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Photo: Annette Hornischer
Photo: Annette Hornischer

Terry McCarthy is the president of the American Academy in Berlin.

McCarthy had previously served as president and CEO of the Los Angeles World Affairs Council since July 2012. Prior to that, McCarthy traveled the world for television and print media for 27 years, covering politics, business, military conflicts, and social and environmental issues across the US, Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and Latin America.

At the nonpartisan Los Angeles World Affairs Council, McCarthy increased membership, expanded event programming, and hosted a wide range of speakers, including former US President Bill Clinton, billionaire-entrepreneur Elon Musk, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, and Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke. Under his leadership, the Council emphasized Californian priorities, and put on conferences on the Future of Asia in 2016 and 2017, and the Future of the Automobile in 2018.

For CBS News, McCarthy spent four months embedded with US Marines in southern Afghanistan for the series “The Thundering Third,” which won an Emmy and an Edward R Murrow Award in 2011. He followed Egypt’s anti-Mubarak revolution in Cairo, traced the steps of the al Qaeda “underpants bomber” in Yemen, traveled along China’s Silk Road, reported on Shanghai’s real estate boom, and did in-depth reporting on cyberattacks on US corporations.

Prior to CBS News, McCarthy was the main Baghdad correspondent for ABC News from 2006 to 2009, covering the trial and execution of Saddam Hussein, the US troop surge in 2007, and the everyday life of Baghdad residents in the midst of the war. In 2007, he won an Emmy for a series on how Iraqis viewed their lives four years after the US invasion.

Before moving into television, McCarthy spent eight years working for Time, first as the magazine’s Shanghai bureau chief and then, from 2000 to 2005, as its Los Angeles bureau chief. In Shanghai, he wrote about China’s internet and car industries, and covered the fall of Indonesian dictator Suharto and the death of Khmer Rouge leader Pol Pot. From LA, he did in-depth stories about the Green River serial killer in Seattle, the fight over new oil drilling in Alaska, and the science of sharks. Immediately after 9/11, McCarthy went to Afghanistan to cover the ousting of the Taliban from Kabul, and, in 2003, he covered the US invasion of Iraq. He set up Time’s bureaus in Kabul and Baghdad.

From 1987 to 1995, McCarthy was based in Bangkok and then Tokyo for the London newspaper The Independent, where he covered the bursting of Japan’s economic bubble, Kyoto’s Zen monasteries, Aung San Suu Kyi’s campaign for democracy in Burma, and the war in Cambodia. He started his career as a freelance reporter in Central America in 1985.

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, he 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.

Phone: +49 (030) 804 83 102

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