Event Reports

Visit of Prof. Dr. Norbert Lammert to welcome the new directors of the KAS offices in New York and Washington

by Sebastian Borchmeyer
New directors have been appointed to lead the operations of the KAS offices in New York and Washington D.C. Paul Linnarz succeeds Nico Lange in the Washington Office while Andrea Ostheimer takes over the New York office from Dr. Stefan Friedrich. They were both introduced as part of two receptions held by Prof. Dr. Norbert Lammert, current Chairman of KAS and former President of the German Bundestag.

Also, additional talks with partner organizations as well as individuals from the political, cultural and scientific communities took place.


To begin his visit, Prof. Dr. Lammert was welcomed to New York by Dr. Christoph Heusgen, the Permanent Representative of Germany to the UN, who outlined Germany’s agenda towards the UN as well as its priorities and goals.


Afterwards, the Delegation met with the UN General-Secretary António Guterres. The talk mainly centered on the current UN reform agenda promoted by Mr. Guterres, the upcoming vote within the ECOSOC committee on the consultative status of KAS as well as the role of Germany in the United Nations and its non-permanent seat in the Security Council.


During a breakfast reception the following day, Prof. Dr. Lammert met with participants of the exchange program between KAS and the American Jewish Committee (AJC), the leading global Jewish advocacy organization. They discussed current challenges facing the transatlantic relationships and American foreign and trade policy.


Later on, Prof. Dr. Lammert visited the Leo Baeck Institute and met with its Executive Director, William Weitzer. During the tour, Prof. Dr. Lammert had the opportunity to get an insight about the organizations achieving activities and was able to inspect handwritten documents of Albert Einstein. Also, Prof. Dr. Norbert Lammert visited the famous artist Christo in his Atelier to learn more about his latest project, which will be a modern Mastaba made up of 410.000 barrels.


For lunch, Prof. Dr. Norbert Lammert met again with Ambassador Heusgen as well as the Representatives of Benin, Ghana, Malawi, Nigeria and Sudan to the United Nations to present the work of the foundation in Sub-Saharan Africa and evaluate the possibilities of future cooperation. The representatives elaborated about the specific political and social situations in their home countries and stressed the positive and fruitful experiences of cooperating with KAS in the past.


The Delegation then met with Achim Steiner, Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), for a discussion about different reform streams of the Secretary-General. Additionally, he explained how an institutional realignment of UNDP intends to establish it as the leading actor in the efforts of achieving the sustainable development goals. Mr. Steiner expressed confidence about the potential for future cooperation between KAS and UNDP, especially considering the foundations expertise in global governance. Nevertheless, he is also worried about the lack of funding provided by the member states, which impedes UNDPs ability to effectively deal with today’s mounting crises. Thus, he predicts the number of global refugees to rise up to even 200 million.


Later on, Miroslav Lajčák, President of the UN General Assembly, reflected on his term, which will end this September. He underlined the importance of the first Global Compact on Migration, which is currently in the process of being enacted. He expressed his hope for a broad approval of the agreement amongst the member states and for a European Union in strong support of the United Nations and multilateralism in general.


As the last activity of the day, Prof. Dr. Lammert met with German business representatives in New York as well as the German Consul-General, David Gill, for an exchange about economic development on both sides of the Atlantic.


Prof. Dr. Lammert concluded his visit the next day by visiting of the 9/11 memorial and the future German Academy in the former Goethe-Haus on fifth avenue.


Sebastian Borchmeyer

Sebastian Borchmeyer bild

Senior Program Officer

sebastian.borchmeyer@kas.de +1 (646) 649-3144