Challenges and Opportunities Facing Hungary

A presentation by Her Excellency Ambassador Dr. Réka Szemerkényi on Tuesday, September 20, at 10.30 a.m.

The Associates of the American Foreign Service Worldwide cordially invite you to join us on Tuesday, September 20, at 10:30 a.m. in the Benjamin Franklin Diplomatic Reception Room on the 8th floor of the State Department in Washington, D.C. for an interesting presentation by Her Excellency Ambassador Dr. Réka Szemerkényi of Hungary on the “Challenges and Opportunities facing Hungary,” followed by a question-and-answer session.

Dr. Réka Szemerkényi was appointed Ambassador of Hungary to the United States in 2015. Previously, from 2011 to 2014, she was Chief Advisor on Security Policy to the Prime Minister of Hungary. In this capacity, she covered Trans-Atlantic issues, Central European regional relations, the Balkans, Russia, with a particular emphasis on energy security and cyber security.

Between 2006 and 2011, she was Head of International Public Affairs and Chief Advisor on International Relations to the Chairman of the Board of MOL Group, the Hungarian Oil and Gas Company. Her role in this position was to cover European Union energy policy and security developments and the establishment of the Central European regional energy cooperation, as well as to provide professional support for executive decisions on a wide range of issues in international affairs.

Her Excellency Dr. Réka Szemerkényi held various governmental posts prior to this. Between 1998 and 2002, she was State Secretary for Foreign Policy and National Security Advisor to the Prime Minister of Hungary. From 1991 to 1994, she was Senior Advisor to the State Secretary of the Ministry of Defense of Hungary.

In her academic and research work, she has been a regular speaker at high level international conferences. She was also university lecturer at the Institute of Kremlinology, Károli University in Budapest, as well as at the ASERI Centre of International Relations, Catholic University of Milan, Italy. She was foreign policy op-ed author of the Hungarian weekly magazine Heti Válasz for six years. She is the author of several publications in international relations, security policy and energy security. She worked as Research Associate at the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) in London (1995-6) where she wrote Adelphi Paper No. 306 entitled Central European Civil-Military Reforms At Risk, published by Oxford University Press in 1996. She was elected President of the Hungarian New Atlantic Intiative, NGO, between 2003 and 2012 and she now serves as elected Vice President of the Hungarian Atlantic Council.

She completed her Master’s Degree in Strategic Studies as a Fulbright Fellow at SAIS, Johns Hopkins University in Washington DC (1993-5). She earned her Doctoral Degree at Péter Pázmány Catholic University of Budapest in 2006.

Ambassador Dr. Réka Szemerkényi was awarded the Slovak Atlantic Commision’s award “In Appreciation of Promoting Freedom and Security in Central Europe” (2013), the “Bene Merito” honor by Radoslaw Sikorski, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Poland (2010). She was honored with the L’Ordre National du Mérite, Commandeur, by President Jacques Chirac (2001). In Hungary, she was decorated National Service Award for the Contribution to Hungary’s Joining NATO, by the Minister of Defense of Hungary (1999).

Please RSVP no later than Friday, September 16 to office@aafsw.org and send us your date of birth and a driver’s license or passport number to submit to the Office of Security in the State Department. There is no cost for this program.
Please come to the “C” Street entrance of the Department of State (between 21st and 23rd Street NW) no later than 9:45 a.m. As you enter, rather than reporting to the main desk, please go to the smaller table (usually to your right) where one of our members will check you in and help you through security. You will be escorted to the 8th floor.

We look forward to seeing you,

Sheila Switzer
AAFSW Program Chair

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