TONY ABBOTT (London, 1957) is an Australian politician who served as a member of the Australian House of Representatives (1994–2019), leader of the Liberal Party of Australia (2009–15), and Prime Minister of Australia (2013–15). Abbott attended the University of Sydney, where he earned a B.A. in economics (1979) and a law degree (1981). He next studied at Oxford as a Rhodes scholar, earning an M.A. in politics and philosophy. Abbott, by then a regular contributor to the Australian newsweekly The Bulletin, became a full-time journalist. He wrote for The Australian, one of the country’s top-circulating news dailies. Having viewed Australia’s political system from both inside and out, Abbott successfully campaigned for a parliamentary seat of his own in 1994. When Liberal Party leader John Howard was elected prime minister in 1996, Abbott was appointed parliamentary secretary to the minister for employment, education, training, and youth affairs in the new government. He changed portfolios in 1998, becoming minister for employment services. Abbott was named minister for health and aging in 2003. In 2009 he was elected leader of the Liberal Party of India and the Leader of the Opposition. In the 2013 elections, Abbott led the Liberal-National Coalition to victory and was named the 28th Prime Minister of Australia on 18th September 2013. He is the author of three books: The Minimal Monarchy (1995), How to Win the Constitutional War (1997), and Battlelines (2009).
ROSELYNE CHENU (1933) graduated in chemistry at the University of Louvain (1955). After spending a year at the Department of Chemistry, Columbia University, as a Fulbright scholar (1956–57), she obtained her secondary school teacher training degree (agrégation) in 1958, following which she taught in secondary education as a maths and science teacher (1958–1966). She came in contact with the Congress for Cultural Freedom in 1964 where she began work as executive assistant and became a close collaborator of Pierre Emmanuel (1964–1975). She was appointed General Secretary of the European Intellectual Mutual Aid Fund, initially an affiliate of the CCF (1971–75) and was elected a member of its Board of Directors (1971– 78). After the dissolution of CCF’s successor, the International Association for Cultural Freedom in 1979, she held leading positions in cultural organisations and institutions, among others the Fondation d’Hautvillers pour le dialogue des cultures (Hautvillers Foundation for Intercultural Dialogue) and the Institut du monde arabe (Arab World Institute). She published several poetry anthologies and works commemorating her years at the CCF, her most recent book being En lutte contre les dictatures – Le Congrès pour la liberté de la culture, 1950–1978 (Fighting Dictatorships – The Congress for Cultural Freedom, 1950–1978). She was made a Commander of the Order of Freedom of the Portuguese Republic and a member of the Order of Palmes Académiques of the French Republic.
CHARLES FENYVESI (Debrecen, 1937) took part in the 1956 Revolution, then left Hungary and settled in the United States. Won a scholarship to Harvard and graduated in 1960. Has been a journalist since 1962, winding up with The Washington Post and later with U.S. News & World Report. Has written six nonfiction books and is now trying his luck as a playwright. His works include When the World Was Whole, When Angels Fooled the World: Rescuers of Jews in Wartime Hungary and Splendor in Exile: the Ex-Majesties of Europe.
GÉZA JESZENSZKY (Budapest, 1941), D. Phil., historian, graduated from Eötvös Loránd University in Budapest. From 1976 to 2011, he taught at what is today Corvinus University of Budapest. Was a Fulbright Visiting Professor at U.C. Santa Barbara in 1984–86. Taught the history of international relations and of Central Europe at numerous other universities in the US and Europe. He was Foreign Minister of Hungary in the first non-Communist government (1990–94), Ambassador to the United States of America in 1998–2002, and in 2011–2014 to Norway and Iceland. He is the author of numerous publications on history and foreign policy, his latest book in English is Post- Communist Europe and Its National/Ethnic Problems (Budapest, 2009). His account of Hungary’s relations to her neighbours (in Hungarian) came out in 2018. He is an editorial adviser for Hungarian Review.
BORIS KÁLNOKY was born in 1961 in Munich and grew up in Germany, the US, Holland and France. His family left Hungary in 1947. He studied Politics and History in Hamburg and went on to work at the German daily Die Welt in 1987. In 1995, he became Balkans Correspondent for Die Welt, based in Budapest, and moved on in 2004 to become Middle East correspondent, based in Istanbul. He is the author of Ahnenland (Droemer Verlag, Munich, 2011), a book about what happened to his family and Hungary since 1952. He returned to Budapest in 2013, still for Die Welt. He also writes for a number other of media in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.
