In memoriam, Václav Havel - Playwright, poet, political activist, former President of Czechoslovakia, and the first President of the Czech Republic. Among the best-known and most influential Communist-era dissidents, Mr. Havel’s unfaltering and selfless dedication to the principles of justice, dignity, and human freedom have made him a symbol of liberty to the world.
In memoriam, Elie Wiesel - Author, Chairman of the President’s Commission on the Holocaust, recipient of the U.S. Congressional Gold Medal of Achievement, and Nobel laureate (Peace Prize in 1986). A survivor of the Holocaust, who had brought that epic human tragedy to life for countless millions of people, Mr. Wiesel was one of the great figures of conscience of our time.
Dennis C. Blair -Former US Government’s Director of National Intelligence. From 2003 to 2006, Admiral Blair was President and Chief Executive Officer of the Institute for Defense Analyses (IDA). Prior to retiring from the Navy in 2002, Admiral Blair served as Commander in Chief, US Pacific Command, the largest of the combatant commands. A graduate of the US Naval Academy, Admiral Blair earned a Master’s degree in history and languages from Oxford University as a Rhodes scholar, and was a White House fellow at the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Currently, Mr. Blair serves on board of Freedom House and National Committee on U.S.-China Relations.
R. James Woolsey — Lawyer, former Director of Central Intelligence, Ambassador to the Negotiation on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe, and former Under Secretary of the Navy. Mr. Woolsey’s extensive background in the fields of national security and intelligence establishes him as one of the world’s preeminent experts on strategic studies and global security issues.
Alexandr Vondra — Signatory to, and spokesman for, Charter 77, co-founder of the Civic Forum Movement, former Foreign Policy Advisor to President Václav Havel, Minister of Foreign Affairs (2006-2007), Minister of European Affairs (2007-2007) and Minister of Defence (2010-2012). Currently presiding over Prague Center for Transatlantic Relations at CEVRO Institute. Mr. Vondra brought a wealth of experience in the security community of the Czech Republic to PSSI and the founding of its Program of Atlantic Security Studies.
Timothy Garton Ash — Historian, author, former Director of the European Studies Centre at St. Antony’s College in Oxford, and currently Senior Fellow of the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. Mr. Garton Ash is a regular contributor at The Guardian New York Review of Books. Mr. Ash is a modern historian widely known for his books based on his experiences living and travelling on both sides of the Iron Curtain and is an expert on Central European transformation.
Michael Žantovský — Former press secretary and spokesman for President Václav Havel and former Czechoslovak Ambassador to the United States, to Israel and to United Kingdom. Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defense and Security of the Czech Senate, President of the Civic Democratic Alliance (a political party). Mr. Zantovský contributes his leadership skills and experience to both PSSI’s International Advisory Board and the founding of its Program of Atlantic Security Studies. Currently, Mr. Zantovsky holds the post of the Director of the Vaclav Havel Library and is the President of Board of Directors at Aspen Institute Prague.
Michael Novak — Theologian, author, former U.S. Ambassador to the UN Human Rights Commission, Ambassador to the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe and former Director of Social and Political Studies at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington D.C. In addition, Mr. Novak currently lectures at a number of leading worldwide universities and has a rich background in the humanities and support for dissidents in Eastern Europe during Cold War, activities for which he is recognized worldwide.
Adam Michnik — Essayist, historian, former Polish dissident, deputy of Poland’s first non-communist parliament, founder and former editor-in-chief of Poland’s most respected newspaper, Gazeta Wyborcza, where he is still a regular contributor. Mr. Michnik is a principal architect of Polish freedoms and a leading figure in ending the Cold War.
Robert Pfaltzgraff — Advisor to key U.S. government officials on military strategy, defense modernization, NATO, proliferation and counterproliferation issues, and arms control policy, founder and President of the Institute for Foreign Policy Analysis, and a current professor at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. Dr. Pfaltzgraff is an internationally recognized expert on national security and strategic studies and is a valued resource for PSSI’s program development.
H.R.H. Prince El Hassan bin Talal — Prince of the Jordanian Hashemite Royal Dynasty, writer, philosopher, and economist. Former President of the Club of Rome (1999-2007) and a member of a number of international organizations and institutes, for several of which he serves as chairman. Prince Hassan is one of the most prominent advocates of a tolerant co-existence of Islam, Judaism, and Christianity. He is also one of the strongest advocates of democratic processes in the Islamic world.
Karel Schwarzenberg - Head of the Presidential Office of Václav Havel (1990-1992) and former Minister of Foreign Affairs (2007-2009, 2010-2013). Mr. Schwarzenberg currently leads the liberal party TOP09 and has also founded Forum Karla Schwarzenberga, leading NGO-based platform for debate on social and political issues in Czech Republic.
Madeleine Albright - 64th Secretary of State of the United States. In 1997, she was named the first female Secretary of State and became, at that time, the highest ranking woman in the history of the U.S. government. Director emerita of Council on Foreign Relations, Ms. Albright is an also associate professor at Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University.
Jiří Schneider - is currently the Executive Director of Aspen Institute Prague. From 2014- 2015, Mr. Schneider held the post of PSSI’s Senior Fellow and Director of Special Projects. In 2010-2013, he served as First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic. From 2005-2010, Mr. Schneider served as Program Director of the Prague Security Studies Institute. He was formerly Head of the Policy Planning Department of the Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs (1993-1994, 1999-2001, 2003) and Ambassador of the Czech Republic to Israel (1995- 1998). Mr. Schneider was an International Policy Fellow at the Open Society Institute in Budapest (2002) and an MP of the Czechoslovak Federal Assembly (1990-1992). He also serves as a part-time lecturer at Charles University, New York University in Prague, and PSSI’s Robinson-Martin Security Scholars Program. He is a graduate of Charles University and University of Cambridge.
Petr Kolář - Former Czech Ambassador to Russia after having served as Ambassador of the Czech Republic to the United States. Mr. Kolář previously served as Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs for Bilateral Relations (2003-05), Ambassador to Ireland (1999-2003), and Ambassador to Sweden (1996-98). In addition, he served as Director of the Eastern and Southern Europe Territorial Department and Foreign Policy Adviser to the Foreign Minister (1995-96). He studied information technology, library science and ethnography at Charles University, Faculty of Arts in Prague, and his post-graduate studies were completed at the Woodrow Wilson International Center in Washington, D.C., and the University of London, Institute of Historical Research. Mr. Kolář currently works as senior advisor in consultancy company Squire & Sanders.
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