Engaging at the Demeš Lecture

On Monday, November 13, 2017 Pavol Demeš, a well-known Slovak expert on international relations and civil society, author and photographer, spoke about Slovakia and the United States: The Ties that Bind at the Embassy of the Slovak Republic in Washington D.C.  The event was co-sponsored by Friends of Slovakia (FOS) and the Embassy of the Slovak Republic.  The evening affair was attended by an inquisitive audience including members of FOS, the Embassy, think tanks and US government agencies. FOS President Joe Senko presented Pavol Demeš with a custom-made General Rastislav Štefánik coffee mug at the conclusion.

Pavol Demeš’ personal observations included how Slovakia, as a respected member of the European Union and the Visegrád Group, is doing today both domestically and in its foreign relations.  He also covered a variety of societal trends and key challenges faced by Slovakia including in the areas of education and the judiciary. Pavol Demeš assessed the current state of Slovak – United States relations in today’s political environment and concluded by positing what could be done to improve these relations via enhanced contacts.  Audience members posed at least a dozen excellent questions to which he provided thoughtful and eloquent responses.  The evening ended with a wonderful reception of goulaš and knedle, orechovnik for dessert and, of course, delicious Slovak Wine.

About the presenter:  Pavol Demeš served in the Slovak government, first at the Ministry of Education and later as Minister of International Relations (1991-92), and then as Foreign Policy Advisor to Slovak President Michal Kováč (1993-97). In 1999 he was awarded a six-month public policy research fellowship at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington, D.C.  From 2000 until 2010 he was the Director for Central and Eastern Europe of the German Marshall Fund of the United States based in Bratislava. Since then, he has been a non-resident Senior Fellow with German Marshall Fund and board member of the European Endowment for Democracy. In 1998 he received the EU-US Democracy and Civil Society Award and in 1999 the USAID Democracy and Governance Award.  In 2011 he was awarded a Medal of Honor from the Friends of Slovakia and in 2017 he received the Czech and Slovak Transatlantic Award.

Pavol Demeš

Pavol Demeš with Terezia Filipejova with the Slovak Embassy

(left to right) Martina Hrvolova, Terezia Filipejova, Sharon Fisher, Carrie Slease

(left to right) Dr. Sharon Fisher of FOS, Pavol Demeš, Carrie Slease of IJM

Amb. Ted Russell of FOS with Martina Hrvolova who works with the Center for International Private Enterprise

(left to right) Joe Senko, Pavol Demeš, Ted Russel, Amb. Tod Sedgwick

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrFacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblr

Prof. Jan Svejnar Delivers 2017 Czech & Slovak Freedom Lecture on “The Czech Republic in the World Economy”

Former Economic Advisor to President Havel, 2008 candidate for President of the Czech Republic and Professor of Global Political Economy at Columbia University Jan Svejnar gave the 2017 Czech and Slovak Freedom Lecture at the Wilson Center on November 7. Friends of Slovakia co-sponsored the lecture with The American Friends of the Czech Republic and the Czech and Slovak Embassies. It was attended by a lively audience including members of FOS and AfoCR, the press, think tanks and US government agencies. FOS Founding Chairman Ted Russell presented Professor Svejnar with the FOS Medal of Honor for his work promoting democracy, a free market economy and an active role for the Visegrad countries in the European Union.

The lecture was recorded and may be heard via the link listed below. The first few minutes recorded on the link are low volume, but normal volume is resumed if you scroll in 7-8 minutes.

https://www.wilsoncenter.org/event/the-czech-republic-the-world-economy

FOS Board member Sharon Fisher with Prof. Svejnar

FOS Founding Chairman Ted Russell presented Professor Svejnar with the FOS Medal of Honor.

(left to right) AfoCR President Tom Dine, AfoCR Treasurer Barbara Gibian, Czech Ambassador Hynek Kmoníček, Roger Kodat, Board member of FOS and AfoCR

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrFacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblr

Slovak & the US: The Ties that Bind, a lecture and informal discussion with Dr. Pavol Demeš

The Embassy of the Slovak Republic to the United States and Friends of Slovakia invite you to a lecture and informal discussion with  

Pavol Demeš
SLOVAKIA AND THE UNITED STATES: THE TIES THAT BIND

Monday, November 13, 2017
7:00 pm
The Embassy of the Slovak Republic
3523 International Court, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20008

Pavol Demeš is a well-known Slovak expert on international relations and civil society, author and photographer.  He served in the Slovak government, first at the Ministry of Education and later as Minister of International Relations (1991-92), and then as Foreign Policy Advisor to the President of the Slovak Republic (1993-97). In 1999 he was awarded a six-month public policy research fellowship at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington, D.C. From 2000 until 2010 he was the Director for Central and Eastern Europe of the German Marshall Fund of the United States based in Bratislava. Since then, he has been a non-resident senior fellow with GMF US and board member of the European Endowment for Democracy. In 2011 he was awarded a Medal of Honor from the Friends of Slovakia and in 2017 the Czech and Slovak Transatlantic Award.

