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GCRI Advisory Council

The GCRI is fortunate to have the expertise and wide-ranging networks that the Advisory Council brings to the organization. The profiles of the Council members, featured below, attest to the GCRI’s reach across the business, government, academic, and nonprofit sectors.
The Council members’ leadership ensures that the GCRI is well connected to key stakeholders in the United States and Germany. Their involvement in programming, strategizing, and periodically reviewing the GCRI’s overall effectiveness enabled the GCRI to become a fully functioning organization within months of its launch.
Under the leadership of its chair, Dr. Kurt Becker, and the GCRI’s Executive Director Dr. Nina Lemmens the Advisory Council works tirelessly to enhance the GCRI’s outreach as it presents Germany to the North American market.

  • Becker, Kurt H.

    Becker, Kurt H.

    Vice Dean for Academic Affairs and Professor of Applied Physics, Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

    Kurt H. Becker is the Vice Dean for Academic Affairs and a Professor of Applied Physics as well as of Mechanical and Aerospace ...

    Kurt H. Becker is the Vice Dean for Academic Affairs and a Professor of Applied Physics as well as of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Polytechnic Institute of NYU (NYU-Poly). He received his MS (Dipl. Phys.) and Ph.D. (Dr. rer. nat.) degrees from the Universität des Saarlandes in Saarbrücken, Germany, in 1978 and 1981, respectively. Prior to joining NYU-Poly in 2007, he was on the faculty of Lehigh University (1984-1988), the City College of CUNY (1988-1997), and Stevens Institute of Technology (1997-2007). At Stevens, he served as Head of the Department of Physics and Engineering Physics (2000-2007) and also as Associate Director of the Center for Environmental Systems (2003-2007).  He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society, a recipient of the Thomas A. Edison Patent Award of the Research and Development Council of New Jersey (2001), and he holds an Honorary Professorship from the Leopold Franzens Universität Innsbruck, Austria. He has published more than 200 peer-reviewed articles, edited or co-edited 10 books and Special Issues of professional journals. He was part of a successful commercialization of plasma technology for medical sterilization applications through a university spin-out company, PlasmaSol.

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  • Fisher, Cathleen

    Fisher, Cathleen

    President

    Dr. Cathleen S. Fisher has been engaged in transatlantic and German-American relations for over 25 years. She joined American ...

    Dr. Cathleen S. Fisher has been engaged in transatlantic and German-American relations for over 25 years. She joined American Friends in 2008 as executive director. From 2002-2006, she was deputy director of the American Institute for Contemporary German Studies (AICGS), The Johns Hopkins University, where she was centrally involved in management of all operations and programs in support of the Institute’s mission. Before joining AICGS, Fisher served for ten years as a senior associate at the Henry L. Stimson Center, where she focused on nuclear arms control, export controls, and transatlantic security issues.

    She has been a Fulbright scholar at the University of Bonn (1981-82), and has held fellowships at the Harvard Center for International Affairs, the Free University of Berlin, and the Peace Research Institute Frankfurt. She chairs the Advisory Council of the German Center for Research and Innovation and served on the American Chemical Society’s International Center Task Force. Fisher has taught at the Elliott School of International Affairs at the George Washington University, in the National Security Studies Program at Georgetown University and in the Department of Political Science at Emory University. She holds a Ph.D. in Government and Politics from the University of Maryland, an M.A. in International Relations from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies, and a Certificate in Nonprofit Management from George Mason University’s School of Public Administration. She has written numerous articles and monographs and has spoken in the United States and Asia on German-American and transatlantic relations, U.S. foreign policy, and the role of nongovernmental organizations in nuclear nonproliferation and arms control.

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  • Gill, David

    Gill, David

    Consul General

    David Gill, born in 1966, grew up in a rectory in Herrnhut in the eastern part of Saxony, in the former German Democratic ...

