June 26th, 2013

Press Release: FMC President Connie Morella to be honored by German Government

On June 26, FMC President Connie Morella, received the Knight Commander’s Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany (Verdienstorden der Bundesrepublik Deutschland) from His Excellency Dr. Peter Ammon, German Ambassador to the U.S., in recognition of her “tireless efforts to further strengthen German-American ties.” Pictures follow. Official press release below.

(c) Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany. Also available on FMC’s Flickr page here.


CONTACT: Dava Guerin/FMC, 202-222-972


Award recognizes her commitment to transatlantic relations through legislative exchange

WASHINGTON, D.C. June 17—Ambassador Connie Morella (R-MD), President of the U.S. Association of Former Members of Congress (FMC), will be presented with the Federal Republic of Germany’s highest honor—the Knight Commander’s Cross of the Order of Merit. The award was created by the first president of Germany, Theodor Heuss, in 1951, with different classes for civilian and military personnel.  She will receive the award on June 26 from the German Ambassador at his private residence.

“This is a wonderful recognition of Ambassador Morella’s commitment to fostering a dialogue and better understanding across the Atlantic.  Ever since joining our Association’s board and executive committee, Ambassador Morella has put considerable energy and enthusiasm into growing our Congressional Study Group on Germany, which is the oldest and most active parliamentary exchange involving Congress and the legislative branch of another country.”

“Under Morella’s leadership earlier this year, we brought the largest and most senior delegation of current Members of Congress to Berlin for our 30th Annual Congress-Bundestag Seminar involving American and German legislators,” said Pete Weichlein, CEO of FMC.

Weichlein added that Morella led a series of meetings with German legislators as well as a very productive session with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Morella represented Maryland’s 8th Congressional District from 1987-2003, and served as U.S. Ambassador to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development from 2003-2007. In 2010, President Obama appointed Morella to the American Battle Monuments Commission. A champion of women’s rights, she shares her insights with students here in the U.S. and abroad, and through her faculty position at American University where she is an Ambassador-in-Residence for the Women in Politics Institute.

As president of FMC, she has provided her considerable experience to the non-profit organization in an effort to recruit Former Members of Congress who want to continue their service after they leave office. For the past 40 years, more than 600 Former Members of Congress have visited colleges and universities in an effort to encourage the next generation of leaders, helped further civic education in high schools and among the general public, conducted election monitoring overseas, hosted international Congressional Study Groups, and supported the nation’s wounded warriors.

“Connie is truly a national treasure,” Weichlein added. “We are very proud of her, and so fortunate to have her at the helm of our organization. On behalf of all of our Former Members, we want to congratulate her on receiving this prestigious award.”