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Washington Semester alum aspires to improve the United States and European relationship

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Georg Peter in a boardroom

Former Washington Semester Program student Georg Peter took his skills gained at American University and has already applied them to educating others on U.S. and European relations.

After attending American University through the Washington Semester Program on a Fulbright scholarship, Peter went back to Germany where he is now pursuing a master’s degree in economics. During the program, Georg studied within the Global Business and Economics concentration and interned at Capstone National Partners, a government affairs and public policy firm.

Already using his knowledge gained in foreign relations, Peter has created a policy podcast with students who attended American University with him. “Hinterzimmer - der Policy Podcast,” which means “Back Room - the Policy Podcast” in German. In the podcast and in his studies, Peter focuses on Germany’s and the EU’s relationship with the United States.

“I don’t think I would be in this situation right now in terms of making the podcast and pursuing a career in the area of policy without my internship and studies at American University, so it was a big influence,” Peter said.

Peter’s podcast focuses mainly on tax evasion, the future of work in a digitized economy, the future of the European Union and integration.

“Every topic I covered so far is somehow connected to my aspirations as I am planning on dedicating my career to move our societies forward through policy-change, towards a more liberal, social and just future,” Peter said.

When studying in the U.S., Peter’s interest in American politics and foreign policy increased substantially. Originally, Peter was interested in a position with the United Nations (UN) after studying at American University. While the aim of working for the UN is still there, Peter now thinks he will shift his focus towards German politics and European-U.S. relations.

“I feel like as liberal democracies we should stand together and should be clear about who our partners are and what aims to pursue,” Peter said. “It definitely is one of my goals to change the direction of this process and maybe come back to former times when the relationship was better.”

Peter believes trust needs to be restored in the transatlantic partnership on both sides of the Atlantic and that we should “focus on what unites us rather than what divides us.” Peter has also found a passion in keeping Fulbright, the program that provided his scholarship to study in the U.S., well funded during a time of cuts.

“Without the scholarship I would’ve never been able to come to the United States,” Peter said. “Right now under the current administration, the [Fulbright] program is under attack as they’re cutting funds, so that would be an issue I would like to focus on.”

Peter attributes a lot of his success to his time as an intern with the Washington Semester Program. He believes living in Washington D.C. opened up several opportunities for him. It also opened his mind to the unique ways that countries could work together to solve common problems moving forward.

“I feel like as liberal democracies we should stand together and should be clear about who our partners are and what aims to pursue,” Peter said. “It definitely is one of my goals to change the direction of this process and maybe come back to former times when the relationship was better.”