STANISLAV BALÍK graduated from Masaryk University with a doctorate in history and political science. He is the executive director of the Centre for the Study of Democracy and Culture in Brno and head of the department of political science at Masaryk University.
GERGELY EGEDY (Budapest, 1953), historian and political scientist, university professor. He teaches at the newly founded National University of Public Service. He specialises in the history of political thought and British history. His major works include Nagy-Britannia története (A History of Great Britain, 1998, 2011); Konzervativizmus az ezredfordulón (Conservatism at the Turn of the Millennium, 2001); Brit konzervatív gondolkodás és politika (British Conservative Thought and Politics, 2005); Bevezetés a nemzetközi kapcsolatok elméletébe (An Introduction to the Theory of International Relations, 2007, 2011).
GYÖRGY FERDINANDY (Budapest, 1935), writer and literary historian. He started his studies at the Secondary School of the Piarist Fathers, but was forced by the Communist regime to work at the Ikarusz Bus Factory and could never graduate. He managed however to get enrolled at Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest, as a double major in French and Hungarian, but he had to leave the country after the fall of the 1956 Revolution. He lived in Paris until 1964 and worked as a translator, bookshop assistant and mason. He received his PhD in Literary History at the University of Strasbourg in 1959. Between 1964 and 1976 he taught Western Civilisation at the University of Puerto Rico. He published many novels, short stories and poems, and is a receiver of the Commander’s Cross of Merit of the Order of Hungary.
MILÁN FÜST (1888–1967), writer, poet, playwright. He was one of the most influential members of the first so-called Nyugat generation named after the famous literary monthly, and the creator of Hungarian free verse. From 1948 to 1960 he taught at Eötvös Loránd University in Budapest. Although he received the Kossuth Prize in 1948, none of his works could appear between 1949 and 1955. For his support of the Revolution he was again relegated to the background, yet his works could be published and re-published. His novel Feleségem története (The Story of my Wife) had a significant success throughout Europe. His prizes include: Baumgarten Prize (1932, 1935, 1946), Kossuth Prize (1948).
ATTILA GÉRECZ (1929–1956), poet, translator, sportsman. In 1950 he was arrested on charge of conspiracy and sentenced to 15 years in prison, during which he joined the imprisoned poets’ group known as Füveskert. He was released during the Revolution on 30 October 1956, and died in a street fighting on 7 November.
EDUARD HABSBURG-LOTHRINGEN is a diplomat, an author and media personality. He is the great-great-great grandson of the late Austro-Hungarian emperor and Hungarian king Franz Joseph I and his wife, Queen Elizabeth. Eduard Habsburg-Lothringen has previously been director of communications of the diocese of St. Pölten and scriptwriter of television series and of the film Mary, Queen of Scots. He has published writings about arts and history and he is also a member of the European Cultural Parliament.
LARRY D. JACOBS is Managing Director of World Congress of Families and the International Organization for the Family. He has Master’s degrees from Yale University in Economics (M.A.) and Natural Resource Policy (M.F.S.), and is a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Environmental Science from Allegheny College. Jacobs is an experienced leader with diverse background in business, non-profit organisations, Christian ministries and Fortune 500 companies. He is founder and CEO of Jabez Consulting, a not-for-profit consulting business that assists businesses, Christian organisations and pregnancy centres with medical services, fundraising, business strategy, development and community relationship building. He is the former President, CEO and Development Director of Healthy Beginnings, a medical practice and healthcare ministry that worked with more than 18 pro-life pregnancy centres in the US. He has served on many boards and executive committees, including Heartbeat International, Black Conservative Summit and Trinity Christian School. He is currently chairman of the Board for Freedom’s Journal Institute for Faith and Public Policy and the Black Conservative Summit.
GYULA KODOLÁNYI (Budapest, 1942), Editor-in-Chief of Hungarian Review and of Magyar Szemle, is the author of eleven collections of poetry, scholarly and literary essays and poetry translations. He taught English and American Literature at Eötvös Loránd University in Budapest in 1970–1989. He received research and teaching fellowships from the British Council, the American Council of Learned Societies, CIES and The German Marshall Fund of the US. He taught at the University of California in Santa Barbara (1984–85) and at Emory University in Atlanta (2004–2009), and read his poetry in English widely in the US. In 1987, he was a founding member of the Hungarian Democratic Forum (MDF). In 1990–94, he served as Senior Foreign Policy Advisor to the Prime Minister. In 2000–2005 he was an Advisor to President Ferenc Mádl. In 2012, he received Hungary’s Middle Cross with the Star and in 2005 the President’s Medal of Honour for his public and literary achievements. With Magyar Szemle, he received a Prima Prize in 2003. In 2015, he was Prima Primissima Prize winner in literature. In 2016, he received the Hungarian PEN Club’s Janus Pannonius Prize for Poetry Translation.
