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Two decades after the integration of much of Eastern Europe into the EU, Europe is faced with increasingly complex security challenges—refugee migrations from the mid-East and north-Africa; Russia’s cross territorial incursions, hybrid warfare, and war on information; strains on social welfare economies; shifting sources of energy; and of course the daily threat of terrorism. On each of these issues, Germany has embraced a leadership role, representing a paradigm shift for a nation that even 70 years after the end of the Second World War is still reluctant to assert itself. US Ambassador to Germany John B. Emerson will address how Germany is reshaping its security policy as it relates to military engagement, intelligence and counter-terrorism, technology, energy, transatlantic trade, and the longer-term threats posed by a changing climate. In addition, he will discuss the emerging political dynamic in Germany and in particular the challenges Chancellor Merkel is facing domestically as Germany seeks to integrate well over a million refugees.
John Emerson was appointed U.S. Ambassador to Germany in 2013. Prior to that, he served as President Clinton’s Deputy Director of Presidential Personnel, and Deputy Director of Intergovernmental Affairs, where he was the President’s liaison to the nation’s governors senior staff. Mr. Emerson also coordinated the Economic Conference of the Clinton-Gore transition team and led the Administration’s efforts to obtain congressional approval of the GATT Uruguay Round Agreement in 1994, and the extension of China’s MFN trading status in 1996. In 2010, President Obama appointed Mr. Emerson to serve on the President’s Advisory Committee for Trade Policy and Negotiations. Ambassador Emerson was the 2015 recipient of the State Department's prestigious Sue M. Cobb Award for Exemplary Diplomatic Service, which is given annually to one non-career Ambassador who has used their private sector leadership and management skills to make a substantive impact on bilateral or multilateral relations through proactive diplomacy.