    David Gill, born in 1966, grew up in a rectory in Herrnhut in the eastern part of Saxony, in the former German Democratic Republic. He was denied attendance and completion of a public school and subsequently studies at a public university on the basis of political reasons. After an apprenticeship to become a plumber he first underwent theological training and eventually attended a theological seminary of the Protestant Church in Berlin-Brandenburg. In 1990, he initially was Chairman of Normannenstrasse Citizens’ Committee at the headquarters of the Ministry of State Security (Stasi) and then Head of Administration, Parliamentary Special Committee for the dissolution of the GDR Ministry of State Security/Office of National Security. He was Spokesman and Head of Division of the Federal Commissioner for the Files of the State Security Service of the former GDR before studying law, amongst others in Philadelphia, USA. After holding positions with the Federal Ministry of the Interior and with the Office of Commissioner for Data Protection and Freedom of Information in Berlin, he was for eight years the Deputy Representative of the Council of the Protestant Church in Germany (EKD) to the Federal Republic of Germany and the European Union. During the term of Joachim Gauck, President of Germany from 2012-2017, he was State Secretary and Head of the Office of the Federal President. Since August 2017, he is the German Consul General in New York.

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  • Gruhlich, Dr. Rainer

    Gruhlich, Dr. Rainer

    Director, North America Office

    Dr. Rainer Gruhlich is the Director of the North America Office of the Deutsche Forschungs-gemeinschaft (DFG, German Research ...

    Dr. Rainer Gruhlich is the Director of the North America Office of the Deutsche Forschungs-gemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation), the self-governing funding organization for science and research in Germany. Located in Washington, DC and New York City, the DFG North America Office works to strengthen collaboration between German and North American scientists and researchers, supports early-career researchers and DFG research fellows in the region, and organizes outreach activities to showcase Germany as a research location. As a voice of science, the DFG closely cooperates with its North American partners to advocate the cause of science, and of basic research in particular. Prior to being appointed Director of the DFG’s North America Office in September 2017, Dr. Gruhlich headed the section on North America within the Division International Affairs at the DFG’s headquarters in Bonn, Germany. His portfolio included coordinating the DFG’s activities within the Global Research Council (GRC), a “virtual” organization of research councils from around the world committed to multilateral research and collaboration across continents. Dr. Gruhlich was key organizer of the 2nd Annual Meeting in 2013 and served as Deputy Executive Secretary from 2013 to 2016 and as GRC Executive Secretary until June 2017. Before joining the DFG in 2012, Dr. Gruhlich held the position of Program Director for Strategic Planning and External Relations at the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, where he established the annual Forum on the Internationalization of Sciences and Humanities and worked to enhance the Foundation’s cooperation with the European Commission. He earned his doctorate in Modern History from the University of Tübingen, holds a master’s degree in Medieval History from the University of Oxford, and was a graduate student at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy and at Tufts University (Medford, Mass.).

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  • Jost, Irmintraud

    Jost, Irmintraud

    Executive Director

    Irmintraud Jost has been dedicated to the transatlantic dialogue for more than 20 years. As Executive Director of Heidelberg ...

    Irmintraud Jost has been dedicated to the transatlantic dialogue for more than 20 years. As Executive Director of Heidelberg University Association, she represents Universität Heidelberg in North America. Heidelberg is Germany’s oldest university and consistently ranked as one of the best universities in Germany. The Heidelberg University Association, New York, focuses on alumni relations, collaborations between Heidelberg and universities in the U.S. and Canada, and marketing and fundraising. In 2002, she founded Global Concept Consulting, serving American and international clients in strategic communications, public relations, marketing, intercultural competencies, event planning, and project management. Before establishing her own company, Ms. Jost served for ten years as the New York Bureau Chief and business writer for Germany’s largest newspaper group, the Axel Springer Verlag, directing the U.S. Correspondent Office. Prior to moving to the U.S., she worked for ten years as editor and reporter for the daily newspapers Berliner Morgenpost in Berlin and Hamburger Abendblatt in Hamburg. She also spent a year and a half as a freelance correspondent in London. As Chairwoman, Ms. Jost organizes the annual Quadrille Ball, a fundraiser for the exchange of outstanding students between the U.S. and Germany. She is also a member of the American Council on Germany. Born in Hamburg, Germany, she graduated from Freie Universität Berlin and has lived in New York for almost 25 years.

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  • Lemmens, Dr. Nina

    Lemmens, Dr. Nina

    Director

    Dr. Nina Lemmens studied art history and history at the University of Bonn and worked as a freelance journalist for ten years ...

    Dr. Nina Lemmens studied art history and history at the University of Bonn and worked as a freelance journalist for ten years during her time at university. After finishing her Ph.D., she worked as personal assistant to a member of the German Parliament for one year.

    Dr. Lemmens joined the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) in 1997 and since then has held several positions, including Director of the DAAD London office (2000 to 2006), Director for the Asia-Pacific Section in the Bonn head office (2006 to 2009), and Director of the Department for Internationalization and Communication in DAAD in Bonn, where she was responsible for a budget of around 70 million Euros – roughly $ 95 million. As of January 1, 2014, Dr. Lemmens is the new Director of DAAD’s North America office in New York. She has come to New York with her husband, Dr. Markus Lemmens, a publisher and expert in the field of marketing.

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  • Mishra, Robin

    Mishra, Robin

    Minister-Counselor

    Dr. Robin Mishra has served as Head of the Science and Technology Section of the German Embassy in Washington, D.C., since ...

    Dr. Robin Mishra has served as Head of the Science and Technology Section of the German Embassy in Washington, D.C., since September 1, 2015. He studied law at the Universities of Münster and Paris. After completing his Ph.D. and legal training, he was an assistant to the CEO of the RTL Group, Europe’s largest broadcasting company. After working as a TV journalist for Westdeutscher Rundfunk (WDR), he switched roles in 2001 to become a Berlin correspondent for the weekly newspaper Rheinischer Merkur. 

    His commitment to transatlantic cooperation and understanding dates back to 2004 when he received an Arthur F. Burns Journalism Fellowship and wrote for the Chicago Tribune. Following this experience, he became Berlin Bureau Chief for the Rheinischer Merkur. Dr. Robin Mishra was awarded the Arthur F. Burns Prize in 2005 and the Roman-Herzog-Medienpreis in 2009 for his articles. He is also author of various political books. In 2010, he joined the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) in Berlin and served the Federal Ministers Annette Schavan and Johanna Wanka as Spokesman and Head of Press and Strategic Communications.

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  • Peck, Dr. Jeffrey

    Peck, Dr. Jeffrey

    Director, Europe

    Dr. Jeffrey Peck received his Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley and his M.A. from the University of Chicago. As ...

    Dr. Jeffrey Peck received his Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley and his M.A. from the University of Chicago. As of September 2015, he will be the Director, Europe for AKA Strategy, a New York City consulting firm in higher education. Until June 2015, he was the Dean of the Weissman School of Arts and Sciences and Professor in the Department of Modern Languages and Comparative Literature and also Vice Provost for Global Strategies at Baruch College/CUNY. He also represented CUNY in the WC2 (Global Cities/Global Universities) Network. Before coming to Baruch, he was a Fulbright Professor and then holder of the Walter Benjamin Chair in German Jewish History and Culture at Humboldt University, Berlin. At Humboldt he was also the Director of the Leo Baeck Summer University in Jewish Studies. During two separate tenures at Georgetown University, he was a faculty member in the Communication, Culture and Technology Program, as well as in the Center for German and European Studies (the School of Foreign Service), in the Department of German and Director of the Jewish Studies Initiative. He was also a Senior Fellow at the American Institute for Contemporary German Studies in Washington, D.C. From 1999-2002 he was the first Director of the Canadian Centre for German and European Studies at York University (Toronto) and the University of Montreal. Previously he also held positions at the University of Washington and the Free University of Berlin. Peck’s interdisciplinary research focuses on questions of national and minority identities, particularly in diaspora (primarily Jewish) communities. His most recent book, Being Jewish in the New Germany, was published by Rutgers University Press, 2006 (paperback 2007). Currently, Peck is interested in issues emerging from global research collaboration.

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  • Rieg, Dietmar

    Rieg, Dietmar

    President & CEO

    Mr. Rieg has served as President and CEO of the German American Chamber of Commerce (GACC) in New York since July 2013. Prior to ...

    Mr. Rieg has served as President and CEO of the German American Chamber of Commerce (GACC) in New York since July 2013. Prior to joining the GACC New York, Mr. Rieg served as General Manager of BayernLB’s Branch in New York, where he held numerous senior positions since 1993. From 2006 to 2008, he shifted to the bank’s headquarters in Munich, where he was responsible for the corporate banking business in multiple industries, including energy and telecommunications. He returned to New York in 2008 to take the position of CEO of Bayern LB’s subsidiary office. Mr. Rieg is an economist with a degree from the University of Tuebingen, Germany and holds an M.B.A. from the Stern School of Business at New York University.

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