About Us (engl)

Atlantische Initiative/ Atlantic Initiative

About the Atlantic Initiative
About Atlantic Initiative U.S.
Advisory Board Members of the Atlantic Initiative
Founding Members of the Atlantic Initiative

About the Atlantic Initiative

The Atlantic Initiative (German: Atlantische Initiative e.V.) is a non-partisan, non-profit, and independent organization founded in Berlin in 2004. It concentrates on building and strengthening a strategic community and a culture of constructive foreign policy debate. We believe that a strong partnership between America and Europe is crucial to defending our common interests and values. Our key goal is therefore to broaden understanding and discussion of the issues affecting transatlantic relations through a variety of projects, both online and offline.

We seek to:

Spread the message that today’s transatlantic agenda is global: from climate change to failed states, from terrorism to the financial crisis, Europe and America must develop common policy to face new global challenges.

Promote frank debate and intellectual exchange between Europe and North America on issues of foreign policy.

Support and advance future leaders through networking opportunities that link students and young professionals with senior decision-makers and experts.

Analyze and communicate the complex challenges of the twenty-first century in a way that is accessible to everyone.

Our Projects


Atlantic-community.org was launched in April, 2007, as the first online foreign policy think tank, and focuses specifically on issues affecting transatlantic relations. It is a joint project of Atlantische Initiative e.V. and Atlantic Initiative U.S. The aim of the website is to promote open and constructive debate, encouraging people of diverse backgrounds – not only from Europe and North America – to participate in developing solutions online. We especially want to make a new generation of thinkers and young leaders heard, giving them the opportunity to publish and debate side by side with established experts. For more information see our mission statement.

The website operates as a continuous online conference. Members register with a personal profile, similar to social media sites, and are able to contact their peers through the website. Users can actively engage in setting the transatlantic agenda through structured debate on the most important issues. In the Your Opinion section of the website op-eds written by members and edited by our staff are published on a daily basis. Readers comment on the ideas and suggestions presented in the articles, and the editorial staff then condenses the debates into Atlantic Memos – executive summaries that harness the collective intelligence of the community, and present the best solutions and policy recommendations. These memos are sent to policy-makers in over 27 countries in Europe and North America.

The section Your Research provides an outlet for unique and original research to impact policy debates. Atlantic-commuity.org presents a combination of MA and BA theses, term papers, think tank publications, and original research, allowing students’ work to be read by decision-makers and interested citizens around the world as well as their professors.

Deutschlands Agenda

The German-language blog Deutschlands Agenda, launched in 2011, is the Atlantic Initiative’s most recent project. Like atlantic-community.org, this platform concentrates on foreign policy; however, it especially aims to raise awareness as well as strengthen the debate on German foreign policy issues. In an ever more connected world, foreign policy factors have to be taken into account while making national policy decisions. By explaining these interactions as well as initiating a discussion on the topic between citizens, politicians and opinion leaders, Deutschlands Agenda looks to accustom citizens to the global context of decisions. By appealing especially to the younger generation and the blogging community, it not only wishes to deepen citizen´s participation, but also to actively and sustainably frame the German political dialogue and to eventually create a strong strategic community in Germany. As atlantic-community.org does successfully since 2007, Deutschlands Agenda will condense fruitful discussions into executive briefings (Memos) and send them for consideration to key decision makers.

Global Must Reads

In addition to atlantic-community.org, we produce a monthly German and English language service called Global Must Reads. This is a premium selection of studies and analyses from over 50 American and European sources (Think Tanks, magazines, and journals), which are concisely summarized for our readers. Global Must Reads is sent in PDF-format to more than 15,000 decision-makers in politics, economics, the media and academia. This makes Global Must Reads the most widely distributed foreign policy publication in the German language. The English version of the Global Must Reads is available on atlantic-community.org as Best of Think Tanks.


The Atlantic Initiative organizes several event series in Berlin, such as Atlantic Happy Hour – Security Policy out of the Box, an innovative and accessible forum for addressing current security policy issues created in cooperation with NATO. Another example, out of several, is the Atlantic Lunch Club. In cooperation with the German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP) we host regular discussion groups, both informal and high profile, at the Atlantic Initiative’s offices.

Other event series include Understanding America, a closer look at political, societal, and cultural (media) trends that drive the „indispensable nation’s” leaders and the Future of the West, comparing societal trends in Europe and North America.

