The trustees of the American Academy in Berlin appointed Terry McCarthy as the institution’s next president on September 1, 2018. McCarthy, a prize-winning journalist, previously served as president and CEO of the Los Angeles World Affairs Council. He arrives in Berlin tomorrow, September 6, 2018, and succeeds Professor Michael P. Steinberg, who has returned to Brown University.
Terry McCarthy stated: “I look forward to leading the American Academy in Berlin at this pivotal moment in the transatlantic relationship. America is a country founded on ideas. Germany is a country of great thinkers who produce great ideas. The American Academy exists to link the two, by bringing the best of American thought and culture to Germany. As both a foreign correspondent and a student of philosophy, I have always been driven to ask the fundamental questions of why people do what they do, and what role politics, economics, and culture play in their decisions. The American Academy, now celebrating the twentieth anniversary of its fellowship program, is the ideal place to bring people of varying disciplines together to discuss and provide answers to these issues. Through this personal dialogue and questioning—a tradition that stretches back to the very first Academy of Plato—we can expand our perspectives and continue to foster greater understanding between Germany and the United States.”
Prior to his appointment at the Los Angeles World Affairs Council, in 2012, McCarthy spent 27 years as a journalist covering politics, business, military conflicts, and social and environmental issues across the US, Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and Latin America for television and print media. He worked for ABC News and CBS News and served as foreign correspondent for The Independent and Time—from 2000 to 2005 as that magazine’s Los Angeles bureau chief. His journalism has been recognized with an Edward R. Murrow Award, four Emmys, and the Asian Human Rights Press Award.
Born in London and raised in Ireland, McCarthy received a BA with honors from University College Dublin, where he studied philosophy, German, and Greek. His ties to Germany go back decades. In 1975, McCarthy spent a semester at a Benedictine boarding school in Münsterschwarzach, and, in 1978, attended the Riemenschneider Gymnasium in Würzburg. In 1981, he was awarded a DAAD scholarship that took him to the University of Tübingen. In addition to English and German, McCarthy speaks French, Spanish, Japanese, and Chinese.
Photo courtesy Terry McCarthy