ANDRÁS LUDÁNYI (Szikszó, 1940) is Professor Emeritus of Political Science at Ohio Northern University. His specialty subfields are Comparative Politics and International Relations. His research has focused on inter-ethnic and inter-nationality relations in East Central Europe with particular attention to developments in Transylvania and Voivodina. He has published numerous articles and reviews and edited three books in his research area. His latest publication is “The Legacy of Transylvania in Romanian and Hungarian Historiography” (2011).
Prof. JÁNOS MARTONYI (Kolozsvár/Cluj 1944) university professor (University of Szeged; ELTE University, Budapest; College of Europe, Bruges and Natolin; Central European University, Budapest), politician, attorney, international arbitrator, author of numerous books, essays and articles primarily in the field of international trade law, competition policy and law, European integration and law, cooperation in Central Europe, global regulations and international relations. Commissioner for privatisation in 1989–1990; State Secretary in the Ministry of International Economic Relations in 1990–1991, State Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1991–1994, managing partner at the law firm Martonyi and Kajtár, Baker & McKenzie, Budapest in 1994–1998 and 2002–2009, Head of the Institute for Private International Law and International Trade Law at the University of Szeged in 1999–2009, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Hungary in 1998–2002 and 2010–2014. Awards: the Commander’s Cross with the Star of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Hungary, the Széchenyi Prize, the Hungarian American Coalition 2016 Award, the Legion of Honour of France, the National Order of Merit of France and the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun of Japan, as well as British, Austrian, Polish and Bulgarian state decorations.
GORDON McKECHNIE (Detroit, 1951) was educated at the International School of Geneva and at the University of Oxford. After a career in banking (working in the then emerging markets of Central and Eastern Europe from 1989), he became a Partner of Deloitte and subsequently worked for the UK Treasury. Among his current positions, he is Chairman of the OECD’s Infrastructure and PPP Network and member of the International Committee of Tearfund.
ZSOLT NÉMETH is a founding member of Fidesz (Hungarian Civic Party), and Member of Parliament since 1990. He studied political science at the Oxford University St Anthony’s College as a visiting student in 1988–89. He holds an MA in Economics and Sociology from Karl Marx (Corvinus) University of Economic Sciences at Budapest. Since 2014 he has been Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee and Head of the Hungarian Delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly to the Council of Europe. Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee between 2002 and 2010; Parliamentary State Secretary in the Ministry for Foreign Affairs in 1998–2002 and again in 2010-2014. In 2004, Member of the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the European Parliament for a year. One of the main sponsors of the Act on National and Ethnic Minorities (1993), granting individual and collective rights and the right to self-government for ethnic and national minorities living in Hungary, as well as of the Act allowing non-resident Hungarians to apply for Hungarian citizenship if they are of Hungarian origin and speak the language (2010). He is also a founder of the Pro Minoritate Foundation; Honorary Chief Superintendent of the Calvinist Congregation of Transylvania; Member of the Knight’s Order of the Johannites.
KATALIN NOVÁK has been serving as Minister of State for Family and Youth Affairs at the Ministry of Human Capacities of Hungary since 2014. As of September 2016, she is also State Secretary responsible for International Affairs. Before her current positions she was the Head of the Minister’s Cabinet in the Ministry of Human Capacities, Advisor to the Minister of Foreign Affairs between 2010 and 2012, and was appointed Ministerial Commissioner for Francophone Affairs between 2013 and 2014. She holds a Master’s degree in Economics, with major in international relations, from the University of Budapest of Economic Sciences and Public Administration. She studied law at both the University of Szeged and the University Paris X–Nanterre. She pursued EU studies at the Institut d’Études Politiques de Paris, as well as the University in Public Administration (ENA, France). Currently she is the Vice-Chair of the Advisory Board of the Political Network for Values, Founding Member of the Hungarian–German Youth Organisation and Advisory Board Member of the German– Hungarian Youth Association. Mrs Novák is the recipient of the Plaque of the French Chamber of Deputies, her dedication to the support and protection of families has been acknowledged with the “Luchador por la Familia” Award given by the Associació Plataforma per la Família Catalunya.