Prof. MIKLÓS KÁSLER (Budapest, 1950), doctor, oncologist, surgeon, professor and minister. Professor Kásler is the author of numerous books and essays (altogether 455) in the field of medicine, history, social science and religious history. He received his degree in medicine at the Faculty of Medicine, University of Szeged, in 1974. He took board examinations in surgery, oral surgery, plastic and reconstructive surgery, as well as oncology. He became a clinical doctor of the University of Szeged Faculty of Medicine’s Surgical Clinic in 1974 and chief medical doctor in 1981. He became Minister of Human Capacities in 2018. Professor Kásler participated in various international field studies and scholarship programmes at the Universities of Helsinki, Greifswald, Erlangen-Nürnberg, and Vienna. He received his C.Sc. in 1986. From 1998 to 2002 he was the Head of the Faculty of Medicine at the Imre Haynal Medical University. Between 2002 and 2004 and from 2014 he has been a Professor and Head of the Faculty of Medicine at the Semmelweis University and University of Pécs Medical School. Professor Kásler is an honorary doctor of two universities. He is a board member of various national and international scientific and medical organisations including the European Academy of Sciences and the Arts and College of Physicians and Surgeons. He is a doctor of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. Besides numerous professional and state honours, he received Hungary’s Middle Cross with the Star in 2015 and the Széchenyi Award in 2018. Professor Kásler is an honorary citizen of Budapest.
GYULA KODOLÁNYI (Budapest, 1942), Editor-in-Chief of Hungarian Review is the author of sixteen 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.
RYSZARD ANTONI LEGUTKO (Krakow, 1949) is a Polish philosopher and politician. Under Communism he was one of the editors of the samizdat quarterly Arka. After the collapse of the Communist regime he co-founded the Centre for Political Thought, which combines research, teaching, seminars and conferences and is also a publishing house. He has translated and written commentaries to Plato’s Phaedo (1995), Euthyphro (1998) and Apology (2003). He is the author of several books: Plato’s Critique of Democracy (1990), Toleration (1997), A Treatise on Liberty (2007), An Essay on the Polish Soul (2008) and Socrates (2013). In 2007 he was Poland’s Education Minister, and in 2007– 2009 Secretary of State in the Chancellery of President Lech Kaczyński. He is currently a Member of the European Parliament, where he sits on the Foreign Affairs Committee, and Deputy Chairman of the Conservatives and Reformists parliamentary group.
ORSOLYA NÉMETH (Hatvan, 1970) is a freelance translator and editor. She graduated with MAs in French and English literature from Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest. She holds a post-graduate diploma (DEA) in social sciences from the École des hautes études en sciences sociales, Paris, where she pursued doctoral studies in the Centre for South Asian Studies, specialising in the reception history of India’s best-known Sanskrit scripture, the Bhagavad-gita, by the English speaking world.
BALÁZS ORBÁN is the Deputy Minister of the Prime Minister’s Office. Mr Orbán started his career at the Ministry of Justice, and soon afterwards he joined the Századvég Group. Between 2013 and 2018, he was the Director for Research at the Századvég Foundation. Since 2015 he has also worked as General Director of the Migration Research Institute founded jointly by the Századvég Foundation and the Mathias Corvinus Collegium. He studied at the Eötvös Loránd University (ELTE) where he graduated as a lawyer in 2009 and as a political scientist in 2011. During his studies he completed an internship at the Committee of Constitutional Affairs, Justice and Procedure of the Office of the National Assembly. He is currently a PhD student at the Faculty of Law of the Eötvös Loránd University of Sciences, an assistant lecturer at the National University of Public Service, and a visiting lecturer at the Budapest Metropolitan University.
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 Vaclav 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.
MÁRIA PROKOPP (Budapest, 1939), has been Professor of Medieval and Renaissance Art at Eötvös Loránd University since 1969 – Professor Emerita since 2010. Her main field of research is European art of the 14th and 15th centuries, but she is also an expert in 19th century art. She published books on Italian masters like Giotto, Sassetta and Lorenzetti, and on the late Gothic art of Hungary. Almost for forty years, she has conducted research on the mural paintings of the 15th century Esztergom palace of Archbishop János Vitéz and their Italian Renaissance connections with the art of Botticelli. She is a holder of the Officer’s Rank of the Hungarian Order of Merit (2010) and the Order of Merit of Hungary with the Cross (2019).
DAVID A. J. REYNOLDS is a freelance writer and editor from England, specialising in history and current affairs. He has lived and taught in Hungary, the Czech Republic, and Philadelphia, and presently resides in Illinois.
SZABOLCS TAKÁCS (Budapest, 1971) is Ministerial Commissioner for Brexit affairs at the Hungarian Prime Minister’s Office in Budapest. He received a BA in English Language and Literature and an MA in Political Science from the University of Pécs. He pursued his studies in Law and International Relations and soon became a desk officer at the Department of Asia-Pacific at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Between 2005–2009 he was Deputy Head of Mission at the Embassy of Hungary in Doha, Quatar. He also worked at the Office of the Deputy State Secretary in charge of bilateral relations with non-European countries and International Development Cooperation. He served as Deputy State Secretary for Security Policy from 2013 to 2014. Since 2014 he has been State Secretary responsible for EU Affairs. He is also the author of two books, Asian Studies 2011 and Europe and Asia in the Globalizing World; both published in 2011.