About WILLIAM DROZDIAK
William M. Drozdiak is currently a senior advisor for Europe with McLarty Associates, an international strategic consultancy firm based in Washington D.C., and a nonresident senior fellow in foreign policy at the Brookings Institution. He is the author of “Fractured Continent: Europe’s Crises and the Fate of the West,” which was selected by the Financial Times as one of the best political books of 2017. He also is a contributing author to “Governing in a Time of Technological Change,” a book of essays edited by former Secretary of State George P. Shultz published in 2018 by the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. His latest book, published in April 2020, is “The Last President of Europe: Emmanuel Macron’s Race to Revive France and Save the World,” a chronicle about the first turbulent years of Macron’s presidency and his ambition to invigorate the European Union in an era of resurgent big-power rivalry.
Drozdiak served from 2005 to 2015 as president of the American Council on Germany, one of the most prestigious of non-profit organizations devoted to cooperation and understanding between the United States, Germany and Europe. During that time, he expanded ACG’s popular Young Leaders program, its high-level policy conferences and fellowships in venture capitalism, urban affairs, digital technologies, journalism and the environment.
He also hosted events involving Chancellor Merkel of Germany, leading cabinet members, prominent statesmen, legislators and corporate executives from Germany and the United States that encouraged transatlantic dialogue between business and government on trade, investment, new technologies and climate change. For his achievements, he was awarded the Officer’s Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany by then President Joachim Gauck.
Mr. Drozdiak was founding Executive Director of the Transatlantic Center in Brussels, Belgium, created in 2001 by the German Marshall Fund of the United States to serve as the hub of its operations in Europe and as an independent, non-partisan think tank for U.S.—European relations. The center provides a base for prominent American scholars, policy analysts and journalists conducting research on Atlantic relations. It also organizes the annual Brussels Forum, which brings together influential American and European political, corporate and intellectual leaders to discuss global 21st century challenges facing the Western alliance.
Drozdiak worked for two decades as senior editor and foreign correspondent for The Washington Post. During his tenure as foreign news editor from 1986 to 1990, the Post won two Pulitzer Prizes for its international reporting on the Middle East and on the collapse of communism in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. As a correspondent covering events in Europe and the Middle East, he reported on the Iran—Iraq war, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the fall of the Berlin Wall and the events leading to German reunification. As the Post’s bureau chief in Paris and Berlin and as its chief European correspondent in Brussels from 1990 to 2001, he conducted interviews with leading statesmen and covered major political, economic and security issues across Europe, including the enlargement of NATO and the European Union and the Balkan wars. For his coverage of NATO’s air war in Kosovo, he was part of a Washington Post team selected as finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for international affairs in 1999.
Before joining the Post, Mr. Drozdiak was State Department Correspondent for Time magazine and an international affairs writer at its New York headquarters. He covered the Middle East while based in Cairo and Beirut for Time and the Washington Star, reporting on the Camp David peace agreement between Israel and Egypt, the fall of the Shah of Iran, the assassination of Anwar Sadat and the war between Iran and Iraq from both sides of the conflict. He has written extensively about international relations for many other publications, including articles in Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, Newsweek and the Financial Times.
Before becoming a journalist, Mr. Drozdiak played professional basketball in the United States and Europe from 1971 until 1978. He graduated from the University of Oregon in 1971 with two bachelor degrees in political science and economics and was awarded a postgraduate fellowship as an NCAA Scholar-Athlete. He earned a master’s degree in economics at the College of Europe in Bruges and did postgraduate studies at the Institute of European Studies at the University of Brussels. He received a Distinguished Alumnus award as commencement speaker at the University of Oregon and is a lifetime member of the Council on Foreign Relations and former trustee of the International School of Brussels. He speaks fluent French and German, and understands Italian, Spanish, and Dutch. He is married to Renilde Loeckx, a retired Belgian diplomat who served as her country’s consul general in New York and as ambassador to the Czech Republic. They have three grown children: Nicholas, Karen and Natalia.