Granholm Honored With German Cross of Merit

For Immediate Release
February 27, 2013

Granholm Honored With German Cross of Merit
Highest civilian honor for non-German

Jennifer M. Granholm, former governor of Michigan, has been honored by the Federal Republic of Germany with its prestigous Cross of Merit Award for her efforts in building economic and cultural bridges between Germany and Michigan during her eight years in office. Known as the Bundesverdienstkreuz, the Cross of Merit Award is awarded by the President of Germany and is the highest civilian honor a non-German can receive.

“Germany is pleased to bestow this significant honor on Governor Granholm for her outstanding service in strengthening the economic and cultural relationships bringing German and Michigan closer together,” said Fred Hoffman, Germany’s Honorary Consul in Michigan, who presented Granholm with the award.

Hoffman noted that among Governor Granholm’s numerous foreign investment missions, five were to Germany, more than any other country the governor traveled to during her two terms in office. He also cited her “countless continuous contacts” with German CEOs and public officials as among the reasons for the recognition. Governor Granholm’s meetings with German-based firms such as Daimler, Bosch, Kostal and Eberspaecher all resulted in Michigan-based investment and jobs.

The Order of Merit award is the second such recognition Governor Granholm has received. In 2010, Governor Granholm was honored by the King of Sweden, Carl XVI Gustaf, with his country’s Order of the Polar Star for her work in fostering economic relations between Michigan and Sweden, particularly on clean energy. During her eight years as Governor, she led 13 international investment missions to 10 countries – the first to Germany in 2004 – that resulted in 49 companies announcing more than $2 billion in new investment in Michigan, and more than 20,000 new or retained jobs.