JAMES ALLAN holds the oldest named chair at The University of Queensland. Before arriving in Australia in 2005 he spent 11 years teaching law in New Zealand at the University of Otago and before that lectured law in Hong Kong. He is a native-born Canadian who practised law in a large Toronto law firm and at the Bar in London before shifting to teaching law. He has published widely in the areas of legal philosophy and constitutional law, including in all the top English language legal philosophy journals in the US, the UK, Canada and Australia, much the same being true of constitutional law journals as well. Professor Allan also writes widely for newspapers including The Australian, The Spectator Australia and Quadrant. His latest book is Democracy in Decline, published in 2014.
MELINDA BERLÁSZ Music historian, retired senior research fellow at the Institute of Musicology of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Melinda Berlász is laureate of the Sándor Veress Prize, the László Lajtha Prize and the Hungarian Academy of Sciences’ Award. She is a member of the Musicology Committee of the Academy of Sciences, of the Academy’s General Assembly, and of the OTKA Social Sciences Board. Her main research interest includes the history of Hungarian music in the 20th century. She is a corresponding member of the Hungarian Academy of Arts.
KATALIN GELLÉR (Budapest, 1946) is a senior member of the Institute of Art History of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. She is the author of a number of monographs and articles focusing on the age of Romanticism, Symbolism and Art Nouveau in Hungary and in France. She has curated several exhibitions of turn-of-the-century and contemporary art.
GYÖRGY GRANASZTÓI (1938-2016) historian, former, Director of the Hungarian– French Atelier for the Humanities and of the doctoral school at ELTE BTK, and former Director General of the László Teleki Institute is a Senior Advisor to the Prime Minister. He is a recipient of the Charles Simonyi scholarship of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. His field of expertise is the history of humanities. Besides the history of the city and the history of population growth, he published essays about the transition to democracy. He is a Doctor of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (MTA). Between 1990 and 1994, he was Ambassador for the Antall government to NATO and the European Union, as well as to the Belgian Monarchy (2007). He was elected to the French Légion d’honneur in 2009.
PÉTER HELTAI is a Hungarian diplomat. After receiving his degree in History at Pázmány Péter Catholic University, he pursued studies at the European Studies Faculty of the Leuven Catholic University. Between 2013 and 2017 he worked for the Ministry of Human Capacities, the US Congress and the Hungarian American Coalition. In 2017 he became Ambassador-at-Large for the Hungary Helps Initiative focusing particularly on assistance to troubled communities in their homeland.
VÁCLAV KLAUS (Prague, 1941) Czech economist and politician who served as Prime Minister and President of the Czech Republic. He graduated from the University of Economics in Prague. He was a research worker at the Institute of Economics of the Czech Academy of Sciences in 1968 when he completed his PhD in economics. At the beginning of the 1989 Velvet Revolution, Klaus entered politics and served as Minister of Finance (1989–92) and became involved in the Civil Forum Movement – an organisation he ultimately chaired in 1990. After the “Velvet Divorce” – the peaceful breakup of Czechoslovakia into the independent countries of Slovakia and the Czech Republic – in 1992–93, Klaus became Prime Minister of the Czech Republic. He was elected the second President of the Czech Republic in 2003. Vaclav Klaus has received sixteen honorary doctorates in nine countries; nineteen international awards and has published over twenty books.
GYULA KODOLÁNYI (Budapest, 1942), Editor-in-Chief of Hungarian Review 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.
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.
AMBRUS MISKOLCZY (Marosvásárhely/ Târgu Mureş, Romania, 1947) is a Hungarian historian born and educated in Transylvania. He is a Member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences and one of the editors of the New International Journal for Romanian Studies. As Chair of the Department of Romanian Philology at Eötvös Loránd University in Budapest, he has done extensive research on the cohabitation of Romanians, Hungarians and Saxons in Transylvania, and published studies on mentality, with special regard to the culture of the middle classes and to national myths.
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 Adviser 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. Agraduateof 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; Vienna: A Cultural History Signet (Oxford University Press; Italian edition: Vienna: Ritratto di unacitta, Odoya, Bologna), and A New Devil’s Dictionary: Lexicon for Contrarians.
GYÖRGY SCHÖPFLIN (Budapest, 1939) graduated M.A., LL.B. from the University of Glasgow and pursued postgraduate studies at the College of Europe in Bruges. He worked at the Royal Institute of International Affairs and the BBC before taking up university lecturing, at the school of Slavonic and East European Studies, University of London (1976–2004), including latterly as Jean Monnet Professor of Politics and Director of the Centre for the Study of Nationalism. Professor Schöpflin was elected a Member of the European Parliament for Fidesz– Hungarian Civic Union, a member of the Group of the European People’s Party (Christian Democrats) in 2004, re-elected in 2009 and in 2014.
JERZY SNOPEK is a historian of literature and culture, and professor at the Institute of Literary Research of the Polish Academy of Sciences. He is the Polish Ambassador to Hungary. In 1995–2006, he served as the Academy’s research director, where he established a Team of European Literary Studies. In 1985–1990, he lectured on Polish literature at Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest. In 2000 he co-founded the Academy of Humanities Foundation and then was its management board’s vice president. He is one of the founders of the Bolesław Prus Warsaw School of Humanities. For ten consecutive years he was its professor and dean, and recently its vice president. Jerzy Snopek is the author of numerous books on Polish and Hungarian culture of different periods. He has published 400 papers, articles, essays and reviews. His collection of Polish tales and legends entitled Śpiący rycerze was also published in Hungary. He has translated over 20 books of Hungarian poetry and prose, and the Hungarian Constitution. He has been awarded the Officer’s Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Hungary and the Gold Cross of the President of the Republic of Hungary.
ZOLTÁN TÓFALVI (Korond, 1944), historian, writer, journalist and television editor. His research focuses on Transylvanian and Romanian echoes of the 1956 Hungarian Revolution, as well as on popular ceramics of the Szekler Land (Székelyföld). He is the author of eleven monographs and several hundred articles published in Hungary, the United States, Sweden, Germany and Romania. He has been awarded several distinctions, including the prize of the Hungarian Journalists’ Association in Romania (1997) and that of the periodical Székelyföld (2002). Tófalvi has published three thick volumes on the so-called “high treason trials” mounted in Romania after the fall of the ‘56 Revolution; the fourth volume is to appear soon.