From July 16 to 18, 2019, the U.S. Department of State organized the second major conference on the right to freedom of religion or belief (FORB) after 2018, with over 100 governments and 1.000 members of civil society and religious groups attending.
Towards the American Century: Austrians in the United States – Exhibition Opening, Book Signing and Summer Reception
On July 18, 2019, Ambassador Wolfgang Waldner officiated the exhibit opening and corresponding book presentation entitled “Towards the American Century: Austrians in the United States”,” followed by a summer reception at the Embassy.
On June 6, 2019, representatives from the Austrian Embassy participated in this year’s Capital Pride Parade to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the 1969 Stonewall riots in New York and to march in solidarity with the LGBTQ+ community around the world.
Ambassador Wolfgang Waldner visited San Diego, California, as part of the U.S. State Department’s "Experience America" program from June 16 to 18, 2019. The program included meetings with prominent business and community leaders, as well as local entrepreneurs.
On June 20, 2019, the United States Holocaust Museum, the Documentation Center of the Austrian Resistance, and the Austrian Embassy organized a joint symposium entitled “Fleeing the Nazis: Austrian Jewish Refugees to the United States.”
On June 3, 2019, Ambassador Wolfgang Waldner received a high-ranking delegation of the American Jewish Committee (AJC), led by immediate past AJC-President Stanley M. Bergman for an extensive exchange of views on historic and present matters of Austrian, U.S. and world politics. The Ambassador’s dinner is a tradition to further mutual understanding and friendship on the occasion of the annual AJC Global Forum in Washington, DC.
On June 22, 2019, Thorsten Eisingerich, the Director of the Austrian Embassy’s Press & Information Service, attended the Race Across America (RAAM) Awards Banquet in Annapolis, MD to present the first place finisher’s trophy to fellow Austrian Christoph Strasser for his sixth win of the “world’s toughest endurance race” (The New York Times) from the West to the East Coast (completed in only 8 days, 6 hours and 51 minutes).
On June 12, 2019, executives from the Austrian companies Constantia Flexibles, Ebner Furnaces, klickerr, Miba, and voestalpine joined U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross and Advisor to the President Ivanka Trump to sign the Trump Administration’s Pledge to America's Workers.
On June 7, 2019, Ambassador Wolfgang Waldner together with Economic Counselor Alexander Ehrlich-Adam celebrated the 20th anniversary of Frequentis USA, Inc. in Columbia, Maryland. The Austrian high-tech company Frequentis, headquartered in Vienna, designs and manufactures integrated voice communication solutions and related support products for civil air traffic control, military air defense, command and control, maritime search and rescue, and public safety applications. It also develops maritime safety of life at sea systems as well as military and civil command and control centers.
In celebration of its 50th anniversary the Austrian Consulate General in Los Angeles was honored at the California State Senate. On June 6, 2019, State Senator Ben Allen, chair of the Joint Committee on the Arts and chair of the Legislative Jewish Caucus, presented a special resolution to Consul General Andreas Launer and his delegation on the Senate floor in Sacramento.
On June 10, 2019, Austrian Ambassador Wolfgang Waldner held a reception for the Austrian delegation to this year’s SelectUSA Investment Summit at his residence in Washington, DC. U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross extended a warm “Welcome to the United States” to the 21 delegates, among them multinational industrial leaders, business partners and tech entrepreneurs, whose participation reflects their strategic focus on the American market.
On May 30, 2019, the Embassy welcomed some 50 high school students with their teachers from around the United States, Mexico, and Canada for a presentation on all things Austrian.
On May 23, 2019, students from Ross Elementary School in northwest Washington, DC gave their final presentation about Austria, their adopted country for this school year. They showed off all their hard work and dedication including a vocal presentation of our national anthem in German (!), a performance of a Viennese waltz, an original skit and a flute and piano recital (kudos to Otis and Ivan). #EmbassyAdoption #DCPublicSchools
To launch its 50th anniversary celebrations, the Austrian Consulate General in Los Angeles hosted a reception on May 15, 2019, at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills. Guests included Academy Award winner Christoph Waltz, Beverly Hills Mayor John Mirisch, the Honorary President of the American Jewish Committee, Bruce Ramer, and many notable personalities from the Austrian-American community. Celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck sent special dessert treats as a tribute to his home country Austria.
In August 2018, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM) welcomed its first female memorial servant from Austria, Caroline Schenk for a yearlong voluntary remembrance service. Caroline was born in Graz and has spent her past year supporting the invaluable remembrance work of the USHMM with the Austrian memorial service – Gedenkdienst. #AustriansAbroad #NeverForget #AskWhy
On May 11, 2019, the Austrian Embassy in Washington, DC opened its doors to the public as part of the annual EU Embassies' Open House Day with this year’s focus on the nation’s strong commitment to environmental protection and sustainable energy. Indeed, Austria is a leader in recycling and recycling technology, and in addition, plastic shopping bags will also be banned in Austria as of 2020. Furthermore, about two thirds of Austrian electricity is generated via clean, renewable hydro-electric power. #EUOpenHouse #EUPix
In anticipation of Mother’s Day, the Embassy of Austria hosted an event on May 8, 2019, dedicated to the ever-changing faces of motherhood, which has evolved significantly in the 21st century: One of the biggest contemporary shifts in society is the fact that women between 35 and 44 are bearing more and more children, while the overall fertility rate in the U.S. has dropped to a historic low. The program featured Bettina Gordon-Wayne, author of The Joy of Later Motherhood, Laurie Fields DeRose Ph.D. from Georgetown University and Neil Ghosh, CEO of SOS Children's Villages USA. #MothersDay2019
On May 5, 2019, Director for Press and Information Thorsten Eisingerich welcomed thirty Jewish high school students from the DC metropolitan area for a briefing on the Embassy’s diverse tasks, the challenges of the job and life as a diplomat, on the Austrian Government’s leadership in Holocaust justice and the fight against anti-Semitism as well as the Austrian Embassy’s cooperation with Jewish institutions.
"Reconsider Austrian Wine. It' s not at all sweet. It’s not all whites, either. And there’s more than gruener veltliner." Meet the sommelier, who distributes selected wines from Austria in the United States, who distributes selected wines from Austria in the United States.
From April 29 to May 1, 2019, Doris Bures, the Second President of the Austrian National Council (i.e. the Deputy Speaker of the Austrian House of Representatives), visited New York City to meet with representatives of the American Jewish community including American Jewish Committee (AJC) Board of Governors Chair Harriet Schleifer as well as Viennese-born Rabbi Arthur Schneier. After a visit to the Park East Synagogue, Doris Bures attended a reception for Austrian Jewish Holocaust survivors and their descendants held at the Austrian Consulate General in New York. In her opening remarks, she stressed “Austria’s historical responsibility to lead the fight against anti-Semitism.”