Sustaining Lifelong Global Connections for Knowledge

American Friends of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation is a transatlantic bridge builder and home of the US Humboldt alumni network. We promote networking, exchange, and collaboration among researchers and professionals in many disciplines and fields and leverage their expertise to address today's most critical issues.


American Friends of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation (American Friends of AvH) was established in 1999 as the US nonprofit professional partner of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation (AvH), and the over 6,000 members of the US Humboldt alumni network. We are part of a worldwide network of 30,000 alumni of AvH programs, including 61 Nobel Laureates and two former US secretaries of energy.

We execute our mission through shared programs in recruitment and alumni stewardship, and through programs paired with those of the AvH, and other services, publications, and fundraising.

Learn More

Latest commentary

CommentaryApril 18, 2024

Humboldtians and the Changing Arctic

CommentaryDecember 01, 2023

The Time for Science Diplomacy Is Now. This Is the Time for Humboldtians.

CommentaryOctober 30, 2023

Alexander von Humboldt as an Early Advocate of Science Diplomacy

CommentaryMay 24, 2023

Chancellor Scholz Embarks on a Zeitenwende: Germany Breaks with the Past

CommentaryMarch 27, 2023

Undergraduate Research: Preparing Future Leaders

CommentaryJune 10, 2021

Emerging from COVID … the Impact on Networks

Humboldt stories

I spent my time as a German Chancellor Fellow investigating the differences between European and American beekeeping. I didn't want my bee journey to end after my fellowship, so I applied to graduate school at Arizona State University. I convinced Robert Page to take a chance on an unusual graduate student (an English major) with a fascination for bees. He allowed me into the graduate research program in biology on the condition that I pass the GRE Biology subject test within the first year. I succeeded and earned my master’s and PhD, focusing my research on how young honey bees use pheromone signals to manipulate their caregivers. After a postdoc at the University of Maryland, I returned to Germany as a Junior Fellow of the College of Life Sciences at…

Read more

Dr. Kirsten Traynor

BUKA (2006–2007) LAVES Institute for Bee Research in Celle, Germany

My Feodor Lynen Fellowship at UC Berkeley offered me the chance to conduct research at a world-class university. As an urban and regional planner, I was able to gain profound insight into a highly fascinating metropolitan area. My postdoctoral research dealt with growth management in the San Francisco Bay Area. I met fascinating people at UC Berkeley’s Institute of Urban and Regional Development, including US experts and visiting scholars from all over the world. This fellowship was highly supportive for my career, as it opened up the pathway for a professorship in Germany at the University of Kaiserslautern. I am still highly grateful for being part of the Humboldt network, and I always seek to support young scholars in building their careers.

Read more

Professor Karina Pallagst

Feodor Lynen Fellow (2001-2003) University of California, Berkeley

My Alexander von Humboldt Foundation Fellowship brought me to the faculties of Gestaltung and architecture at the Bauhaus University in Weimar (2014-2015, 2021), as well as to the faculty of architecture at the University of Kassel (2016). It is hard to put into words how meaningful these experiences were for me. On a professional level, the experience allowed me to gain knowledge about the history of modern architecture in Germany that most scholars in field only dream of. I visited key buildings and explored the major archives. I was able to publish numerous essays and am working on many more. I benefitted from the support of the Humboldt Foundation’s wonderful staff and am proud to say that I became fully fluent in German. On a personal level, I was able…

Read more

Professor Nader Vossoughian

Humboldt Research Fellowship (2014-15)
New York Institute of Technology

My Humboldt Research Fellowship for postdoctoral researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Surface Engineering and Thin Films was a life-changing experience. I was very lucky to have had Dr. Klaus Bewilogua as a mentor. He instilled in me skills such as decision making and scientific intuition—skills that have helped me in every aspect of my career. Dr. Bewilogua was not only an excellent guide as I took my first professional steps, but he has continued to advise and support me to this day. After I completed my research training in Spain and Germany, I moved to the United States and am in the process of launching a new line of research on the study of interactions between plasma discharges and materials for applications in functional coatings, microelectronics, and biomedicine. I…

Read more

Carles Corbella

Humboldt Research Fellow (2006-2008)
The George Washington University, Washington, DC

My Humboldtian mentor was highly recognized. Working with him was more valuable than getting another PhD. I collaborated with him through the end of his life and now work with his other former students in Germany. I learned that there was no reason to confine my thinking.

Read more

Dr. Edward S. Grew

Humboldt Research Fellowship (1983-1985)
The University of Maine

My postdoc in Germany was critical for launching my independent career. I had the opportunity to use world class instrumentation to look at important problems in energy conversion. I was introduced to a completely different set of researchers, complementing my training in the United States, and those networks persist in my career today.

Read more

Dr. Hannah Shafaat

Humboldt Research Fellowship (2011)
The Ohio State University

For me, Humboldt today represents the journey that a scientist like me gets to enjoy on an everyday basis. Alexander von Humboldt is the epitome of a curious explorer setting an example of breaking geographical and discipline boundaries. The AvH foundation created opportunities to engage in interdisciplinary and international collaborations and experience different cultures for my family and me.

Read more

Dr. Hugo Sanabria

Humboldt Research Fellowship (2010-2012)
Clemson University

Support us

Your donations build on the support that AFAvH receives from the AvH to create and grow programs and services for US alumni so that we may extend the Humboldt experience and network in the United States.

Donate online

Skip to toolbar