About Mr. Halle

Claus Halle was an international business executive and philanthropist. Born in Schwelm, Germany in 1927, Mr. Halle was conscripted as a young teen into the German army during the latter part of World War II and surrendered to the American forces in 1945. Following his release, he began a remarkable career with The Coca-Cola Company as a truck deliveryman in Essen, Germany. Over the next 45 years, he rose to the most senior ranks of the company, including service as President of Coca-Cola Germany, President of Coca-Cola Europe and, ultimately, Senior Executive Vice President of The Coca-Cola Company and President of Coca-Cola International.  He lived most of his adult life in the United States in Atlanta, Georgia.

About the Foundation

In 1986, Mr. Halle created The Halle Foundation as a vehicle for supporting and strengthening the relationship between the United States and Germany for the long term.

Since Mr. Halle’s death in 2004, the Foundation has operated as an independent, grantmaking charity that is tax-exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and is classified by the Internal Revenue Service as a public charity described in section 509(a)(3) of the Code.  The Foundation headquarters are located in Atlanta, Georgia, and it is governed by a four-member board of trustees and managed by a full-time executive director. 

The mission of The Halle Foundation is to promote understanding, knowledge, and friendship between the people of Germany, as seen in its European context, and those of the United States. In furtherance of this mission, the Foundation supports, primarily through grantmaking, initiatives and activities in the fields of education, culture, science, technology, language, scholarship, and international relations. The Foundation makes grants to organizations organized and operated in both the United States and Germany.  Funding is largely limited to US-based public charities exempt under section 501(c)(3) and to German organizations which are the tax equivalent of such charities. In keeping with the founder’s preference, most U.S. grants are made to organizations and institutions operating within, or with some discernable connection to, the state of Georgia. 

Trustees and Staff

A native of Germany, Dr. Jordan moved to Atlanta in 1978 to establish and direct the southeastern chapter of the German-American Chamber of Commerce. For over three decades he has worked as an international business management consultant and executive recruiter. From 2004 to 2009, Dr. Jordan served as the Chairman of the board of directors of the German American Chamber of Commerce for the Southern US. He is a long-time member of the board of directors of the German Cultural Center and the German American Cultural Foundation. Dr. Jordan is also a co-founder, former President, and honorary board member of the German School of Atlanta.

Mr. Bankoff is Professor of the Practice at Georgia Tech’s Sam Nunn School of International Affairs, where he previously served as Chair. He also served six years as President & CEO of The Woodruff Arts Center and 32 years as a senior partner at the Atlanta-based law firm King & Spalding, where he headed the firm’s Intellectual Property and Technology Practice.

Dr. Magee is retired from Emory University where she held numerous posts during her forty years of service. During her tenure at the University, she served as a Professor, Dean, Director of the University’s Rose Library, Vice President, and Secretary of the University.

Dr. Christoph Ehland, based in Germany, is the Chair of English Literature and Cultural Studies at the University of Paderborn. Beyond pursuing an academic interest in the United States, he additionally serves on the university’s committee for internationalization and has been instrumental in establishing new partnership programs with universities in Europe, Asia and the United States. Among the programs he holds responsibility for, universities in the American
Southeast and the Atlanta area represent the focal point.

Mr. Sanders became the Executive Director of the Foundation in January 2020.   Prior to joining the Foundation, he practiced law with the Atlanta law firms of King & Spalding and Alston & Bird.  Mr. Sanders has also held a number of positions in government and politics, including service as a naval intelligence officer, as executive director of the Georgia Democratic Party, and in staff positions in the US Senate and in local government.

Mr. Howrey is a 2023 graduate of the University of Georgia with degrees in German and International Affairs. He lived in Germany as a participant of the Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange for one year during high school and worked and studied for one year at LMU Munich.