RSVP by email: emb.washington@mzv.sk
by November 8, 2017

Click here to view a downloadable pdf invitation.

Click here to view the event on Facebook and share with your friends.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrFacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblr

CEPA Forum 2017 in Washington DC Examines Atlanticism in a Time of Change

Slovak State Secretary, Ivan Korcok, speaking at the CEPA Forum. (Photo courtesy of CEPA)

Slovak State Secretary, Ivan Korcok, speaking at the CEPA Forum. (Photo courtesy of CEPA)

The annual transatlantic security conference organized by the Center for European Policy Analysis (CEPA) has become the leading event in Washington D.C. focused on issues in Central and Eastern Europe. The theme of this year’s CEPA Forum 2017 was “Preserving Atlanticism in a Time of Change,” and was held on September 21-22 in Washington, D.C. The Forum was organized by CEPA in cooperation with the Embassy of Hungary and together with a number of corporate and non-profit supporters, including the Visegrad Fund, Friends of Slovakia (FOS) and American Friends of the Czech Republic. FOS has provided support to the Forum for the past several years. This year, Ivan Korcok, Slovak State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs, and Dusan Fischer, Researcher with the Slovak Foreign Policy Assn., were featured speakers.

Ivan Korcok, Slovak State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs.

Ivan Korcok, Slovak State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs. (Photo courtesy of CEPA)

Dusan Fischer, Researcher, Slovak Foreign Policy Assn. (Photo courtesy of CEPA)

Dusan Fischer, Researcher, Slovak Foreign Policy Assn. (Photo courtesy of CEPA)

The two-day conference presented several panels featuring experts and government officials discussing various aspects of transatlantic relations from a variety of perspectives, including those of the U.S, E.U. and the individual countries of Central and Eastern Europe. The first day panels held at the historic Willard Hotel examined issues such as: Strengthening the Visegrad Four (V-4); Reforming NATO for the 21 st Century; The Impact of U.S.-Russia Relations on Euro-Atlantic Security; the War of Narratives in the Information Age; U.S. and European Perspectives on Migration and Security. The second day of the conference was held at the Meridian International Center and focused more specifically on defense and military issues, particularly the threat to its neighbors arising from Russia’s recent actions. This second day of the CEPA Forum was off-the- record. You can view the full video of the first day conference sessions, by accessing http://cepaforum.org/home

 Dusan Fischer comments at the CEPA Forum (Photo courtesy of CEPA)


Dusan Fischer comments at the CEPA Forum (Photo courtesy of CEPA)

Dusan Fischer (center) participates in CEPA Forum panel on Migration and Security (Photo courtesy of CEPA)

Dusan Fischer (center) participates in CEPA Forum panel on Migration and Security (Photo courtesy of CEPA)

Lt. General Ben Hodges, Commander, U.S. Army Europe (center) at the CEPA Forum, with (left) Karin Shuey, Washington, DC Director of the Estonian American National Council and (right) Ken Bombara, Vice Chairman, Friends of Slovakia.

Lt. General Ben Hodges, Commander, U.S. Army Europe (center) at the CEPA Forum, with (left) Karin Shuey, Washington, DC Director of the Estonian American National Council and (right) Ken Bombara, Vice Chairman, Friends of Slovakia.

 

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrFacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblr

“How Cleveland Played a Crucial Role in U.S. Diplomacy in Central Europe” with Amb. Tod Sedgwick

Amb. Tod Sedgwick

On September 26, former U.S. Ambassador to Slovakia and Friends of Slovakia Board of Advisors member Tod Sedgwick gave a fascinating luncheon presentation on “How Cleveland Played a Crucial Role in U.S. Diplomacy in Central Europe”. Ambassador Sedgwick gave a brief overview of the history of Slovak emigration to the U.S. He described why and how Slovaks emigrated in such large numbers to the US in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s, including particularly to the Cleveland and Pittsburgh areas. He explained how they eventually came together with Czechs to push for a new, independent nation of Czechs and Slovaks by signing the October 1915 Cleveland Agreement and later the Pittsburgh Agreement in May 1918 which led to the formation of independent Czechoslovakia under President T.G. Masaryk.  Attendees included members of the Cleveland Club of Washington, D.C. and Slovak Embassy Deputy Chief of Mission Jozef Polakovic. FOS members Richard Marko, Helen Fedor and FOS Founding Chairman Ted Russell also attended. The luncheon lecture was organized by Cleveland Club President Brooke Stoddard.

Upcoming – Save the Date:

Celebration of the 100th Anniversary of the Pittsburgh Agreement – May 31, 2018 in Pittsburgh, PA.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrFacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblr

Slovak Ambassador meets with the FOS Slovak Scholars

Slovak Ambassador Peter Kmec welcomed the five 2017 Friends of Slovakia Slovak Scholars to the Embassy together with program supporters including FOS Chairman Joe Senko and President of The Fund for American Studies Roger Ream. TFAS runs this intensive two month summer program at George Mason University. The FOS Scholars also have internships with local organizations relevant to their interests. 

Contributions from individual FOS supporters and from the Slovak-American Foundation and Slovak American Business and Innovation Council have made the program available to 44 Slovak Scholars thus far. 

Featured in the photos above from left to right (*=FOS scholar): Mária Sofia Takáčová*; TFAS President Roger Ream; FOS Chairman Joe Senko;  Jeff Reid, Adjunct Professor and Director Georgetown Entrepreneur Initiative & Matúš’ sponsor; Slovak Ambassador Peter Kmec; Jaroslav Leitmann*; Andrea Ratkošová; Matúš Záhradník; Michaela Halásová*; Roger Kodat; Amb. Ted Russel; Ken Bombara; and Miroslav Ivan of the Slovak Embassy.

Behind the group is the FOS Wall of Honor which thanks contributors that support FOS’ cultural and educational activities.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrFacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblr

Welcoming US Ambassador to Slovakia Adam Sterling

On Amb. Adam Sterling with FOS Chairman Joe Senko and wife AlbinaMay 10th, US Ambassador to Slovakia Adam Sterling met with Slovak-Americans in Pittsburgh at a reception organized by FOS Chairman Joe Senko and his wife Albina. Ambassador Sterling gave an informative presentation on Slovakia and personally greeted the guests and took individual photos with them. The next evening, the FOS Board of Directors hosted a dinner for Ambassador Sterling in Washington, DC. The Ambassador briefed the FOS Board on his work in Slovakia and discussed cooperation on FOS projects including our FOS Slovak Scholars program. Thanks to contributions from our supporters, this FOS initiative has awarded grants to 44 outstanding Slovak students for a two-month study and internship program in Washington, DC.  Our five 2017 grantees will arrive in June.

Amb. Adam Sterling with the FOS Board of Directors

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrFacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblr

Get involved with FOS in supporting ‘A Higher Authority’, the documentary of a Slovak Holocaust survivor.

Become involved at the ground level of an important new film project. This endeavor will  not only document the life of a Slovak Holocaust survivor in her own words, but also bring honor and recognition to the Catholic priest and ordinary Slovak citizens who risked their lives, in allegiance to an authority higher than that of the Nazi regime, to rescue one Jewish family. Friends of Slovakia has partnered with Next Film Productions in documenting this moving story of Klara Sever’s childhood and of the bravery of Slovak villagers who enabled her family to survive the Holocaust and prevail through WWII.

Preliminary filming for the epilogue of this docudrama has already begun in Slovakia. If you would like to contribute to the production of this important film, please send a check to Friends of Slovakia, P.O. Box 8033, Falls Church, VA 22041-9998 marked “film project” or contact Patricia Wood at: higherauthorityfilm@gmail.com

Click here for the film flyer: A Higher Authority Film Flyer

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrFacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblr

The Teacher (Ucitelka)

If you are in the Washington DC area, come see The Teacher (Ucitelka), a dramatic comedy about a middle school teacher that manipulates her student’s parents into doing favors for her in exchange for previews of test questions and good grades for their children.
 
The Teacher (Ucitelka)
Directed by Jan Hrebejk
(Slovak Republic, 2016, 102 min.)
Read more about it on IMDB.
 
One-time show
Thursday April 13 at 5:15pm
 
The Avalon Theater
5612 Connecticut Ave. NW, Washington DC 20015
http://www.theavalon.org/films/the-teacher/
 

 
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrFacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblr

Friends of Slovakia Model of Aeromobil Goes on National Tour

Boeing CEO DennisMuilenburg at Smithsonian

Boeing CEO DennisMuilenburg at Smithsonian

A scale model of the Aeromobil flying car, designed and manufactured in Slovakia, has begun a 4-5 year tour of the USA. It is part of a spectacular aerospace exhibit sponsored by the Boeing Corporation entitled “Above and Beyond” currently at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum on the Mall in Washington, DC until January 3, 2016. The model was brought to the United States by Friends of Slovakia and is on loan to the exhibit.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrFacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblr