The German-American FellowshipThe Arthur F. Burns Fellowship

Program Description

The Arthur F. Burns Fellowship Program gives 20 promising journalists from Germany, the United States and Canada the opportunity to gain professional and personal experience in the partner country. Fellows work for two months in a host media organization of their choice, learning about news operations in a foreign setting and serving as foreign correspondents for their home media. The fellowship provides journalists the opportunity to conduct in-depth reporting and gain first-hand knowledge of politics, business, and culture in the host country, while becoming fully integrated into the day-to-day business of the host newsroom. 

The program was initially founded in 1988 to improve understanding among German journalists of U.S. affairs and to strengthen the transatlantic relationship. In 1990, the program became a true exchange between the two countries. In 2013, the program was expanded to include Canadian journalists. 

Its aim is to support talented journalists and improve news coverage of transatlantic issues. 

Fellowship Payments

The German participants of the Arthur F. Burns Fellowship receive a budget of 4,000 Euro plus 1,500 Euro travel allowance. American and Canadian fellows receive 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 professional contacts and friendships have developed from this alumni circle. IJP supports the contact between former participants with a regular Burns newsletter, annual 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 prestigious guest of honor speaks on the topic of transatlantic relations. Speakers have included: 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 ProSiebenSat.1, in 2006; Lars Krückeberg, Thomas Willemeit & Wolfram Putz, Principals, Graft in 2007; Alexander Kwasniewski, former President of the Republic of Poland in 2008; Dr. Josef Ackermann, former CEO Deutsche Bank on June 4th, 2009, then Polish Foreign Minister Sikorski in 2010; former German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier in 2011; German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle in June 2013; German Minister of Defence Ursula von der Leyen in 2014. Pavlo Klimkin, the Foreign Minister of Ukraine, in 2015; the Canadian Minister of Defence, Harjit Singh Sajjan in 2016; and Mathias Döpfner, the executive chairman of Axel Springer SE, in 2018.

For the first time in 2004, the New York Alumni Dinner took place in Manhattan. 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, hosted by the chairman of Goldman Sachs and the German Ambassador to the U.S. In the following years, keynote speakers were: in 2006 Joschka Fischer, Germany's former Foreign Secretary of State; in 2007 Javier Solana, High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy of the EU; in 2008 the German UN-Ambassador Thomas Matussek; in 2009 Robert Zoellick, Chairman of the World Bank; in 2010 the Polish Foreign Minister Sirotsk; in 2011 journalist Fareed Zakaria; in 2012 Kurt Volker, then United States ambassador to NATO; in 2013 John Harris, then executive editor of Politico; in 2014 Jill Abramson, then executive editor of The New York Times; in 2015 former British Foreign Secretary David Miliband; in 2016 Chrystia Freeland, then Canada's Minister of International Trade; in 2017 Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg, former German Defense Minister and current chairman of Spitzberg Partners; in 2018 German Ambassador to the United Nations Christoph Heusgen.

A West Coast dinner was established in San Francisco in 2011 and is held every other year.

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
LA Weekly, Culver City, CA
The New Yorker, New York, NY
Mother Jones, San Francisco, CA
The Globe & Mail, Toronto, ON
Vice Canada, Toronto, ON
WNYC, New York, NY
The Wall Street Journal, New York, NY
CBC, Toronto, ON
Propublica, New York, NY
Austin Chronicle, Austin, TX

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, Handelsblatt, 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, Zeit Online, etc.

Program Partners

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

The Honorable Amy Gutmann, US Ambassador to Germany

The Honorable John Horgan, Canadian Ambassador to German

The Honorable Andreas Michaelis, German Ambassador to the United States of America

The Honorable Sabine Sparwasser, German Ambassador to Canada

The U.S./Canadian portion of the fellowship is administered by the International Center for Journalists in Washington, D.C. A prestigious board of trustees supports the Burns Fellowship with representatives drawn from politics, academia, the media and other sectors of society. Marcus Brauchli, former editor-in-chief of both The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal, serves as chairman of the board. Honorary chairmen include Frank Loy, former Under Secretary of State for Global Affairs; James F. Hoge, Jr., former editor of Foreign Affairs; and Richard Burt, former U.S. ambassador to Germany. 

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.

  • Bismarck Capital LLC
  • Brauchli-Farley Fund
  • Jon and Mindy Gray Family Foundation

Individual Contributions

  • Jim Badenhausen
  • James D. Bindenagel
  • Allison Connolly
  • David Detjen
  • Jacob Heilbrunn
  • David Kamenetzky
  • Christian Lange
  • Gen (Ret) David H. Petraeus
  • Damaso Reyes
  • Thoralf Schwanitz

Arthur F. Burns Board of Trustees

» The American Board of Trustees (2022-2025)