Leo Baeck Institute New York
Carol Kahn Strauss is International Director of Leo Baeck Institute, a research library and archive that documents the history and culture of German-speaking Jewry, primarily in the 19th and 20th centuries, but also including documents dating back to the middle ages. LBI was founded in 1955 as a repository for the books, papers, photos and documents that were salvaged from Central Europe after World War II.
As International Director, Mrs. Strauss maintains and deepens the Institute’s relationships with partners abroad. She was appointed to this new role in 2012 after a successful 18-year tenure as the Institute’s Executive Director. Under her leadership as Executive Director, the Institute massively expanded its collections and capacity and became one of the founding partners of the Center for Jewish History, a pioneering alliance of five Jewish historical institutions in Manhattan. She also expanded the Institute’s ties to the Federal Republic of Germany and was instrumental in the establishment of the Berlin Branch of LBI’s Archives.
Before she joined Leo Baeck Institute, she worked as a Senior Editor at the 20th Century Fund in New York, a public policy organization, as well as Senior Editor at the Hudson Institute, a think tank headed by Herman Kahn. For many years she was assistant book editor at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York.
In June, 2005, Mrs. Strauss was honored with the Order of Merit, The Cross of Merit, First Class, of the Federal Republic of Germany, issued by Federal President Horst Köhler and awarded to her by Germany’s Federal Foreign Minister, Joschka Fischer, in a ceremony in Berlin. In 2009, she received the Ellis Island Medal of Honor.
In addition to her professional career, Mrs. Strauss commits time to charity and volunteer work. She has served as Vice President of the American Federation of Jews from Central Europe, President of the Congregation Habonim in New York City, a Trustee of Self-Help, and a Trustee of Leo Baeck Institute.
Born and raised in New York City, Mrs. Strauss lives in Manhattan with her husband, Peter Strauss.
M.A. in International Relations – Hunter College
B.A. in Political Science – Columbia University
German (fluent, written and spoken)