June 14, 2020 — Berlin, Germany
Remko Leemhuis has been named Director of AJC Berlin. He succeeds Deidre Berger, who headed the office for nearly 20 years, and is retiring from AJC.
“Remko Leemhuis has the unique experience, passion, and vision to lead AJC Berlin into a new era that will deepen relations across Germany — a country that could not be more important to the prosperity and health of a democratic Europe, to transatlantic relations, to Israel, and to the Jewish people,” said Simone Rodan-Benzaquen, Director of AJC Europe. “AJC Berlin has become one of the leading NGOs in Germany thanks to the visionary and strong leadership of Deidre Berger and her predecessor, founding director Eugene Dubow.”
AJC, the leading global Jewish advocacy organization, has maintained close and unique ties with Germany since the end of World War II. In 1998, AJC became the first international Jewish organization to establish a permanent presence in Berlin, with the visionary help of Lawrence and Lee Ramer of Los Angeles, California.
“I feel incredibly honored that AJC has chosen me to lead the office and entrust me with this position in these uncertain global times,” said Leemhuis. “As a German, I feel a tremendous responsibility to help ensure that Jews and Israel, the only Jewish-majority nation, will not have to fear for their safety and lives. I want to especially thank my predecessor, Deidre Berger, who not only made AJC Berlin over the last 20 years what it is today, but who also has been a mentor and taught me so much.”
Leemhuis has served as Acting Director of AJC Berlin since September 2019, and previously was Assistant Director for Policy and Public Affairs, and Consultant on Antisemitism Affairs at AJC Berlin.
He studied political and Oriental studies at the Philipps University of Marburg and the University of Berkeley, California, and received his Ph.D. in 2018, writing on German Middle East policy in the 1960s and 1970s. He has been a member of the Federal Academy for Security Policy’s (BAKS) “Young Leaders in Security Policy” working group since 2018.
For 22 years, AJC Berlin has acted on the ground as a watchdog to monitor extremism and antisemitism, ensure the maintenance of accurate historical memory; support the renewal of Jewish life; strengthen Germany’s ties with the U.S. and Israel; and serve as a partner in confronting challenges to transatlantic security and democracy.