JAIME MAYOR OREJA (San Sebastian, 1951) is an agricultural engineer. He has served as a member in the Basque Parliament, the Spanish Parliament, and the European Parliament, as well as in various ministries in both Spanish and autonomous Basque Governments. He was also involved in the implementation of the Basque Statute of Autonomy, serving in the Basque General Council, precursor to the autonomous parliament, as minister of tourism. He joined the People’s Coalition and stood as their candidate for Lehendakari in the 1984 Basque elections. After disagreements within the governing party, the Basque Nationalist Party, a snap election was organised in 1986, and Mayor Oreja took this opportunity to retire from the Basque Parliament. In 1989, at the request of Manuel Fraga, Mayor Oreja returned to politics to help the newly founded People’s Party (PP), he led the party in the Basque elections of 1990, and directed the European Parliament elections in 1989. Between 1996 and 2001, he was Minister of the Interior. Currently, he is President of the Values and Society Foundation and the European Federation “One of Us” for the defence of life and human dignity.
JOHN O’SULLIVAN (Liverpool, 1942) is editor-at-large of National Review in New York where he served as Editor-in-Chief for ten years. He was a Special Advisor to Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in Downing Street and later assisted her in the writing of her two volumes of memoirs. He has held a wide variety of senior editorial positions in the media on both sides of the Atlantic. He is the founder and co-chairman of the Atlantic Initiative, an international bipartisan organisation dedicated to reinvigorating and expanding the Atlantic community of democracies, launched at the Congress of Prague in May 1996 by President Václav Havel and Lady Thatcher. His book, The President, the Pope, and the Prime Minister (on Pope John Paul II, President Reagan and Prime Minister Thatcher), was published in Hungarian, too, in 2010. Until 2011, he was the Executive Editor of Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty in Prague. Currently he is the President of the Danube Institute, Budapest.
NICHOLAS T. PARSONS is a freelance author, translator and editor based in Vienna. A graduate of New College, Oxford, he spent two years in Italy teaching at the British Institute of Florence and as Reader in English at the University of Pisa before returning to the UK to work in publishing for ten years in the 1970s and early 1980s. In 1984 he settled in Central Europe with his Hungarian wife, art historian Ilona Sármány, and has since published some 17 books on cultural topics, writing also as Louis James. These include the Blue Guide Austria and the Blue Guide Vienna as well as the first English guide to Hungary to be published following the “system change” of 1989. His essay-length Xenophobe’s Guide to the Austrians (Louis James) has been in print for 20 years. His recent books are Worth the Detour: A Cultural History of the Guidebook from Pausanias to the Rough Guide, and Vienna: A Cultural History Signet (Oxford University Press; Italian edition: Vienna: Ritratto di unacitta, Odoya, Bologna).
ANNA PORTER was born in Budapest, but she and her mother had to leave Hungary in 1956 to escape the increasing Soviet presence, joining relatives in New Zealand. Porter received her BA and MA in English Literature from the University of Canterbury, in Christchurch, before a trip to Europe led to proofreading job with Cassell’s in England. In 1979 she found Key Porter Books, which became known internationally for its high-quality non-fiction and illustrated books and for its mainstream books of national interest. In recognition of her varied achievements, Porter was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1992. In 2003, she was awarded the Order of Ontario. She has also been awarded Honorary Doctoral degrees from Ryerson University, St Mary’s University, the University of Toronto, and the Law Society of Upper Canada. Porter has written three crime novels – Hidden Agenda, Mortal Sins and The Bookfair Murders – and a biography of her grandfather entitled The Storyteller. Most recently, Kasztner’s Train was the winner of the 2008 Canadian Jewish Book Award for history.
ÉVA ESZTER SZABÓ, PhD, Historian and Americanist, is assistant professor at the Department of American Studies, School of English and American Studies, Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest. Member of LASA, SHAFR, HAAS and HUSSE. Her fields of research include the history of inter-American relations, the correlation between US foreign and immigration policies, Latino communities in the US and global migration in global politics. Her most significant work is entitled US Foreign and Immigration Policies in the Caribbean Basin (2007).
BÁLINT TÓTH (Keszthely, 1929), poet, writer, translator. From 1951 to 1955 he was imprisoned on charge of conspiring against the state. While serving his term he joined the Füveskert group of imprisoned poets. He was granted amnesty in 1955. In November 1956 he became a member of the presidium of the Revolutionary Committee of Political Prisoners. He was arrested and held from June to December 1957, suspected of espionage, but was freed without a charge. Regular member of the Hungarian Academy of Arts. His prizes include: József Attila Prize (1984), József Attila Prize (1990, Cleveland), Giorgio La Pira Prize for Poets and Prose Writers (1992), Nagy Imre Memorial Plaque (1997).
ISTVÁN VAS (1910–1991), poet, writer, translator. He was an outstanding member of the so-called third generation gathered around the literary monthly Nyugat. He wrote a great number of volumes of poetry, several novels and books of essays. Between 1956 and 1971 he worked as reader and editor for Európa Publishers. Prizes include: Baumgarten Prize (1948), József Attila Prize (1951, 1956, 1961), Kossuth Prize (1962, 1985).