On the evening of November 28, 2017, the American Academy in Berlin held a gala at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, attended by more than two hundred friends, alumni, and supporters—among them cartoonist Jules Feiffer, German Ambassador to the United Nations Christoph Heusgen, advisor and civil rights activist Vernon Jordan, artist Sarah Morris, journalist George Packer, former World Bank president Jim Wolfensohn, and president of the American Council of Learned Societies Pauline Yu. The event was chaired by Marina Kellen French, Beth and Michael Klein, Vincent A. and Anne Mai, Kati Marton, Peter G. Peterson and Joan Ganz Cooney, Steven Rattner and Maureen White, and Meryl Streep.
Following welcoming remarks delivered by American Academy chairman Gahl Burt, two conversations addressed pressing topics facing the transatlantic community. In the first, New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman discussed the global world order with Henry Kissinger, a founding chairman of the American Academy. In the second, Friedman and Academy trustee Matthias Döpfner, CEO of Axel Springer SE, addressed the digital world order. (An article about both discussions appeared the next day in Handelsblatt and Die Welt. An article on Bloomberg appeared on November 30.)
The American Academy in Berlin is extraordinarily grateful to this year’s gala attendees, whose exceptional generosity highlights the ongoing importance, vitality, and endurance of the transatlantic relationship, as well as the role the American Academy in Berlin continues to play in forging transatlantic relationships and cultural and intellectual exchange in the arts, humanities, and public policy.