Current Scholars

Róbert Janzsó

Program: HF Communications Intern

Year: 2022

Host Institution: Hungary Foundation

Quote: “As the Communications Intern at Hungary Foundation, I seek to practice the field of communication and I aim to learn about the Hungarian Diaspora in the United States. But at the same time, I also seek to broaden my horizons in better understanding the way a non-profit operates, as well as getting new perspectives on public life and geopolitics.”

Read his introduction here:

Róbert Janzsó is an aspiring entrepreneur and a curious second-year undergraduate student of Political Economy at King’s College London. Róbert has always been eager to have a local impact and to participate in change-making. He is the former President of the Hungarian Society at King’s and a two-time recipient of the prestigious Stipendium Peregrinum scholarship awarded by the State of Hungary. He has twice been among the finalists of Ninja Warrior Hungary in 2018 and 2021.

The Hungary 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.

Zsolt Jakó

Program: HF-Quinnipiac Hungarian American Business Leaders Scholarship

Year: 2021

Host Institution:  Quinnipiac University

Quote: “Being part of such a wonderful leadership program like the HABL I would like to leverage this opportunity to the fullest and I look forward to giving back to the community that brought me here. I would like to see Hungary at the forefront of change, driving innovation in the industries that matter the most to our future. I hope that the education and work experience I acquire during my time in the US will help elevate the overall competitiveness of my home region.”

Read his introduction here:

Zsolt was born in Marosvásárhely and completed his High-School education at Bolyai-Farkas Elméleti Líceum there. He received a Bachelor’s Degree in Management from Babeș-Bolyai University

After receiving his Bachelor’s Diploma, he set out to reach new heights in his educational and professional career and started preparing for the HABL Program. In the meantime, he took up Corporate Financial Management Masters to deepen his financial knowledge. He also started pursuing his personal passion, real-estate renovation.

Mónika Palotai

Program: HF-Hudson Visiting Research Fellow

Year: 2021

Host Institution: Hudson Institute Center for Religious Freedom

Research Focus: Religious and Minority Repression in China – protecting religious freedom and promoting democratic sovereignty in Europe

Quote: “I believe in lifelong learning. Whether it is for a career or for personal gratification, the mind and what it is filled with is assuredly one of the most precious assets. And that journey is not only books and schools but family, friends, and experiences as well. Just as Plutarch said ’The correct analogy for the mind is not only a vessel that needs filling but wood that needs igniting.”

Read her introduction here:

Mónika Palotai started her professional career working as a correspondent for Hungarian media outlets covering worldwide events such as the 2004 Presidential elections in the United States. She obtained her BA degree in 2006 in Communication and Media at the Budapest Business School, Faculty of Applied Sciences, Hungary. After graduating, she relocated to the United Arab Emirates, the Middle East, and began working in international business development. To complement her education and to be more efficient in doing business in the region, she immersed herself in Arabic Language and Culture and Sharia and Islamic Studies at the University of Sharjah.

She developed a passion for the aviation industry that she consulted globally. Her field of expertise includes improving business processes and finding weak spots and value-added solutions. Returning to Budapest, Hungary, she graduated at master’s level in 2018 as an Expert in International Public Service at the University of Public Service, Hungary. Subsequently, she continued her studies at the Ph.D. program of the Doctoral School of Public Administration Sciences as a Hungarian state scholarship holder.

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.

Kristóf Veres

Program: Andrássy National Security Fellowship

Year: 2021

Host Institution: Center for Immigration Studies

Research Focus: The current Central American migration crisis utilizing the ongoing European migration crisis as a comparative framework

Quote: “Apart from climate change, mass migration is the single greatest challenge that modern societies face in the 21st century. It keeps you up at night because there is no simple solution that could be universally applied for this complex phenomenon. That’s exactly why modern mass migration is an attractive field of research for me.”

Read his introduction here:

Kristóf obtained his Philologist in history (BA) diploma in 2014 at the Faculty of Humanities of Eötvös Loránd University. The same year he enrolled in the archivist MA program and joined the History Workshop of Eötvös József Collegium. In 2015 he won the early medieval Hungarian history section of the National Scientific Students’ Associations Conference. After graduating at the master’s level in 2016, he continued his studies at the Auxiliary Sciences of History Ph.D. program as a Hungarian state scholarship holder.

After years of volunteer work, in August 2017 the college of curators of the Trefort-kert Foundation elected him to become the secretary of the institution. His duties included administering and coordinating the day-to-day operation of the Foundation, but also drafting the yearly budget as well as long-term financial and operational planning.

From 2018 Kristof focused his attention on his Ph.D. studies, his research was the 13th-century institutional development of the Hungarian royal chancery whose main function was to execute the sovereign’s will. His research was supported by various grants, most notably the Scholarship of the Republic, and the New Excellence Program of the Ministry of Human Capacities. During his Ph.D. studies he gave conference presentations in English, French, and Hungarian, his papers and reviews were published in anthologies as well as in Hungarian national academic journals. He defended his Ph.D. dissertation summa cum laude in February 2021.

The Center for Immigration Studies is an independent, non-partisan, non-profit, research organization. Since our founding in 1985 by Otis Graham Jr., they have pursued a single mission – providing immigration policymakers, the academic community, news media, and concerned citizens with reliable information about the social, economic, environmental, security, and fiscal consequences of legal and illegal immigration into the United States. Our staff has testified before Congress over 130 times.

They are the nation’s only think tank devoted exclusively to the research of U.S. immigration policy to inform policymakers and the public about immigration’s far-reaching impact. The Center is animated by a unique pro-immigrant, low-immigration vision which seeks fewer immigrants but a warmer welcome for those admitted.

Michael O’Shea

Program: Budapest Fellowship Program

Year: 2021

Host Institution:  Danube Institute

Research Focus: An economic comparison of the family-based demographic policies of Hungary and Poland to the mass-migration policies of Western Europe

Quote: So much English-language content related to Hungary is distorted or flatly untrue.  This manifests itself in statements ranging from people with minimal knowledge of the region to those at the very highest levels of the U.S. government.  I hope my work here can contribute in a small way to improving this deficiency.

Read his introduction here:

Raised in North Carolina, Michael is half-Polish by descent.  He minored in Slavic & East European Cultures while pursuing a business degree at the University of North Carolina.  He studied the Polish language during that time and continues to read and write it fluently.

Michael earned his MBA from Indiana University in 2016 and pursued a marketing career afterward.  He continued to fulfill his love of Central and Eastern Europe in an extracurricular sense and served as president and vice-president of the Polish-American Club of Columbus, as well as a member of the Polish Cultural Council of Western Pennsylvania.  He became a Polish citizen in 2020.


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

Tate Sanders

Program: Budapest Fellowship Program

Year: 2021

Host Institution:  American Studies Research Institute

Research Focus: Transatlantic Relations and Energy Policy: Central/Eastern Europe between the U.S. and Russia

Quote: I am looking forward to a give-and-take with Hungarians I meet, benefitting both sides, and tightening the bonds both countries have.

Read his introduction here:

From the small city of Salem, Oregon, in heart of the American Pacific Northwest, Tate was always a bit of an outsider based on the political and cultural landscape. After getting his undergraduate degree in History (2014) and his post-baccalaureate degree in Business (International Focus, 2015), Tate decided it was time to move somewhere that had a little wider scope than just Seattle and Portland.

After being accepted to the Institute of World Politics (Washington, D.C.) in 2016, Tate studied for over three years, eventually earning his degree in National Security and Statecraft Affairs, mainly focusing on the U.K., Europe, and Russia. He also worked as a data entry analyst contractor for two years at Navanti Group, a State Department and Defense Department contracting firm in the greater D.C. area.


The mission of the institute is to conduct multidisciplinary research related to the internal and external relations, social and economical aspects, geopolitical processes, constitutionality and public administration of the United States of America and the Northern-American continent and into American-Hungarian relations.

Michael Van Ginkel

Program: Budapest Fellowship Program

Year: 2021

Host Institution: Institute of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Research Focus: Black Sea Security and its Impact on Eastern and Central Europe

Quote: “The Black Sea’s important geostrategic location at the confluence of the Middle East, Europe, and Russia means events that transpire in the basin have wide-ranging ripple effects throughout Eastern and Central Europe and beyond.”

Read his introduction here:

To build on his academic and professional experiences, Michael earned an MLitt in conflict studies from the University of Glasgow, where he graduated with distinction. He afterward developed a specialization on maritime security while working for the Stable Seas program at a United States-based think tank called One Earth Future Foundation. The program worked with both qualitative and quantitative research methods to produce threat assessments and generate policy advice for civilian and military institutions.

The Institute for Foreign Affairs and Trade (IFAT) is a separate legal entity under the Center for Democracy Public Foundation (DEMKK in Hungarian) operating as the leading Hungarian foreign policy think-tank. IFAT is carrying out active research in fields covering the priorities of the Hungarian foreign policy.  IFAT is present in the Hungarian professional network with public research reports and analyses (often involving associate fellows and outside experts), but also with confidential reports, studies and other professional materials. IFAT is the successor of the previous Hungarian Institute of International Affairs (HIIA) and the Teleki László Foundation, which have been the focal institutions covering foreign policy research in Hungary earlier.

The Institute publishes the only foreign policy journal of Hungary, Külügyi Szemle (Foreign Policy Review). The “KKI Tanulmányok” and the ”KKI Elemzések” as well as their English correspondent versions: KKI Studies and KKI Policy Brief are to be found among our online publications.

The Institute for Foreign Affairs and Trade aims to actively shape the domestic professional network of foreign policy and foreign trade discourse, while reaching out to the wider public as well. The Institute organises (mostly) public roundtable discussions, private briefings, workshops, smaller and larger conferences in Hungarian and English, and it serves as the exclusive venue for the public lectures and forums of high-ranking foreign delegations visiting the representatives of the Hungarian Government.

