William W. Grimes

Professor of International Relations & Political Science
Chair, Department of International Relations, Boston University ;


I first met Max Otte over twenty years ago at Princeton University, where we were both graduate students.  From the beginning, I was struck by his intelligence and drive. Max had a clear vision of how he would build on a rigorous grounding in economics, politics, and business studies to become a leading businessman and policy analyst. He approached everything he did with both a sense of excitement about learning and a larger sense of how it would contribute to his larger goals.

At one point, Max and I co-wrote a paper on U.S.-Japan relations that became a chapter in a book by Hans Maull; I still remember some of the lessons that I learned from Max about how to be a focused, policy-relevant writer.

Several years later, when we had an opening at Boston University for an assistant professor of international economics and business, I immediately thought of Max. His job talk was prescient:  it warned of the weak economic and political bases of the euro project. Max went on to teach at BU for several years, becoming a popular teacher as well as a fine colleague.

Eventually, his entrepreneurial projects back home in Germany became so successful that he made the decision to move back full-time.  While we were disappointed to see him go, his many successes since that time have confirmed that he did the right thing.

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