Atlantic Council to Honor President George H.W. Bush, Chancellor Helmut Kohl and General David Petraeus at Awards Dinner

Washington, D.C. — On April 29, the Atlantic Council Awards Dinner will honor 41st President George H.W. Bush and former German Chancellor Helmut Kohl for their distinguished international leadership in overseeing the fall of the Berlin Wall and the peaceful end of the Cold War.  The dinner is the first major event in Washington, D.C. to commemorate the 20th anniversary year of the Berlin Wall’s fall, and it also celebrates the 60th anniversary of NATO.  The Atlantic Council promotes constructive U.S. leadership and engagement in international affairs based on the central role of the Atlantic community in meeting today’s most pressing challenges.

In addition, awards will be given to General David Petraeus, the Commander of U.S. Central Command, for military leadership; IBM chairman, CEO and President Samuel Palmisano for business leadership; and renowned baritone Thomas Hampson for artistic leadership.  The evening will feature remarks from all honorees as well as a special performance by Mr. Hampson.

Atlantic Council Chairman Senator Chuck Hagel praised the dinner’s honorees:  “President Bush and Chancellor Kohl led the reunification of Germany.  Their leadership contributed to the reality of a whole and free Europe.  History will mark these visionary men with leading the world into the post-Cold War era.  By honoring President Bush and Chancellor Kohl, the Council recognizes their exceptional leadership at an exceptional time.”

This year’s Awards Dinner will again bring together more than 800 leaders from the United States, Europe and beyond, including members of Congress, current and former heads of state, ambassadors and business leaders.  Senior members of the new Obama administration will attend, and National Security Advisor General James L. Jones, the immediate former Atlantic Council chairman, will present the award to General Petraeus.  Secretary of Defense Robert Gates will introduce President Bush.

The Atlantic Council aims to renew the Atlantic Community for 21st century global challenges.  With a historic American leadership transition at a time of rising international challenges, U.S.-European leadership is called upon now more than ever.  While closer U.S.-European relations will not cure the world’s problems, the Atlantic Council believes that they are a pre-condition for dealing with most of them:  global financial instability, failed states, climate change, energy security, a rising Asia or a resurgent Russia. Led by Senator Chuck Hagel, Chairman, and Fred Kempe, President and CEO, the Atlantic Council embodies a network of world leaders and experts who aim to renew and energize the transatlantic community through non-partisan and cross-national discussions and studies.