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Johns Hopkins University to Present German Chancellor Angela Merkel with Honorary Degree


President Ron Daniels will present the Doctor of Humane Letters to Chancellor Merkel in recognition of her principled and courageous global leadership
WASHINGTON — Johns Hopkins University will award an honorary degree to German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Thursday, July 15. President Ron Daniels will present the Doctor of Humane Letters to Chancellor Merkel in recognition of her sixteen years of principled global leadership and her legacy of promoting international cooperation and stability amid unprecedented challenges. The ceremony will take place at 11:30 a.m. at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies in Washington, DC and will be streamed live for global audiences. In addition to the degree presentation, Chancellor Merkel will deliver remarks.
The ceremony will be streamed live here

Distinguished Guest

Angela Merkel
Chancellor of Germany

Date and Time

Thursday, July 15
11:30 a.m. EDT


Johns Hopkins SAIS
Kenney-Herter Auditorium
1740 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20036


The event is closed to the general public but open to a limited number of credentialed media. Due to space constraints and COVID-19 safety protocols, in-person coverage will be restricted. Members of the media who wish to cover the event in person must request access by emailing [email protected] no later than close of business on Tuesday, July 13. Final media access will be confirmed at least one day prior to the event. Pre-authorized camera set-up will only be permitted from 9:45 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.

Media Contacts

Andrew Green
Vice President for Communications
Johns Hopkins University
+1 (410) 499-3298
Miji Bell
Senior Director of Marketing, Communications and Community Engagement
Johns Hopkins SAIS
+1 (202) 587-3205
Christian Abo Kadira
Media Coordinator
Republic of Germany - Federal Press Office 
+49 171 862 28 28

About the Distinguished Guest

Angela Merkel

Angela Merkel, Germany’s chancellor since 2005, is arguably the most powerful woman in the world, a singular force who has led her nation with conviction while fortifying relations at home and abroad. The first woman to serve as Germany’s chancellor, Dr. Merkel will end her almost 16 years of leadership later this year, concluding her fourth term in the office with a legacy defined by stability, prosperity, and strengthened international cooperation in the face of great challenges. 
Today, Dr. Merkel is considered by many to be the de facto leader of Europe, but few could have predicted her unlikely rise to power. The daughter of a pastor and teacher, Dr. Merkel was born in 1954 in Hamburg, West Germany. Shortly after her birth, her family moved to a rural town in the East German countryside, where her father had accepted a pastorate. Dr. Merkel excelled in school and planned a career as a researcher, earning a degree in physics from the University of Leipzig in 1978. From there, she became one of a small cadre of female researchers at the Central Institute of Physical Chemistry at the Academy of Sciences in Berlin, where she served on the academic staff from 1978 to 1990 while earning her doctorate in quantum chemistry from the German Academy of Sciences in 1986.
But the historic fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 prompted Dr. Merkel to pivot from life in a lab to political aspirations—a course change that would have an enduring impact around the world for decades to come. Her political career gained momentum in 1990 when she joined the Christian Democratic Union political party and was elected to the German Bundestag, or parliament.  She was appointed by Chancellor Dr. Helmut Kohl as Minister for Women and Youth in 1991, followed by service as Federal Minister for the Environment, Nature Conservation, and Nuclear Safety in 1994. Dr. Merkel was General Secretary of the CDU from 1998 until 2000, when she was elected party chairwoman, preceding her groundbreaking election as chancellor in 2005.
As chancellor, Dr. Merkel is celebrated for her efforts to foster Germany’s economic rebirth in the wake of the great recession in 2008. She is widely recognized as the glue that has held the European Union together. And she has been a leader of purpose and principle, whether dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, standing up for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, or addressing the migration crisis in Europe.
Dr. Merkel is the longest-serving national leader in the European Union and the senior G7 leader. Through it all, her scientific background has informed her policies, including her environmental advocacy and her push for increased investment in basic science research to advance scientific breakthroughs. In recognition of her outstanding service to science while chancellor, Dr. Merkel became the first head of government to receive the Harnack Medal from the Max Planck Society in June. It is one of many honors that have been bestowed upon Dr. Merkel, including the Charlemagne Prize for her effort to unite Europe, and the 2011 Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Johns Hopkins SAIS

A division of Johns Hopkins University, the School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) is a global institution that offers students an international perspective on today's critical issues. For more than 75 years, Johns Hopkins SAIS has produced great leaders, thinkers, and practitioners of international relations. Public leaders and private sector executives alike seek the counsel of the faculty, whose ideas and research inform and shape policy. Johns Hopkins SAIS offers a global perspective across three campus locations: Bologna, Italy; Nanjing, China; and Washington, D.C. The school's interdisciplinary curriculum is strongly rooted in the study of international economics, international relations, and regional studies, preparing students to address multifaceted challenges in the world today. 
For more information, visit or on Twitter @SAISHopkins
Johns Hopkins University
Since opening in 1876, The Johns Hopkins University has been a world leader in both teaching and research. Eminent professors mentor top students in the arts and music, the humanities, the social and natural sciences, engineering, international studies, education, business and the health professions. Those same faculty members, and their research colleagues at the university's Applied Physics Laboratory, have each year since 1979 won Johns Hopkins more federal research and development funding than any other university. The university has nine academic divisions and campuses throughout the Baltimore-Washington area.
The mission of The Johns Hopkins University is to educate its students and cultivate their capacity for life-long learning, to foster independent and original research, and to bring the benefits of discovery to the world.
Monday, July 12, 2021