Task Forces

The Atlantic Initiative sets up virtual task forces to examine key issues of today’s transatlantic agenda. The goal of the task forces is to advise governments, international organizations, business, and NGOs on specific questions of international relations and to produce actionable policy recommendations.

Choosing the best experts available on a given topic, we assemble an international, interdisciplinary group of top academics and thought leaders in their respective fields. Our first task force, on „Global Green Recovery,” was conducted for the German Foreign Service’s Policy Planning Group and brought together climate experts, policymakers, clean technology business leaders, and investors from Germany, the UK, and the US in our virtual conference format. Drawing upon their collective intelligence these experts jointly developed recommendations on how G20 governments can best work with private business and investors to foster a global green technology market.


New Media Prize of the RIAS Berlin Commission

The RIAS Berlin Commission awarded its New Media Prize to the publishers of atlantic-community.org in July 2008, and praised it as a „platform for convening transatlantic exchange, possible only with the availability of the Internet.” The RIAS Berlin Commission rewards „radio, TV and Internet productions which made special contributions to the mutual understanding between the people of Germany and of the United States of America.”

A Landmark in the Land of Ideas

In January 2009 atlantic-community.org was selected as a „Landmark in the Land of Ideas.” Germany: Land of Ideas is a shared initiative of the German government and commerce and industry represented by the Federation of German Industries (BDI) and leading corporations, under the patronage of Federal President Horst Köhler. The competition seeks to award places where innovation, new talent, new ideas, and constructive curiosity are prevalent – the very principles upon which atlantic-community.org bases its work. To celebrate the award, the editorial team hosted a special panel discussion on Web 2.0 and the future of political participation.

Speaker & Dialogue Award

Atlantic-community.org was awarded the prestigious „Speaker and Dialogue Award” (Redner– und Dialogpreis) by the Initiative ProDialog. Atlantic-community.org was recognized in the „Best Dialogue in Civil Society“ category. Kerstin Plehwe, the Chairperson of Initiative ProDialog said that atlantic-community.org had shown „the ability of dialogue to promote participation and cooperation. In times of crisis the key to successful communication is to create trust and understanding.”

The Team

Founding Directors

Dr. Johannes Bohnen studied international relations at Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service and received his doctorate degree from Oxford University. Following positions with several think tanks, the German Bundestag and the German government, he was founder and managing director of Scholz & Friends Agenda, a public affairs agency in Berlin. Johannes is a partner at Bohnen Kallmorgen & Partner, a consultancy for policy analysis and strategic communications in Berlin.

Jan-Friedrich Kallmorgen is trained as an historian and holds a master’s degree from Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service. He has worked in journalism and as a business consultant in Washington, D.C., and was an investment manager with Goldman, Sachs & Co from 2000 to 2003. From 2004 to 2007 he served as head of the Transatlantic Program at the German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP) and is now a partner at Bohnen Kallmorgen & Partner, a consultancy for policy analysis and strategic communications in Berlin.


Joerg Wolf is project manager and editor-in-chief of atlantic-community.org. Jörg studied Political Science at the Free University of Berlin and worked as a research associate for the International Risk Policy project at the Free University’s Center for Transatlantic Foreign and Security Policy. He has been a Fulbright Scholar at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore and Washington D.C. and has worked for the Friedrich Ebert Foundation in Cairo and in Berlin.

Björn Sacknieß is external consultant for atlantic-community.org. Björn studied Political Science, Public Policy and Modern European History at the Christian-Albrechts-Universität at Kiel and the Universidad de Cantabria in Spain. After finishing his Master’s degree, he volunteered in Ecuador at the newsdesk of Ecuavisa, the country’s leading television network. Björn has previously worked at the German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP) and at Internationale Politik, a German political journal.

C. Todd Williamson, III is a senior fellow with the Atlantic Initiative e.V. since June 2016. He holds a masters degree in communication, culture and technology from Georgetown University in Washington, DC and studied journalism at the Scripps Howard School of Journalism & Communications at Hampton Univesity. Prior to his current role, he was a Robert-Bosch Fellow at the Global Public Policy Institute (GPPi) in Berlin as a member of their “Rising Powers & Global Governance Team”. Given that he worked four years as a Senior Associate at J.P. Morgan and two years as a special assistant to the Obama administration, Todd has experience both in the private and public sector dealing with international relations and public policy.

