Amerika Haus Cologne was founded in 1955 to foster cultural exchange
between Germany and the United States. As a "window to America" and
part of the U.S. Information Service, it served to provide insights
into the diversity and complexity of the United States for more than 50
years. Many influential people came to Amerika Haus to hold lectures,
give concerts --or to discuss politics, economics or social issues.
From the very beginning, the work of Amerika Haus has been based upon the notable political relationship between the United States and Germany. In the period following World War II, and with the backdrop of the Cold War, Amerika Haus played a significant role in the cultural life of the city of Cologne as well as all of North Rhein-Westphalia.
Following the end of the Cold War, the future of the transatlantic relationship and pivotal challenges of modern societies became of central focus of Amerika Haus and its program. This included issues such as migration and integration, welfare state reform, the environment, and the implications of globalization.
As a result of a re-organization of the agencies responsible for U.S. foreign policy, the previously independent U.S. Information Service was integrated into the U.S. Department of State. From 1999 to 2007 Amerika Haus functioned as the Public Affairs Section for the U.S. Consulate General in Dusseldorf, with press and media services, information resource and program responsibilities for North Rhein-Westphalia. By the end of September 2007 the section was completely integrated into the Consulate General in Dusseldorf and Amerika Haus Cologne was closed. It was the last Amerika Haus in operation from a previously 58 locations throughout Germany.
Amerika Haus e.V. North Rhine-Westphalia was founded as a non-profit organization in 2007 on initiative of Cologne's Lord Mayor, Fritz Schramma, and U.S. Consul General, Mathew G. Boyse. A circle of initial sponsors consisting of companies and individuals accompanied the founding process and continues to support the organization today, both financially and in spirit. In 2008 Amerika Haus e.V. NRW took up daily operations in its new office in Apostelnstrasse in Cologne. The organization acts as a platform for the local, regional and supra-regional building of transatlantic relationships, including individuals, institutions and companies. We hope to further transatlantic dialog and the exchange of information by means of events and projects geared towards political, economic and cultural themes. The center of operation for Amerika Haus e.V. is the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia.