Current Scholars

Balázs Tárnok

Program: Post-Graduate Visiting Research Fellowship

Year: 2021

Host Institution: University of Notre Dame, Kellogg Institute for International Studies

Research Focus: Interest Representation in the European Union and the United States

Quote: “When I started my legal studies in Budapest, I felt that it was my duty to take my part from the service of my national community, the Hungarians in South Slovakia. I have dedicated my whole professional career to the protection of the rights and the promotion of the interests of national minorities and Hungarians living beyond the borders of Hungary.” 

Publications:

Slovakia Still Applying the Beneš Decrees – Principle of Collective Guilt in the European Union

The Szekler National Council’s European Citizens’ Initiative

European Minorities Win a Battle in Luxembourg – The Judgment of the General Court in the Case Minority SafePack European Citizens’ Initiative

European Citizens’ Initiatives for the Protection of National Minorities (co-author: Péter Varga)

European Citizens’ Initiatives for the Protection and Promotion of Rights and Interests of National Minorities – Latest Developments

Hungarian Government cuts political ties with Commissioner Jourová

Ukrainian-Hungarian Relations Throughout the Years – How to Move Forward (co-author: Lyudmyla Filyuk)

EUstrat: Az EB döntése felszámolja az unió európai jellegét

A Bizottság nem csak 1,1 millió európai polgár akaratát hagyta figyelmen kívül, a részvételi demokráciát jelentékteleníti el

Az Európai Bizottság lesöpörte az asztalról a Minority SafePack kisebbségvédelmi kezdeményezést

Read his introduction here: hungaryfoundation.org

Balázs obtained his legal degree in 2015 at the Pázmány Péter Catholic University Faculty of Law and Political Sciences, Budapest. In the 2012/13 academic year, he studied European and international law as an Erasmus student at the Radboud University Faculty of Law in Nijmegen, the Netherlands. Balázs is also a Translator Specialized in Law, he gained his LL.M. degree at the Pázmány Péter Catholic University Deák Ferenc School of Postgraduate Studies in 2018. Balázs defended his doctoral thesis in November 2020.

Balázs worked in several organizations gaining experience in the field of the protection of the rights and the promotion of the interests of national minorities in the European Union. In 2014/15, he worked as an intern at the Minority Rights Protection Institute, Budapest (Kisebbségi Jogvédő Intézet). Since 2016, Balázs has been a legal advisor at the Dr. Sobor Law Firm, where he assisted in the court proceedings of the ECI on National Minority Regions at the Court of Justice of the European Union. Since 2017, Balázs has been a legal expert of the Rákóczi Association (Rákóczi Szövetség), coordinating the Hungarian signature collection campaign of the Minority SafePack ECI. Since 2018, he has been working at the State Secretariat for the European Union Relations of the Prime Minister’s Office.

Balázs is a member of the Hungarian community in South Slovakia. This fact has influenced not only his professional career but his commitment to actively participate in public life as well. Since 2018, he is the Vice-President of the Rákóczi Association (Rákóczi Szövetség), one of the biggest culture-oriented Hungarian civil society organizations, an umbrella organization boasting over 28 000 members and more than 500 local branches from the Carpathian Basin and all around the world. Moreover, as an external expert, he was also nominated as a candidate for the 2019 European Parliament elections by the Party of the Hungarian Community in Slovakia.

Since July 2019, Balázs is an associate researcher at EUstrat – European Strategy Research Institute of Ludovika-University of Public Service, led by Hungary’s former EU Commissioner, Tibor Navracsics. Balázs’s research at EUstrat focuses on the law of the EU, participatory democracy, the protection and promotion of the rights and interests of national minorities in the EU, and citizen interest representation. Until the end of 2020, he also worked as an international advisor at the International Directorate of the Ludovika-University of Public Service.

The Kellogg Institute for International Studies promotes research excellence on critical global challenges, with a particular focus on democracy and human development. Building on a core interest in Latin America and Africa, the Kellogg Institute fosters research on the developing world and beyond.

Supporting the research and educational mission of the University of Notre Dame by engaging faculty, students, and visiting scholars in a supportive intellectual community, the Institute works to project the University onto the global stage.

The Kellogg Institute forms an integral part of Notre Dame’s Catholic mission by addressing normative and scholarly concerns that embody the values reflected in Catholic social thought.

Lídia Papp

Program: HIF Communications Internship

Year: 2020/21

Host Institution: HIF

Current Position: Analyst at the Danube Institute, a Budapest-based think tank

Research Focus: Humanitarian assistance in time of armed conflicts in the Middle East

Quote: “I am very grateful for the opportunity to take part at the Hungary Foundation’s mission, as I have always considered it important to nurture Hungarian-American relations and strengthen the bond between the two nations. I believe that working for the Hungary Foundation would contribute to both my professional and personal development.”

Read her introduction: hungaryfoundation.org

Lídia graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from the Budapest Business School University of Applied Sciences, Hungary. She earned her Master’s degree in International Relations at Corvinus University of Budapest and she also studied Arabic language at the University of Haifa.

In the time of her BA, Lidia participated in the Sar-El volunteer program within which she works for the Tzahal, the Israeli Defense Force (IDF). In Israel, she has gained knowledge of the everyday life of young Jewish people and their community and she had a first-hand understanding of the Israeli-Palestinian coexistence.

During her MA program at Corvinus University, she had begun working for the Hungarian Ministry of Defense where she conducted research related to the Syrian conflict.
In the same year, she received a research scholarship at the International Relations Multidisciplinary Doctoral School at Corvinus University of Budapest. In this program, Lídia’s topic focuses on the alternative humanitarian aid models in the Middle East.

Utilizing her expertise in international affairs she works as an Analyst at the Danube Institute, a Budapest-based think tank. In this role at the institute, she specializes in the international relations of the Middle East, with a special focus on humanitarian assistance in times of conflict and the protection of religious freedom. Hungarian-American relations are also Lidia’s areas of interest.

The Hungary Initiatives Foundation is a solely charitable 501(c)3 non-profit organization. The Foundation pursues its mission and goals by supporting Hungarian-American organizations and by supporting programs that strengthen interaction and cooperation between Hungarian and American citizens and institutions. In particular, the Foundation is focused on supporting cultural, educational and scholarly activities. The Foundation does not participate in political activities, political or election campaigns.

Nicole Nemeth

Program: Budapest Fellowship Program – Senior Fellow

Year: 2020

Host Institution: National Policy Research Institute

Research Focus: Hungarian minority rights in neighboring countries

Quote: “I am very excited to be here, and this really is an incredible opportunity. I think the US-Hungary relationship is currently solid, and it is very important moving forward to foster and to forge the US-Hungary relationships to grow even stronger.”

Read her introduction here: hungaryfoundation.org

Nicole Nemeth is an attorney from San Diego, California, practicing primarily in civil litigation spanning a multitude of legal disputes. She is a graduate of the University of San Diego and the prestigious Pepperdine University Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution, Mediating the Litigated Case, as well as the Women’s Negotiations Academy. While Ms. Nemeth’s concentration has been in civil and criminal litigation, she actively applies this experience to mediation.

Ms. Nemeth’s father was born and raised in Hungary and escaped the Soviet communist regime in the late 1960’s, but always instilled a love and pride of Hungary. Ms. Nemeth joined the ReConnect Hungary and ReConnect Transylvania Program in the inaugural 28+ year program in 2018, and fell in love with Hungary and Transylvania.

The main goal of establishing the National Policy Research Institute (NPKI) was to create an institution operating according to scientific standards, which can disseminate the results of research on Hungarian communities abroad and support for the motherland in a form that can be used for politics. The scope of activities of the NPKI can be divided into three major areas: research, analysis and preparation of background materials; publishing and organization of academic events; and education.

Kincső Kővári

Program: Budapest Fellowship Program Intern

Year: 2020

Host Institution: The Hungary Initiatives Foundation & Mathias Corvinus Collegium

Research Focus: Civil society and people with different socioeconomic backgrounds

Quote: “Most of the technological innovations have been born in the U.S, though data protection and social responsibility are core values of European countries. So I believe that strengthening the cooperation between the two countries could be blooming for both sides”

Read her introduction here: hungaryfoundation.org

Kincső Kővári is currently a student of Corvinus University of Budapest. She is doing her master’s in Media- and Communication Science, although she graduated in Psychology. During her BA, she had the opportunity to attend the Psychological Institute of Catholic University of Leuven. Her interests in social sciences led her to participate in internship programs of the Office of the Commissioner for Fundamental Rights of Hungary, the relatively young think tank- Paradigma Institute, or The Hungary Initiatives Foundation.

Kincső has always been interested in civil society and people with different socioeconomic backgrounds, so as a volunteer she contributed to the work of several NGOs in Hungary, Jordan, and Germany. She started working as a volunteer in high school, and as a student of Saint Ignatius Jesuit College for Advanced Studies, she experienced how to work for the benefit of society in an interdisciplinary team. In the Jesuit college, she could attend courses on several disciplines from Law to Geopolitics and had the chance to challenge and develop her skills through various projects like creating a complex developmental strategy for a village in rural Hungary or taking part in parliamentary simulation programs.

 

Being an MCC student led her to HIF and specifically to the Budapest Fellowship Program also, and soon she realized the great opportunity and potential that is actually in it.

The Hungary Initiatives Foundation is a solely charitable 501(c)3 non-profit organization. The Foundation pursues its mission and goals by supporting Hungarian-American organizations and by supporting programs that strengthen interaction and cooperation between Hungarian and American citizens and institutions. In particular, the Foundation is focused on supporting cultural, educational and scholarly activities. The Foundation does not participate in political activities, political or election campaigns.

Mathias Corvinus Collegium is an extracurricular educational institution and knowledge center in Hungary with an outstanding reputation for its academic excellence. With more than twenty years of experience in talent promotion, MCC aims to educate well-prepared intellectuals with critical thinking who are also able to responsibly address the challenges of our time. MCC Research is the “university think tank” of the Collegium which aspires to elaborate on relevant yet socially divisive topics while communicating them for the public applying clear and plain language in a thoughtful, logical manner.

Hanga Horváth-Sántha

Program: Hudson Visiting Research Fellowship

Year: 2020

Host Institution: Hudson Institute

Research Focus: The contemporary persecution of Christians with a special focus on the underlying Salafi Jihadist justification and ideology

Quote: “The Hudson Visiting Research Fellowship is a great opportunity to contribute to the important work of a renowned research institute. It offers highly valuable knowledge, know-how and professional network to feed into a Hungarian as well as a Central Eastern European network of similar researchers.”

Publications:

 
 
 
 

 

Read her introduction here: hungaryfoundation.org

Hanga Horváth-Sántha earned her Master of Laws degree at the University of Stockholm, Sweden, including one year of master’s studies in Fribourg, Switzerland. She specialized in security policy at the Center for Asymmetric Threats and Terrorism Studies at the Swedish National Defence College and has through her professional career focused on radicalization into violent extremism and terrorism. She is currently completing her Ph.D. at the Faculty for Military Sciences and Officer Training at the National University for Public Service in Budapest, Hungary. In her research, Hanga investigates underlying causes of radicalization into Salafi Jihadism among second and third-generation immigrants in Western Europe. She has – among others – conducted interviews with former Jihadists as well as with Christian asylum-seekers fleeing from religious persecution. Her latest field research was the methodology of de-radicalizing the children of ISIS in Indonesia, including in-depth interviews with defectors.

Previously, Hanga has held positions as Special Advisor at the Swedish Ministry of Justice, the Prime Minister’s Office (Crisis Management and Coordination Secretariat) as well as the Swedish National Police Board, focusing on issues related to the prevention of violent extremism.

She moved to Hungary in 2015 and worked as Senior Research Fellow at the Migration Research Institute, researching the nexus between migration in security. During the course of her work, she has conducted field research in several countries including Turkey, Greece, Northern Macedonia, Serbia, and Germany, and curated the exhibition on persecution of Christians in the Middle East at the Hungarian National Museum.

Hudson Institute

Founded in 1961 by strategist Herman Kahn, Hudson Institute challenges conventional thinking and helps manage strategic transitions to the future through interdisciplinary studies in defense, international relations, economics, health care, technology, culture, and law.

Hudson guides public policy makers and global leaders in government and business through a vigorous program of publications, conferences, policy briefings, and recommendations.

Dr. George Bogden

Program: Budapest Fellowship Program – Senior Fellow

Year: 2020

Host Institution: Danube Institute

Research Focus: The global politics of the COVID-19 pandemic

Quote: “Pursuing research and teaching in Hungary will allow me to gain a greater appreciation of the country’s history and the views of its population. I will fulfill the ‘give’ as much as the ‘take’ of this endeavor by conveying what I admire about the U.S. in my day-to-day activities. Through this commitment to intercultural communication, I will strive to know Hungary authentically and to serve as an envoy of shared values.”

Publications: The complete list of George’s publications

Read his introduction here: hungaryfoundation.org

Dr. George Bogden is a J.D. candidate at New York University School of Law. He previously served as Associate Director of the Office of Professor Walter Russell Mead at the Hudson Institute, in Washington, D.C. In this capacity, he assisted in founding the Center for the Future of Liberal Society. During the last year of his doctoral studies, Dr. Bogden served as a Fulbright Public Policy Fellow in Kosovo, where he was a seconded Special Assistant in the Ministry of Trade and Industry. He obtained M.Phil. and D.Phil. degrees in international relations at the University of Oxford, where he was awarded a Clarendon Scholarship and served as Book Reviews Editor of The St. Antony’s International Review. Before beginning his graduate studies, he received his B.A. in political science from Yale, serving as the university’s Fox International Fellow in Istanbul the following year.
The Danube Institute exists to provide an independent center of intellectual debate for conservatives and classical liberals and their democratic opponents in Central Europe. The Institute promotes its aims through two main programs: the publication of studies on issues of public controversy and through seminars, debates, and public lectures. Activities, however, go beyond a purely economic or political agenda to address the cultural and moral topics which increasingly shape attitudes to public policy issues

Stephen Sholl

Program: Budapest Fellowship Program – junior Fellow

Year: 2020

Host Institution: Committee of National Remembrance

Research Focus: Property rights, and education policy during the Rákosi regime

Quote: “I think that the US and Hungary have a lot of things in common both culturally and strategically, they both serve as natural allies of each other. There’s a lot to build on.”

Read his introduction here: hungaryfoundation.org

Born outside of Washington, D.C., Stephen Sholl grew up in a world saturated by politics. Raised with a deep appreciation for history, Stephen pursued a B.A. in History with a minor in Law and Politics from Freed-Hardeman University in Tennessee. During his undergraduate experience, Stephen became familiar with Europe while studying abroad in Greece and traveling throughout the continent. After earning his degree Stephen used his undergraduate degree to build a career in international relations.

In the Fall of 2018, Stephen began his first master’s program at the Brussels School of International Studies. His experience in Brussels gave him first-hand knowledge of the political landscape of the European Union. It was during his time in Brussels that Stephen became interested in studying and understanding Hungary. Against the backdrop of rising tensions between Budapest and Brussels, Stephen wrote his dissertation on Hungary’s recent traumas, specifically Trianon and the Soviet occupation, as explanatory factors for Hungary’s current foreign policy. Stephen’s dissertation earned him a MA in International Conflict and Security Studies as well as graduating with merit.

Returning to the United States, Stephen continued to build upon both his academic and professional experiences by enrolling in a second master’s program at Virginia Tech’s Washington D.C. campus. His second master’s, a degree in Public and International Affairs, serves as an American supplement to his European degree. Stephen split his time between his academic studies and working at several private think-tanks and non-profits in the D.C. Area.

Committee of National Remembrance

The role of the Committee is to preserve memory of the Communist dictatorship in Hungary, to explore the operation of power in this system, and to cooperate with the prosecutors in order to pinpoint and identify all persons responsible for imprescriptible crimes of Hungarian Communism.

Ryan Brockhaus

Program: Budapest Fellowship Program – Senior Fellow

Year: 2020

Host Institution: Ludovika – University of Public Service

Research Focus: US–⁠Hungarian military cooperation

Quote: “I expect to get a better understanding of Hungary in general, and this Program will lead us in this direction. Also, in order to focus on our research topics, this program will certainly provide the necessary tools to be able to do our best.”

Read his introduction here: hungaryfoundation.org

Ryan Brockhaus has a Bachelor of Arts in Global Studies at Arizona State University and is in the process of obtaining his Masters in Global Security at Arizona State as well. His main interests are US and European history, as well as geopolitics. Prior to his acceptance into the BFP, Ryan spent the Fall of 2019 at Corvinus University in Budapest where he studied the transition and post-transition challenges within Hungary and other CEE countries. While at Corvinus, Ryan was also a part-time intern at the Institute for Foreign Affairs and Trade, in which he conducted research on Russia’s political, economic, and military coercion of Ukraine under the administration of Zolodymyr Zelensky.

Prior to his university studies, Ryan was a certified paramedic and worked in the Emergency Medical Service for more than a decade in the state of Arizona. He is married for nine years and has a seven-year-old son. After the fellowship program, Ryan plans to complete his Master’s program at ASU, with the intent of working as a regional specialist in either the Defense Intelligence Agency or the US State Department.

Ludovika – University of Public Service is a specialised higher educational institution, the principal aim of which is to educate highly qualified personnel for the civil service, the military as well as the different branches of law enforcement. Besides the faculties, the Ludovika research institutions focus on topical international questions as well as the theory of the state. In the autumn, new programs like the College of Visegrád and the Hungarian Diplomatic Academy will be launched. The beautifully restored old Royal Ludovika Academy symbolises the important heritage of the university, while the newly built educational facilities are equipped with state of the art technology to help the educational activities. The campus in Orczy Park is easy to reach by public transport and home to sports facilities, like a swimming pool, a sports hall as well as horse riding stables. The dorms for visiting fellows are self-contained units. Erasmus as well as Stipendium Hungaricum students ensure vibrant international student life.

