Hannes Richter

Dear Readers,

Hannes Richter

With the new year, some important changes have come to the Austrian Embassy in Washington D.C. and also to our team. Ambassador Hans Peter Manz, who arrived in Washington in early December, presented his credentials to President Obama on January 18, 2012. He is an exceptional diplomat with significant experience in bilateral and multilateral diplomacy, and we have included his welcome remarks in this issue of Austrian Information.

I would also like to take this opportunity and welcome a new staff member here at the Austrian Press & Information Service; Anja Mayer is now supporting our team as a staff writer and translator. This issue will take you on an interesting and informative journey. We will start in Austria's marvelous Alps, where you can find out more about Austrian Farm Policy and organic farming.

Markus Reiterer will then take you to the famous Austrian National Park Hohe Tauern. Did you know that there is an intimate historic link between this Austrian treasure and Yellowstone National Park? Making our way to the Eastern part of Austria, we will visit Vienna and indulge in the relaxing atmosphere of one of Vienna's most famous coffee houses - The Café Hawelka.

Viennese Coffee Houses, marvels of culture, literature, and sweet delicacies, have been a fixture of Viennese life and culture for centuries. Ready for some more culture and intellectual stimuli? We then travel to the United States, where you will be introduced to two fascinating on-going exhibits at the Austrian Cultural Fora in Washington, D.C. and New York.

You will also learn more about a new exciting online initiative highlighting cultural exchanges between Austria and the U.S.. Finally you will discover how close personal ties between American and Austrian museums brought important examples of the Golden Age of Renaissance Bronzes to Washington D.C.. On this trip we will also take a closer look at cooperation between Austria and the U.S. in the education sector.

You will discover how the Austrian Marshall Plan Foundation supports and furthers the transatlantic academic partnership between Austria and the U.S.. Looking for some relaxation? We conclude our journey in the Western part of the U.S., where you will be invited to an exclusive chateau which, because of its impeccable style, classic elegance and excellent service, has been named the best hotel in California multiple times.

Thank you for coming along on the ride. I hope you will enjoy it.

Yours sincerely,

Alice Irvin
Director, Austrian Press & Information Service