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J.D. Bindenagel

Former U.S. Ambassador and a Fellow at the Global Ideas Center, Berlin

J.D. Bindenagel is a retired U.S. career diplomat who was appointed by President Bill Clinton in 1999 as U.S. Ambassador and Special Envoy for Holocaust Issues. He also served as Special U.S. Negotiator for “Conflict Diamonds.”

Mr. Bindenagel is also an expert on Germany. He served in West, East and in united Germany, including as deputy chief of mission (1994-1996) and Chargé d’Affaires in the U.S. Embassy, Bonn, from 1996 to 1997.

From 2014 to 2019, he served as the founding Henry Kissinger Professor for security and governance at Bonn University. He currently teaches strategic foresight as Senior Professor at Bonn University and has published widely on international security issues in the 21st century.

Following his diplomatic career, Mr. Bindenagel was Vice President of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs and subsequently Vice President at DePaul University. Prior to his diplomatic career, he was assigned to the U.S. Army’s 3rd Infantry Division in Germany.

In the early 1990s, he also worked in the private sector, as Director, International Government-Business Programs at Rockwell International.

Ambassador Bindenagel has experience advising private-sector clients on matters of domestic and international policy as well as on key multilateral issues that present potential risks to clients’ reputations and shareholder value.

In 2001, Mr. Bindenagel received the State Department’s Distinguished Service Award and the Commander’s Cross of the Federal Order of Merit from the President of Germany. In 2002, he received the Presidential Meritorious Service Award from President George W. Bush.

He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP), the President’s Circle of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, the American Council on Germany and the American Institute of Contemporary German Studies. He was an APSA Congressional Fellow with Congressman Lee H. Hamilton.

He holds an MA in Public Administration and an AB in Political Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Articles by J.D. Bindenagel

AUKUS Deal: Europe’s Global Strategy Falls Short

Europe needs to make clear proposals to the U.S. in its Indo-Pacific strategy to set a common approach to China.

September 28, 2021

Transatlantic Relations After the Afghanistan Debacle

Reflections on the need to guard against the false prophets of making hay out of the current situation by effectively doing China’s bidding inside Europe, especially inside Germany.

August 24, 2021

Jeffrey Sachs: Xi Propagandist?

One does not need to be a hardliner on China, just a global realist, to see that there is a vast gap between Xi’s rhetoric and reality.

March 4, 2021

Mr. Steinmeier’s Faux Pas: Pleasing Russia, Stiffing Eastern Europe

North Stream 2: Is the gas pipeline’s completion really mandated by history, as the German President has claimed?

February 22, 2021

North Stream 2: What the Germans Must Do for Transatlantic Solidarity

As much as the current German government would wish otherwise, the North Stream 2 pipeline controversy continues to threaten European unity as well as transatlantic solidarity.

January 25, 2021

Joe Biden and the US’s Pivot to Europe

Faced with the Biden administration, Germany must finally come to terms with its geostrategic obligations and commitments.

December 16, 2020

Merkel On the Brink?

Germany at a crossroad of domestic and foreign policy change.

May 25, 2016

How the United States Is Getting Gamed in Syria

In Syria, the U.S. government has to do much more than pressure Russia.

February 19, 2016

Merkel’s “We Can Do It!” Perhaps Not!

Reflections on Merkel’s curious mixture of profound ethics paired with high-handedness and naiveté.

January 21, 2016

Polish Democracy: Fighting Ghosts of the Past

Is Poland turning into another South Africa, where strong suspicions disable the country and hollow out the economy?

January 13, 2016

American Security Policy After Obama

The final year will cap Obama's global legacy, but also set the pace for his successor.

January 11, 2016

Fear of War Over Ukraine

All eyes on are Minsk as world leaders meet to decide the fate of Ukraine.

February 9, 2015

Germany’s International Responsibility to Lead

Germany is still adjusting to its new role as a world leader.

February 5, 2015

The Challenge of the “Islamic State”

Only intelligence services can track down IS terrorists before they return home in order to carry out terrorist attacks in Europe or America.

January 14, 2015

TTIP: Strengthening a Global Economic Heavyweight

TTIP will help the U.S. and EU to meet the challenges of a globalizing world

December 4, 2014

Russia Remakes History Over NATO Expansion

The United States never consented to having no NATO expansion deals.

November 12, 2014

The Breach of the Berlin Wall

The final hours before the fall of the Wall: An eyewitness report by an American diplomat.

November 8, 2014

The Fall of the Wall: An Accidental Revolution?

An eyewitness report by an American diplomat.

November 8, 2014

Asia: the Challenge to Turn Enmity into Amity

Risks of unresolved territorial conflict threaten peace in Asia.

July 28, 2014

Putin’s Russia Reset

What Putin learned from the 1989 German revolution — and how he misunderstood it

March 24, 2014

Iran and the Rule of Law

To take its place on the global stage, Iran must learn the lessons of a 1992 terrorist trial in Germany

March 17, 2014

TTIP: Getting Past “No”

To make TTIP a success, negotiators should embrace public involvement.

February 27, 2014

Europe 1914: Lessons for China and Japan in 2014

Avoiding geopolitical conflict and seeking justice and reconciliation.

February 3, 2014

Multi-Stakeholder Negotiations in the 21st Century

What can the world learn from successful negotiations a decade ago to ban conflict diamonds?

December 28, 2013

Germany: Reluctant Leader and Indispensable Power

What will a reluctant leader mean for the resolution of such issues as the eurozone crisis, future military missions and data privacy?

September 17, 2013

Afghanistan for Afghans: The West's End Game Is Promoting Governance

What is the United States hoping will be the end result of its mission in Afghanistan?

May 11, 2010

On Obamamania and the German Election

How does Germany perceive President Obama?

September 17, 2009

A World of Twenty-Year Cycles?

Could it be that, every 20 years, a new generation sets out to shape the world?

September 3, 2008

Obama in Berlin and a Global Transatlantic Agenda

How does Barack Obama's visit to Europe frame the transatlantic agenda?

July 23, 2008

The New German Question

What does German sovereignty mean to Germany, Europe, the United States and the world today?

November 9, 2007

Dateline Jordan: John the Baptist Revisited

Does the peace between Jordan and Israel offer a glimpse of hope for the future of the Middle East?

July 23, 2007