Coordinator for Transatlantic Cooperation
Enlarge image Coordinator of German-American Cooperation Harald Leibrecht (© Klose) The United States and Canada are Germany’s closest allies outside Europe. Large areas of common interests, shared challenges and values form a bond between the two sides of the Atlantic.The post of Coordinator of Cooperation with the USA and Canada was thus created in the Federal Foreign Office in 1981. Harald Leibrecht has held this post since 6 July 2011.
His official title is Coordinator for Transatlantic Cooperation in the Field of Intersocietal Relations, Cultural and Information Policy. Harald Leibrecht, who was born in the USA and holds US as well as German citizenship, works with a broad palette of issues.
As an MP he has engaged with transatlantic cooperation for many years, particularly in the areas of intersocietal exchange and educational cooperation. “I have a particularly keen interest in exchanges between young people and between scholars,” Leibrecht said. He himself studied in Germany, France, the UK and the USA.
On the occasion of Leibrecht’s appointment, Foreign Minister Westerwelle stressed that Leibrecht’s career especially embodied the close and unique German-American relationship. In view of their importance for German foreign policy, transatlantic relations need to be further extended and constantly nurtured.
Harald Leibrecht stressed that
“In light of the growing economic and political clout of China and other emerging powers, it is vital to continually highlight the shared basis of our relations, and to strengthen and expand our cooperation in many different areas.”
Expanding transatlantic networks
Civil society dialogue between Germany and the countries of North America was especially vital, Leibrecht said, because “transatlantic relations do not thrive exclusively on cooperation at the political level.” The Coordinator thus supports the formation of personal networks between Germany and North America. In this regard, he functions as a builder of bridges between partners.
The work of the Coordinator focuses inter alia on cooperation in science and research, current social policy issues such as demographic trends and the influence of the new media, as well as contacts to Jewish organizations.
The office of Coordinator of German-American Cooperation was created in 1981 in an initially parallel manner in Germany and the United States. On the German side, the office has so far been performed by former Minister of State Hildegard Hamm-Brücher, the former German Ambassador in Washington and former State Secretary Bernd von Staden, the Munich political scientist Professor Werner Weidenfeld, Karsten D. Voigt, former foreign policy spokesman of the SPD Parliamentary Group in the German Bundestag, and Hans-Ulrich Klose, Member of the German Bundestag.