe as they pertain to German-American relations and the German role in the international arena.

Geoeconomics Program

Focusing on the requirements for a high-standard, open global economy with the right division of labor between domestic and international economic policies to remain a driver of prosperity for the United States, Germany, and the European Union.

Society, Culture & Politics Program

Examining the cultural beliefs and values, evolving interpretations of historical experiences, and shifting conceptions of national identity that all shape perspectives and policy responses in the German-American dialogue.

Recent AICGS News

New Project to Strengthen the German-American Relationship Up for Vote in NATO

Over 50 academics and cyber and energy experts from across NATO and Partnership for Peace countries gathered in Washington, DC, on September 24 and 25 for a third workshop on …

Jeff Rathke on Voice of America’s “Encounter”

AICGS President Jeff Rathke appeared on VOA’s “Encounter” program to discuss the way forward for Brexit with host Carol Castiel and Erik Brattberg, Director of the Europe Program at the Carnegie …

Jack Janes on C-Span’s Washington Today

On September 23, Dr. Jackson Janes spoke with C-Span’s Steve Scully on the Washington Today program. He discussed Germany, the UN, and the global perspective (23:40). Listen to interview

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AICGS and Johns Hopkins

AICGS has enjoyed an affiliation with Johns Hopkins University since the Institute was founded in 1983 by Dr. Steven Muller, then President of JHU. The University is renowned for its research and has long-standing relationships with German academic institutions. While the Institute has its own 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


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 & Domestic 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.