US Election Coffee Chats

US Election Coffee Chats

Wednesday November 18th 2:30 PM EST / 8:30 PM CET

Watch the initial pitches by the speakers here.

In the weeks leading up to the U.S. elections, the tension within the US seemed to build up likewise: No day went by without any big news announcement. At the same time, with everything happening in the world right now, various side stages seem to ultimately affect the outcome of November 3rd: the Covid-19 pandemic, the Black Lives Matter movement, Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s passing and the recent Presidential Debates are only a few that come to mind.

The race to the White House and the outcome of the election with its political purview is currently discussed and commented all over the world. Together with you, we want to talk about the outcome of November 3rd, take a look at the election’s political implications and explore how the result will affect our transatlantic relationship. 

The event will begin with a small introductory question that is going to be answered by all our six speakers in short statements. This will pave the way to broader discussions that will be held in smaller breakout-sessions.

Similar to the very popular coffee chat format that we have established during prior German American Conferences, we would like to host two rounds of small discussions in break-out sessions. Each time, ten attendees will get the chance to talk with one speaker each in a more intimate and private setting. We hope to promote a discussion amongst students and professionals from the U.S., Germany and other countries about the national and transatlantic implications of the US election’s outcome. 

Attendance for this event is limited, and registration will be available on a ‘first come first served’ basis.


Constanze Stelzenmüller

Senior Fellow in the Center on the United States and Europe at the Brookings Institution

Dr. Constanze Stelzenmüller is currently a senior fellow in the Center on the United States and Europe at the Brookings Institution. From October 2019 through March 2020, she was the Kissinger Chair on Foreign Policy and International Relations at the Library of Congress. Prior to Brookings, she was a senior transatlantic fellow and Berlin office director with the German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF). Her areas of expertise include transatlantic relations; German foreign policy; NATO; the European Union’s foreign, security and defense policy; international law; and human rights. Previously, she was a writer and editor at the German weekly DIE ZEIT (1994 to 2005).

Cathryn Clüver Ashbrook

Director of the Future of Diplomacy Project at the Harvard Kennedy School

Cathryn Clüver Ashbrook is a German and American national and the founding Executive Director of the Future of Diplomacy Project at the Harvard Kennedy School (HKS), which examines the challenges to negotiation and statecraft in the 21st century. In January 2018, she was named Executive Director of the Project on Europe and the Transatlantic Relationship. Cathryn holds a Masters Degree in Public Administration (MPA) from the Harvard Kennedy School, where she was a Hauser Fellow in Nonprofit Management and recipient of the Donald K. Price award for academic excellence and community service. She is a graduate of the London School of Economics, where she received a Masters Degree in European Studies and of Brown University, where she completed her undergraduate degree with honors in International Relations and French Civilization.

Klaus Brinkbäumer

Journalist at the German Newspaper DIE ZEIT and author

Klaus Brinkbäumer has been the editor in chief at the German newspaper DER SPIEGEL for eight years, after he had previously worked there as a journalist, correspondent and author for nearly seventeen years. His books are bestsellers and his reports won the Egon-Erwin-Kisch Price, a German award that recognizes journalistic excellency. In April 2019, he started working for the ZEIT where he is mainly responsible for journalism in the fields of politics and weekly feature articles. Currently, Klaus Brinkbäumer is one of the hosts of ZEIT’s podcast „Ok, Amerika?“ and has recently published a book that covers US politics from the start of Trump’s presidency until the beginning of the Black Lives Matter movement earlier this year.

Joachim Koschnicke

Head of Strategic Planning for Chancellor Merkel in 2017, Corporate & Public Affairs Strategy Consultant

Joachim Koschnicke works in the Corporate  & Public Affairs Strategies Practice in the Berlin office. He focuses on advising companies on strategic stakeholder communications and especially on how to position themselves and advocate their interests in the political sphere. Before Joachim joined Hering Schuppener in 2018, he advised Chancellor Merkel as Head of Strategic Planning and Strategic Communications during the federal election in 2017 – as he did from 2005 to 2011. Joachim studied Business and attended Executive Trainings with Insead and Stanford in Measuring Cooperate Performance and Transformational Leadership. He is Founder and Member of the Board of the NGO InCharge and Member of the Advisory Board of the Berlin based Quadriga University.

Sudha David-Wilp

Deputy Director of the German Marshall Fund’s Berlin office

Sudha David-Wilp is a senior transatlantic fellow and deputy director of the Berlin office of the German Marshall Fund of the United States. She joined GMF’s Berlin office in September 2011. She oversees GMF’s Congress-Bundestag Forum, a joint program with the Robert Bosch Foundation, and engages with the media as an expert on German–U.S. relations, and covers transatlantic digital topics.

She received her bachelor’s from Johns Hopkins University, with a major in international relations and a minor in writing seminars. She received her master’s in international relations from Columbia University.

Julius van de Laar

Political strategist and campaigning expert

Julius van de Laar is a political strategist and campaign expert. In 2008 and 2012, Julius was part of Barack Obama’s winning campaign teams and worked in nearly a dozen states. Since then, Julius consulted several political parties across Europe and Germany by providing advice on campaign strategy, messaging and digital media. In addition, Julius is a regular contributor and political analyst in the German media. “Capital” magazine selected him as a “Top 40 up-and-coming talents” in German politics. Follow Julius on Instagram or Twitter @juliusvandelaar.