Izabella Markó

Program: Budapest Fellowship Program Intern

Year: 2020

Host Institution: The Hungary Initiatives Foundation & Mathias Corvinus Collegium

Research Focus: International relations, international economic relations, diplomacy and politics

Quote: “With the help of the Budapest Fellowship Program, one can not just develop professionally and personally, but can also kickstart a professional career, and last but not least, one can help in building bridges between our region – specifically talking about Hungary – and the United States, which is quite unique.”

Read her introduction here: hungaryfoundation.org

During her high school years, Iza was already interested in multiple disciplines – IR, social sciences and politics, just to name a few – so she took the opportunity and applied to Mathias Corvinus Collegium’s (MCC) Secondary School Program. While at university, she remained a student at MCC where she first concluded the Junior Program, then the Faculty of Central Europe, and now she is a member of the Leadership Academy that MCC offers.

During her time as a BA student in IR, Iza – as an intern – contributed to the work of the Danube Institute and the Institute for Foreign Affairs and Trade (IFAT) in Hungary. The fields she was mainly focusing on at both institutions were either in connection with Central Europe or with the Anglo Saxon countries. She also contributed to the work of Takarékbank Zrt. through a scholarship program offered by Takarékbank itself. Her interest in international relations, international economic relations, diplomacy and politics led her to choose not just her field of study but her field and place of work too: she is currently working at the Budapest based think-tank, Danube Institute. Besides work and university, she also had the chance to challenge and develop her skills by taking part in various student projects – for example organizing theme-oriented summer schools for youngsters from all around the world or competitions for high school students.

Being an MCC student led her to HIF and specifically to the Budapest Fellowship Program also, and soon she realized the great opportunity and potential that is actually in it.

The Hungary Initiatives Foundation is a solely charitable 501(c)3 non-profit organization. The Foundation pursues its mission and goals by supporting Hungarian-American organizations and by supporting programs that strengthen interaction and cooperation between Hungarian and American citizens and institutions. In particular, the Foundation is focused on supporting cultural, educational and scholarly activities. The Foundation does not participate in political activities, political or election campaigns.

Mathias Corvinus Collegium is an extracurricular educational institution and knowledge center in Hungary with an outstanding reputation for its academic excellence. With more than twenty years of experience in talent promotion, MCC aims to educate well-prepared intellectuals with critical thinking who are also able to responsibly address the challenges of our time. MCC Research is the “university think tank” of the Collegium which aspires to elaborate on relevant yet socially divisive topics while communicating them for the public applying clear and plain language in a thoughtful, logical manner.

Eliza Hajdu

Program: HIF Spring Intern

Year: 2020

Host Institution: The Hungary Initiatives Foundation Internship

Research Focus: Economy and Politics in Central-Eastern European Area

Quote: “I got my first insight from HIF during The Young Hungarian Leaders Program last autumn. After the wonderful study sessions, workshops, meetings, and think-tanks with high position U.S. government representatives and Washington DC’s best academics, I saw what a remarkable job HIF is doing for the civil relations between Hungary and the United States. When I had the opportunity to be a part of the team, I took it immediately. I knew how fortunate I was, because working at HIF has given me the experience to be part of such an extraordinary initiative, while working for a foundation helping the Hungarian-American relations.”

Read her introduction here: hungaryfoundation.org

Eliza Hajdu is a Master of Business Administration (MBA) graduate from Niagara University in New York. She obtained her degrees in Business Management from Hof University, Germany, and Commerce and Marketing from Budapest Business School University of Applied Sciences, Hungary.

After the university years in Germany, she lived in Bangalore, India and worked in the field of business development at Integro Infotech and Consulting. She also gained important experience from the nonprofit sector at the Smart Cities India Foundation, where she was working on several smart city projects.

During the first year of her MBA, she moved to New York City to start her professional career in the Business Capital of The World, where she worked as a consultant account representative in Manhattan, for Fortune 500 clients.

The Hungary Initiatives Foundation is a solely charitable 501(c)3 non-profit organization. The Foundation pursues its mission and goals by supporting Hungarian-American organizations and by supporting programs that strengthen interaction and cooperation between Hungarian and American citizens and institutions. In particular, the Foundation is focused on supporting cultural, educational and scholarly activities. The Foundation does not participate in political activities, political or election campaigns.

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