Friday 22. September 2006

2006 Meeting with US-Ambassador Timken in Berlin


This event was part of an initiative to mobilize friends and members of the Association living in Germany by arranging educational events with business leaders and providing opportunities for networking.

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Berlin Report

On 12th September, members of the HBS Association of Germany had a unique opportunity to meet privately with William R. Timken, Jr., the current US ambassador to Germany. Ambassador Timken previously had a 43 year career The Timken Company; a NYSE quoted Fortune 500 Company employing 27,000 people in more than 20 countries including Germany. He held various positions including President, Chairman and CEO. As an MBA graduate from the Harvard Business School himself, he has been a long-term supporter of professional management training and intercultural exchange programs. Three generations of Timkens have been educated at HBS, and The Timken Company has been a strong supporter of the school for decades. The more than 100 year history of The Timken Company is described in the HBS Publishing title "Timken; from Missouri to Mars - A Century of Leadership in Manufacturing".

Ambassador Timken shared some thoughts on the current economic challenges in Europe and Germany. His speech was followed by a lively and insightful discussion, in the best HBS tradition. Perhaps the most important lesson for participants was Ambassador Timken's recommendation that business leaders in Germany should become more active and vocal in finding the right solutions for the current challenges. The discussion was not only highly enjoyable, but gave all attendees a lot of food for thought.

Ambassador Timken is the most senior political person to address the HBS Association since President Johannes Rau's address as part of the HBS Global Leadership Conference in Berlin in 2000.

The HBS Association of Germany recognized Ambassador Timken's extraordinary personal contribution to business and international relations by presenting him with honorary membership.

The Association would like to thank Ambassador Timken for making time in a busy schedule to meet with us. We would also like to thank his staff at the US Embassy for their highly professional support in organizing this event.

Thanks also to Vincent Dessain, Executive Director of HBS Europe Research Center in Paris, for joining us. Prior to the main meeting, Vincent gave a short presentation on the impressive range of activities carried out by his organization.

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