Linus Sehn is a research assistant of the Atlantische Initiative e.V. since summer 2016. He currently studies Politics, Philosophy and Economics at the University of Manchester. He recently completed an exchange semester at the Institute d’Études politiques (IEP) at Paris, where he focused on Political psychology & Economic history. Linus is also an active member of the German Academic foundation and receives a full undergraduate scholarship.

Advisory Board Members of the Atlantic Initiative

  • Dr. Rudolf Adam, Federal Foreign Office, Berlin
  • Niels Annen, Member of Parliament, Berlin
  • Prof. Dr. Arnulf Baring, Historian, Berlin
  • Dr. Christoph Bertram, Hamburg
  • Dr. Philipp v. Boehm-Bezing, BBSC Boehm-Bezing, Sieger & Cie., Stuttgart
  • Dr. Mark Brzezinski, Ambassador of the United States in Schweden, Washington, DC
  • Jürgen Chrobog, former Ambassador
  • Dr. Klaus-Dieter Frankenberger, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Frankfurt
  • Dr. Jeffrey Gedmin, Chief Executive Officer, Legatum Institute, London
  • Dr. Michael J. Inacker, Berlin
  • Dr. Jackson Janes, Director, American Institute for Contemporary German Studies, Washington, D.C.
  • Eckart von Klaeden, Daimler AG, Stuttgart
  • Hans-Ulrich Klose, Former Coordinator of German-American Cooperation, Foreign Office, Berlin
  • John Kornblum, Senior Counsellor, Noerr, Berlin
  • Dr. Charles Kupchan, Council on Foreign Relations, Washington, D.C.
  • Alexander Graf Lambsdorff, Member of European Parliament, Brussels
  • Dr. Kurt J. Lauk, Chairman, CDU Business Council (Wirtschaftsrat), Berlin
  • Dr. Beate Lindemann, Executive Vice-Chairmann, Atlantik-Forum, Berlin
  • Heike MacKerron, Senior Director for Europe, German Marshall Fund of the United States, Berlin
  • Dr. Norbert Otten, Direktor Policy Issues, Daimler AG, Stuttgart
  • Cem Özdemir, Chairman Bündnis 90/Die Grünen, Berlin
  • Ruprecht Polenz, former Chairman Committee on Foreign Relations, Berlin
  • Avi Primor, Former Israeli Ambassador to Germany, Tel Aviv
  • Andrew Rasiej, Founder and Publisher, Personal Democracy Forum, New York
  • Prof. Dr. Eberhard Sandschneider, Director, German Council on Foreign Relations, Berlin
  • Prof. Dr. H.c. Horst M. Teltschik, Former President Boeing Germany, Berlin
  • Karsten D. Voigt, Former Coordinator of German-American Cooperation, Foreign Office, Berlin
  • Lord Wallace, House of Lords, London

Founding Members of the Atlantic Initiative

  • Dr. Johannes Bohnen, Member of the Board, Atlantische Initiative, Berlin
  • Jan-Friedrich Kallmorgen, Member of the Board, Atlantische Initiative, Berlin
  • Alexander Graf Lambsdorff, Member of European Parliament, Brussels
  • Björn Sackniess, Consultant, Berlin
  • Dr. Christoph Schwegmann, Federal Ministry of Defense, Berlin
  • Andrea Stürmer, Zurich Financial Services, Zurich
  • Dr. Rüdiger C. Sura, Deutsche Bank AG, Berlin
  • Jan Techau, Carnegie Europe, Brussels
  • Dr. Philip Christian Wachs, Managing Director Haus Rissen, Hamburg
  • Magnus Prinz zu Wied, Huntsman Materials & Effects, Basel
  • Tobias Wolny, Deutsche BP, Berlin
  • Lars Zimmermann, stiftung neue verantwortung, Berlin


About the Atlantic Initiative U.S.

Außenpolitik für alle!

Die Atlantische Initiative will einen Beitrag zur Stärkung der außenpolitischen Kultur in Deutschland leisten. Mitgestaltung außenpolitischer Prozesse muss für alle möglich sein. Dafür ist es wichtig, alle Teilbereiche der Gesellschaft besser zu vernetzen. Besonders liegt uns die Förderung von Partizipationsmöglichkeiten für die junge Generation am Herzen. Um unser Motto mit Leben zu füllen, haben wir eine Reihe von Projekten entwickelt. Wir freuen uns auf Ihre Beteiligung.