The Botstiber Institute for Austrian-American Studies was established in 2008 in Media, Pennsylvania

BIAAS Lecture 2016


Michael Burri is Program Officer at the Botstiber Institute for Austrian-American Studies (BIAAS) and editor of the Journal of Austrian-American History, sponsored by BIAAS and published by Penn State University Press. His articles have appeared in Austrian History Yearbook, Journal of Austrian Studies, and New German Critique, and he has published review essays and opinion pieces in leading Czech and American dailies. He is currently co-editing a volume of essays entitled After Vienna. Post-Imperial Salzburg as Austria’s Future Kulturstadt: 1919-1938 (Bloomsbury Press 2020), and his essay on Wolfgang Kraus and cultural diplomacy is forthcoming in German Studies Review. He holds a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from the University of Pennsylvania. Contact:

Elizabeth Leitzell is the Digital Media Specialist for the Botstiber Foundation. She recently relocated to Philadelphia from Brooklyn, NY where she worked as a freelance photographer, director of photography and retoucher for 10 years. In addition to her work at the Botstiber Foundation, she runs her own business fulfilling photography, video and retouching assignments for various non-profit, editorial and private clients on the East Coast. Elizabeth holds a BA in Political Science with a Minor in Digital Media Based Imaging from the University of Southern California. Contact:

Kevin J. McNamara is the Managing Director of the Botstiber Institute for Austrian-American Studies.  A non-profit executive for more than 30 years, McNamara started his career in 1988 as Assistant Director of the Foreign Policy Research Institute (FPRI), Philadelphia, PA, and as contributing editor of its quarterly journal of world affairs, Orbis.  He continues to serve as an Associate Scholar of FPRI.

He served for almost two decades at Drexel University, starting in 1998 as Associate Vice President for Corporate and Foundation Relations and concluding his tenure as Associate Vice President for Strategic Initiatives in 2021.  In between, he served four years as Vice President of the Independence Seaport Museum, Philadelphia.

McNamara’s narrative history of the dramatic events of war and revolution that demolished the Austro-Hungarian Empire and led specifically to the founding of Czecho-Slovakia in 1918, Dreams of a Great Small Nation (New York: Public Affairs, 2016), was reviewed with high praise in the United States and Europe, inspired a new exhibit at the National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library, Cedar Rapids, IA, and prompted the U.S. State Department to host a speaking tour by the author across five cities in the Czech and Slovak republics.  In 2020, the book was published in Czech and Slovak translations by Slovart Publishing Ltd., Prague and Bratislava.

Carolyn Rauch is the Meetings and Events Manager for the Botstiber Foundation. Carolyn has an extensive background in the pharmaceutical and chemical industry as a meeting, incentives, conference and event specialist. She holds an Advanced Certification in Event Planning and Healthcare Meeting Compliance. Her hobbies include crafting, interior design and gardening. Contact: