Former U.S. Ambassador to Germany Reflects on the German Elections

Oct 18, 2013

Ambassador Murphy Enlarge image US Ambassador Murphy poses a question to the audience. (© Former US Ambassador to Germany, Philip D. Murphy, paid a special visit to Northeastern University on Wednesday to talk about the recent German election and share his experiences in Berlin.

Invited by German Consul General Rolf Schütte, Ambassador Murphy spoke in front of an eclectic audience of students, professors, and members of the German-American community. Mr. Murphy, who served as US Ambassador to
Germany from 2009-2013, posited that this year’s Bundestag elections were similar in style to US elections and then interpreted the outcome of the elections and the perspectives for a new German government.
Audience members Enlarge image Students, faculty, and members of the German-American community intently listened to Ambassador Murphy. (©
Mr. Murphy went on to explain his views on
Germany’s new strategic role, in particular in partnership with the U.S. In this context, he emphasized Germany’s role as Europe’s biggest economy. Mr. Murphy saw a particular role and responsibility for Germany in the negotiations on the new Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), which can drive growth, create jobs, and boost the economy on both sides of the Atlantic. He also suggested that Germany – in addition to its successful exports – also boost its domestic demand. Finally, he explained his views on the importance of a reform of the European banking sector and its oversight.

Mr. Murphy wrapped up his speech by giving the audience 10 pieces of personal advice which he and his wife have learned over the course of their lives, in general, and in
Germany, in particular. In front of the many Northeastern University students, he emphasized the importance of learning a second or even third language and of spending some time abroad, at some point in life. Group Photo Enlarge image Consul General Schütte, Uta Poigner, and Mr. Murphy. (©

The event was sponsored by the German Consulate General Boston, WorldBoston, and Northeastern University. NEU’s new Dean of the College of Social Sciences and Humanities, Prof. Uta Poiger, co-hosted the event.