What did you do when 2013 started

A network of Germany experts and bridge builders

Robert window maker

Phillip Twenty

Robert Fenstermacher was a fellow of the 1999/2000 class

What did you do before your fellowship in 1999/2000?

I worked for an international exchange organization that focused on German-American relations. One focus of my work there was the dual training system and the question of how German training methods could be transferred to the USA.

What are you doing now?

I am currently the Chief Content Officer at the American Council on Germany, a not-for-profit organization based in New York.

What questions are you currently dealing with with a view to transatlantic relations?

On the one hand, what concerns me in particular is that different political opinions could lead to persistent problems between the two countries. These conflicts are currently very present in the media. The more people see such reports, the more likely it is that they will affect their perceptions of the other country.

On the other hand, I am concerned about the next generation of transatlantic people. The US and Germany have had an incredibly close relationship since World War II, which was also based on popular support. The next generation is less aware of our history, the values ​​that go with it, and our close ties. This relationship is still relevant and very important. I see it as a challenge to make this understandable to the next generation and to involve them at the same time.

How can you, together with other alumni and the Robert Bosch Stiftung, strengthen transatlantic relations?

We spend too much time with political discussions at the highest level in New York, Washington, or Berlin, but we don't reach people in their everyday life. There is a kind of core group in which we continue to promote the committed and committed transatlantic people. That is also important, but we should also address those who have previously had no reference to transatlantic relations and, above all, convince these people of the importance.

Sarah Smith

Phillip Twenty

Sarah Smith was a Fellow of the 2013/2014 class

What did you do before your 2013/2014 Fellowship?

I was chief of staff for a member of the US House of Representatives.

What are you doing now?

I'm the Chief Operations Officer of the American Action Forum, a small American think tank that mainly deals with economic policy.

What questions are you currently dealing with with a view to transatlantic relations?

From an economic perspective, trade relationships play a big role because they are so tangible and have a lasting impact on the lives of so many people. The radical change that is currently taking place in customs and trade issues is a very specific area that is currently causing me concern.

How can you, together with other alumni and the Robert Bosch Stiftung, strengthen transatlantic relations?

The most important thing is to keep getting involved. Take part in panel discussions! Go to events! Read articles and comments from people dealing with these topics!

Sudha David-Wilp

Phillip Twenty

Sudha David-Wilp was a fellow of the 1997/1998 class

What did you do before your fellowship in 1997/1998?

I was 24 when the Fellowship Program started. It was the year between my first university degree and my master’s degree.

What are you doing now?

I am a Senior Transatlantic Fellow and Deputy Director of the German Marshall Fund of the United States in Berlin.

What questions are you currently dealing with with a view to transatlantic relations?

The Americans are now for the first time questioning the value of the alliances the US built after World War II. The US created the international order that was largely based on an American security umbrella that allowed other states and democracies to share in prosperity and stability. The USA is currently not sealing itself off completely, rather it is questioning its own traditions. It is good to question habits, but we have to be careful not to get into a destructive point because nobody would benefit from it. I fear that the balance will then be lost and the resulting power vacuum will be filled by countries like Russia and China, which follow rules that contradict our democratic societies.

How can you, together with other alumni and the Robert Bosch Stiftung, strengthen transatlantic relations?

All alumni are also ambassadors for the transatlantic partnership, both here in Germany and in the USA. It is not just about the relationship itself, but also about people who demand the rule of law, freedom of expression and freedom of the press and the protection of minorities. We may have different opinions on climate change or strategies for the Middle East, but at the end of the day we have common values ​​that keep our society safe and stable.

Gale Mattox

Phillip Twenty

Gale Mattox was a first class fellow in 1984/1985

What did you do before your fellowship in 1984/85?

I taught at the US Naval Academy.

What are you doing now?

I still teach at the US Naval Academy's Political Science Department. Before that, I was the first woman to head this institute. I also teach European security policy at Georgetown University and lead the (international) politics program at the American Institute for Contemporary German Studies.

What questions are you currently dealing with with a view to transatlantic relations?

I am concerned with the enormous uncertainty in relationships. The government questions long-term partnerships. There is currently uncertainty about the role and position that the US should take, but also about the role that Europe should play from the US perspective.

One last question for you as a first-year participant: What would you recommend to our new fellows for their year in Germany?

They will become members of the alumni association, a network that they will join after the program year. They can get involved in the alumni group and make themselves heard in the transatlantic dialogue. Right from the start, the Bosch Fellowship has been much more than this one year in Germany. It means maintaining relationships across the Atlantic for a lifetime.

The fellowship

The aim of the Robert Bosch Foundation Fellowship Program is to educate the young generation of Americans who know Europe and Germany in particular from their own, above all professional, experience and who are ready to stand up for German-American relations.