Prof. James Bindenagel

James D. Bindenagel, Ambassador ret.

Senior Fellow at the Center for Advanced Security, Strategic and Integration Studies (CASSIS)
Former Henry Kissinger Professor of Security and Strategic Studies.


Phone: +49(0)228/73-60283
Adress: Genscherallee 3, 53113 Bonn
Twitter: @CASSIS_Bonn


James D. Bindenagel, born in 1949, is regarded as a leading expert on transatlantic relations with a special focus on German-American relations, of which he has in-depth knowledge and first-hand practical experience resulting from 30 years of service that he gained during his professional career as a diplomat in the service of the United States of America over the course of three decades. Prof. Bindenagel worked for the US State Department as well as for US consulates and embassies. From 1996 to 1997, he served as US Ambassador to Germany.

At the University of Bonn

In 2014, James D. Bindenagel took over the Henry Kissinger Chair and became director of the Center for International Security and Governance (CISG) at the University of Bonn. His work as Henry Kissinger Professor was based on three pillars: Promoting the public discrouse on security policy in Germany; evaluating and discussing current policies in the field of traditional and non-traditional security challenges; and further developing research and teaching in matters of international security at the University of Bonn.

In 2016, Bindenagel established the International Security Forum at the University of Bonn, which has been growing continuously in size and public recognition over the following years. During the annual Forum, the University of Bonn received distinguished international scholars and practitioners of foreign and security policy. Prof. Bindenagel established a comprehensive program of public lectures during which renowned international relations scholars such as John J. Mearsheimer (University of Chicago), Stephen Walt (Harvard University) and Cathryn Clüver Ashbrook (Harvard University) spoke at the University of Bonn. He has contributed to raising the profile of the University and the City of Bonn in foreign and security policy debates in Germany and Europe. After the end of his tenure as Henry Kissinger Professor in September 2019, he continued his work as a Senior Professor at the Center for Advanced Security, Strategic and Integration Studies (CASSIS) until September 2022. Since October 2022 he is a Senior Fellow at CASSIS.

Research Interests

Transatlantic relations |German and European Security Architecture | East-West conflict


  • Bindenagel, James, Germany from Peace to Power. Can Germany lead in Europe without dominating? (Contemporary Issues in International Security and Strategic Studies, Vol. 2) (Septemper 2020).

    "A surge of political trends and upheavals all over the world confronts German foreign policy with a world that is dramatically different from Berlin Republic unification in 1990. Brexit, American de-commitment to Europe and the rise of isolationist, populist forces within Germany as well as in other European countries and the U.S. have undermined the foundations of Germany’s foreign policy. Germany is suddenly faced with another historical shift that is starting to shake the bedrock of its foreign policy. A council of experts for strategic foresight can address Germany’s strategic cultural deficit, its civilian power fixation, its resorts principle of ministerial independence, and its coalition governance conflicts." Link.
  • Bindenagel, James, The quality of reporting on Germany’s role in Europe and abroad (United Europe), September 2020. Link.
  • Bindenagel, James, Friends of Europe - Europe's World, Citizens’ Europe (November 2019) :"Countering disinformation on German reunification and NATO enlargement" Link.
  • Bindenagel, James, The Foreign Service Journal (November 2019): "A gift of peace. The popular quest for freedom and self-determination brought down the Berlin Wall, ending an era" Link.
  • Bindenagel, James, The German Times (Oktober 2018): "The night my scoop evaporated. Deputy Ambassador James D. Bindenagel recounts the night the Wall came down when he was a diplomat in East Berlin" Link.
  • Bindenagel, James; Kiesewetter, Roderich, FAZ - Fremde Federn (August 2019) "Deutschland darf nicht Zaungast bleiben"
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