The German-American FellowshipThe Arthur F. Burns Fellowship

Program Description

The program is named for Arthur F. Burns, former US-Ambassador to Germany and Federal Reserve Board Chairman. 2017, in it's 30th year, the Arthur F. Burns Fellowship Program gives 20 promising journalists from Germany and the USA to gain professional and personal experience in the other partner's country. In 2013 it expanded to include Canadian journalists. The delegates work for two months in a host media organization of their choice, learning about news operations in a foreign setting and, in effect, serving as foreign correspondents for their home newsrooms. The fellowship allows for an intense impression of the politics, business world, culture and social fibre of the host countries while being fully integrated into the day-to-day business of the host newsroom.

Burns Fellows 2016
Burns Fellows 2016

The program was initially founded in 1988 to further the understanding of German journalists of U.S. affairs and to strengthen the transatlantic relationship. Since 1990, the program has been a true exchange program between the two countries. Its aim is to support highly talented journalists.

Patrons of the program are the current ambassadors of both countries:

Peter Ammon, German Ambassador to the United States of America
John B. Emmerson,
U.S. Ambassador to Germany

The U.S. portion of the fellowship is administered by the International Center for Journalists in Washington, D.C. A high-caliber board of trustees supports the efforts of the Arthur F. Burns Fellowship with representatives drawn from politics, academia, the media and other sectors of society. Frank Loy, former Under Secretary of State for Global Affairs, serves as the president since summer 2003. Before, James F. Hoge, Jr., chief editor of "Foreign Affairs", had served as president until 2002. Richard Burt, former U.S. ambassador to Germany and the first president of the AFB Board in the US, was honorary chairman. Now Marcus W. Brauchli, Vice-President of the Washington Post serves as chairman of the board.

Fellowship Payments

The German participants of the Arthur F. Burns Fellowship receive a budget of 4,000 Euro, the American fellows 5,500 US$. This covers their transatlantic flight and a portion of the fellows' travel and basic living expenses. There will be no payment for the work in the host organization.


German participants are requested to send to IJP a Curriculum Vitae in English or German, a passport picture, a short summary of their professional objectives in the host country and a letter of recommendation from their supervising editor. The letter of recommendation should support the application as proof of journalistic work and at the same time guarantee that the applicant can be released from his/her commitments for the duration of the program.

U.S. applicants please contact the International Center for Journalists at the above address.


More than 600 journalists from over 60 German and U.S. media outlets have taken part in the Arthur F. Burns Fellowship Program since 1988. Many professionel contacts and friendships have developed from this alumni circle. IJP supports the contact between the former participants, as there are a quarterly Burns newsletter, regular alumni dinners and other events. Chief among the regular reunions are the Arthur F. Burns alumni dinners in Berlin and New York. Regional meetings and fact finding trips, for instance to Turkey, Israel, Palestine or Eastern European countries, contribute to a political and personal exchange of ideas among the former fellows of the Arthur F. Burns Fellowship.

In May of each year in Berlin, a high-caliber guest of honour speaks on the question of transatlantic relations, e.g. Dr. Klaus Kinkel, then Foreign Minister, in 1997; Dr. Otto Graf Lambsdorff, former Secretary of Economics and Chairman of the liberal party, in 1998; Dr. Javier Solana, then NATO Secretary General, in 1999; Dr Lothar Späth, CEO Jenoptik AG and former Prime Minister of Baden-Württemberg, in 2000; Ron Sommer, former CEO Deutsche Telekom AG, in 2001; Daniel R. Coats, US Ambassador and former US Senator from Indiana, in 2002; Dr. Henry Kissinger, former US Secretary of State, in 2003; Dr. Wolfgang Schäuble, Secretary of the Interior, former Chairman of the CDU and Chairman of the CDU/CSU parliamentary group, in 2004; Otto Schily, former Secretary of the Interior, SPD, in 2005; Haim Saban, Majority Shareholder Sat1Pro7, in 2006; Lars Krückeberg, Thomas Willemeit & Wolfram Putz, Principals, Graft in 2007; Alexander Kwasniewski, former President of the Republic of Poland in 2008 and Dr. Josef Ackermann, CEO Deutsche Bank on June 4th, 2009. 2010 it was the Polish Foreign Minister Sikorski, 2011 former German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier.

For the first time in 2004, the American Burns Dinner (with the American Alumni and invited guests) took place in New York. Dr. Henry Kissinger, former US Secretary of State, was guest of honor and speaker. He was followed in 2005, by Dr. Madeleine Albright, also former US Secretary of State, again hosted by the chairman of Goldman Sachs and the German Ambassador in the US. In the following years the dinner speaches were delivered 2006 by Joschka Fischer, Germany's former Foreign Secretary of State, 2007 Javier Solana, High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy of EU gave a speech, 2008 the German UN-Ambassador Thomas Matussek and 2009 Robert Zoellick, Chairman of the World Bank. The following guest speakers were the Polish Foreign Minister Sirotski (2010), the German Foreign Ministers F.-W. Steinmeier and G. Westerwelle and in June 2014 the German Minister of Defence, Ursula von der Leyen. The Ukrainian Foreign Secretary, Pavlo Klimkin, gave the dinner speech in June 2015. The Canadian Minister of National Defense, Harjit Singh Sajjan flew in on the occasion of the dinner in June 2016.

A West Coast dinner was establisehd in San Francisco in 2011.

Partner Media

A selection of partner media in the USA since 1988:

KFTY TV, Santa Rosa, CA
The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia, PA
The Contra Costa Times, Walnut Creek, CA
WCVB (Channel 5), Boston, MA
San Diego Union Tribune, San Diego, CA
Chicago Tribune, Chicago, IL
WETA/FM Radio, Arlington, VA
WWBT (NBC), Richmond, VA
Peach State Public Radio, Atlanta, GA
WJLA (ABC), Washington, DC
KGTV, San Diego, CA
U.S. News and World Report, Washington, DC
Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Atlanta, GA
KPFA Radio, Berkeley, CA
The Lexington Herald Leader, Lexington, KY
KING TV, Seattle, WA
KCNC TV, Denver, CO
KTVU (Channel 2), Oakland, CA
WCIX (Channel 6), Miami, FL
The Oregonian, Portland, OR
The Patriot Ledger, Quincy, MA
The Miami Herald, Miami, FL
KQED-FM, San Francisco, CA
The Hartfort Courant, Hartfort, CT
KIRO TV, Seattle, WA
KUOW-FM, Seattle, WA
Anchorage Daily News, Anchorage, AL
Eugene Register-Guard, Eugene, OR
Wired News, San Francisco, CA
The Denver Post, Denver, CO
Minnesota Public Radio, St. Paul, MN
CNET, San Francisco, CA

German partner media since 1990: Aachener Nachrichten, Associated Press, Bayerischer Rundfunk, Berliner Morgenpost, Berliner Zeitung, BZ, Deutsche Welle, DPA, Focus, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Frankfurter Rundschau, Lübecker Nachrichten, Mitteldeutscher Rundfunk, Münchner Merkur, Reuters World Service, SAT.1, Sächsische Zeitung, Sender Freies Berlin, Der Stern, Stuttgarter Zeitung, Süddeutsche Zeitung, Der Tagesspiegel, die tageszeitung (taz), Die Welt, ZDF etc.

Program Partners

Program Sponsorship

The U.S. portion of the fellowship is funded exclusively by donations from individuals and private sector corporations and foundations. The German portion is funded by a combination of grants from the private sector, foundations and government agencies.

The Arthur F. Burns Boards of Trustees in the United States and Germany gratefully acknowledge the support of the following organizations and individuals who have made the Arthur F. Burns Program possible this year.

Individual Contributions

  • John and Gina Despres
  • David Detjen
  • The Hon. Frank E. Loy
  • Stanford S. Warshawsky

Arthur F. Burns Board of Trustees

» The American Board of Trustees (2013-2016)