Kelli Buzzard

Program: Budapest Fellowship Program

Year: 2021

Host Institution: MCC – Mathias Corvinus Collegium

Research Focus: Preserving Hungarian Identity and Culture

Quote: I am eminently thankful to the Hungary Foundation and to MCC for this once-in-a-lifetime experience. I find it truly a joy to immerse myself in the culture, sights, history, religion, and language of one of the world’s most fascinating and admirable countries. Looking to the future, I hope to make Hungary my permanent home, with plans to earn my Ph.D. and then teach college students in Budapest and beyond.

Read her introduction here:

After her initial visit to Hungary so many years ago, Kelli Buzzard returned home to the United States to study for her Bachelor of Arts in communications and history. In 2005 she earned an MA in Christian Thought and recently she finished her MA in Classics.

She then invested a decade in building Christian leaders in ministry and the marketplace, after which time she returned to Europe. This time she spent a year living and working in the war-torn Balkans and sporadically visiting Budapest, the location of her NGO’s headquarters. Then, returning home, Kelli worked for a Seattle-based non-profit fundraising firm and an international visiting professor ministry while also studying for her Masters in Christian Thought (history, philosophy, theology).

Mathias Corvinus Collegium (MCC) has been nurturing young talents for 25 years.

MCC supports young people who are committed to their country, willing to contribute to their local communities, and who feel responsible for their compatriots and their environment. We help them, independently from their social or cultural background, unlock their potential and thrive for their own benefit and, in the long run, for the benefit of all Hungarians.

Their goal is to prepare the next patriotic generation that is talented, open-minded, internationally experienced, and with good command of foreign languages. With this skill set, they will be able to represent the Hungarian interests with confidence, even in the midst of global competition, and take part in the domestic or international debates as well as in the decisions determining the future of the Hungarian nation. At the same time, they can contribute to enhancing public dialogue and culture, and thus becoming a worthy representative of the cultural, economic and social elite of Hungary.

Dr. Lilla Nóra Kiss

Program: Post-Graduate Visiting Research Fellowship

Year: 2021

Host Institution: Antonin Scalia Law School of George Mason University

Quote: “I firmly believe that my research – focusing on the different approaches and attitudes towards social media regulation in the USA and in the EU – may facilitate the improvement of the Hungarian-American professional relationships. Therefore, it will support the mutual understanding of the different viewpoints of Hungarian-European and US professionals.”

Read her introduction:

Lilla Nóra Kiss is a Post-Graduate Visiting Research Fellow at the Antonin Scalia Law School of George Mason University. Lilla completed her JD in 2015 at the University of Miskolc, Hungary. During her doctoral studies, she undertook the General and Juridical Mediator course and immersed herself in several international law programs (the Regional Academy on the United Nations (RAUN); the Academy of European Law (AEL) summer schools at the European University Institute in Florence, Italy.

Lilla completed her doctorate in 2018 and defended her thesis on the legal issues of Brexit in 2019. In 2020, she completed her third degree in European and International Business Law LLM at the Eötvös Loránd University in Budapest, Hungary. In addition to her academic studies, Lilla conducted lectures and seminars on European law, in both English and Hungarian.

She also served as a senior counselor specializing in EU law at the Ministry of Justice, State Secretariat for European Union Affairs in Budapest. As such, she has provided legal advice on institutional matters between the EU and the Member States, on the Future of Europe Conference, and some special topics including social media, which inspired her to apply to the Hungary Foundation’s Liberty Bridge Program. During her one-year post-doctoral research she will undertake a comparative analysis on how the US and the EU approach regulating social media.

The Antonin Scalia Law School is located just a few miles from downtown Washington, D.C., the nexus for the creation of the world’s most important legislation and jurisprudence.

During the past decade, the law school has been in the forefront of curricular innovation. Recognizing the rapid changes that are occurring in legal practice and the legal profession, Scalia Law School has been a pioneer in providing its students with an unique curriculum that gives students correspondingly unique advantages in today’s competitive employment market.


Balázs Turcsán

Program: HF-Hillsdale Scholarship

Year: 2021

Host Institution: Hillsdale College

Quote: “Hillsdale is a perfect place to immerse oneself in the American experience. The rural setting and the relatively small student population create a communal environment that focuses on learning and improving. You cannot avoid having to engage in discussions about history and philosophy in the student cafeteria.”

Read his introduction:

Before coming to the United States, he finished the second year of his Bachelor’s degree at ELTE where he majored in Eastern Studies with a Focus on the Arabic Language. He wants to combine his linguistic skills with the knowledge in political philosophy that he will acquire at Hillsdale to continue his higher education in international relations.

Hillsdale College is a small, Christian, classical liberal arts college in southern Michigan that operates independently of government funding. Our students represent each of the fifty states and more than a dozen foreign countries, and drawn to the challenge of a Hillsdale education, they grow in heart and mind by studying timeless truths in a supportive community dedicated to the highest things.

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