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President Frank-Walter Steinmeier Receives the 2022 Henry A. Kissinger Prize

NEW YORK / November 17, 2022 — The American Academy in Berlin has awarded the 2022 Henry A. Kissinger Prize to Frank-Walter Steinmeier, President of the Federal Republic of Germany, for his extraordinary career in public service. The American Academy in Berlin awards the Henry A. Kissinger Prize each year to a distinguished American or European who has made a lasting contribution to the transatlantic relationship.

Usually held in Berlin, the award ceremony took place in New York City for the first time, on the evening of November 16, 2022. The laudation was delivered by Condoleezza Rice, former U.S. secretary of state (2005-09), with remarks delivered by Henry Kissinger, former U.S. secretary of state and the Academy’s founding chairman, and the keynote address delivered by President Steinmeier.

“President Steinmeier has used the authority of his office to remind us of our commitment, first and foremost, to our values and to our commitment and dedication to those who cannot speak for themselves and need us to stand beside them as they simply seek to have the very rights and the very liberties that we enjoy and that, sometimes, I think we take for granted,” said Rice of President Steinmeier, with whom she worked closely during her time as U.S. secretary of state. (Read the full laudation by Condoleezza Rice.)

One of Germany’s longest-serving and most accomplished foreign ministers, President Steinmeier is justly credited with strengthening Germany’s renown as a responsible leader of the international community and a champion of the global rules-based order. Throughout more than three decades of dedicated public life, and despite moments of genuine bilateral disagreement, he has been an unfailing champion of the U.S.-German relationship as an anchor of transatlantic peace and security.

“We now have another task,” said Kissinger. “To restore peace, to restore fulfillment for Ukraine, and to bring back Russia into a community of nations on the basis of democracy and cooperation. In all of this, Frank-Walter Steinmeier will play an important role. We respect his conduct in the past, we have faith in his views and his representation for Germany and for the future, and in this manner, this occasion is a tribute to the Bundespräsident and an expression of our faith in the future.” (Read the full text of Henry Kissinger’s remarks.)

American Academy in Berlin Chairwoman Sandra Peterson noted: “Throughout more than three decades of dedicated public service, President Steinmeier has been a beacon of compelling moral guidance, which is why the Academy is awarding him with the 2022 Henry A. Kissinger Prize.” (Read the full text of Sandra Peterson’s remarks.)

“This prize is special because of the figures who have been honored with it before me,” said President Steinmeier. “Each and every one of them shaped a period of history, each and every one of them sought security and peace, stability and justice, understanding and cooperation. And I cannot deny that I feel rather proud to now number among their ranks.” His acceptance speech also praised the U.S. and European relationship in defending Ukraine from Russian military assaults and occupation, called for a reduction in one-sided dependencies on China and Russia, and maintained that “international cooperation” will assure a peaceful world. “History and all of the lessons that are reflected in Henry Kissinger’s life, a life story that has already become historic, should represent a profound duty for us all,” Steinmeier continued. “And they should encourage us to believe—even in our time, in this twenty-first century that has become so much darker than we hoped as it began—that the ideas of freedom and democracy will continue to shine.” (Read the full text of President Steinmeier’s speech.)

American Academy in Berlin President Daniel Benjamin said: “The challenges of our times may seem overwhelming, and none of them can be solved by a single nation. But they all demand that people of good will put their heads together, exchange ideas, refine one another’s thoughts, put new concepts to the public and pull in the same direction. That, I hope, is what we are doing at the American Academy in Berlin.” (Read the full text of Daniel Benjamin’s remarks.)

The 2022 Henry A. Kissinger Prize was generously underwritten with lead and presenting sponsorship from Bloomberg Philanthropies, Deutsche Bank, Linde plc, and Schmidt Futures; supporting sponsorship was provided by American Express, BASF, Bayer, Cerberus Deutschland Beteiligungsberatung, Deutsche Post DHL Group, Fresenius Kabi, Holtzbrinck Publishing Group, Microsoft, Porsche, PwC, Robert Bosch GmbH, The Brunswick Group, and White & Case.

All photographs: Karsten Staiger / American Academy in Berlin

Selected Press Coverage of the 2022 Henry A. Kissinger Prize

About the Henry A. Kissinger Prize

The Henry A. Kissinger Prize was established in 2007 to honor the founding chairman of the American Academy in Berlin. Former U.S. Secretary of State Kissinger’s initiatives to create and sustain a stable East-West relationship helped to lay the foundation for change in Europe, the end of the Cold War, and the unification of Germany. Previous recipients of the Henry A. Kissinger Prize are Helmut Schmidt (2007); George H.W. Bush (2008); Richard von Weizsäcker (2009); Michael R. Bloomberg (2010); Helmut Kohl (2011); George P. Shultz (2012); Ewald-Heinrich von Kleist (2013); James A. Baker, III (2014); Giorgio Napolitano and Hans-Dietrich Genscher (2015); Samantha Power (2016); Wolfgang Schäuble (2018); John McCain (2018); Angela Merkel (2020); and James N. Mattis (2021).

The 2022 Henry A. Kissinger Prize Ceremony

The 2022 Henry A. Kissinger Prize Introductory Video

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