Featured Alumni

Martin Takács

Program: Széll Kálmán Public Policy Fellowship

Year: 2018

Host Institution: TFAS

Current Position: Accredited Parliamentary Assistant (APA) for MEP in the European Parliament

Quote: “After returning from Washington DC all the goals I have set have been achieved so it can be confidently stated that my journey towards a “cum laude” at Sciences Po and a position in the European Parliament has begun during the Széll Kálmán Fellowship. I am immensely grateful to HIF for the opportunity and trust it placed in me.”

Publications: A shotgun wedding in Eastern Europe: The role of Ukraine in the EU-Russia gas trade: past, present and future

Read his interview: hungaryfoundation.org

When Martin started his Széll Kálmán Fellowship with us back in 2018, he was halfway through his Master’s program at the Sciences Po Paris School of International Affairs. He was a scholar of international energy policy, with a genuine interest in the oil and natural gas markets, as well as renewable energy policies. Martin’s internship experiences at the time included the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Hungary, ExxonMobil, and MET.

His fellowship through The Fund for American Studies’ Summer program in Washington DC consisted of taking two courses at George Mason University. He also completed an internship at LNG Allies, a Washington-based non-profit, which unites and leads the U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG) community.

Following the completion of my studies at the Paris School of International Affairs (PSIA) of Sciences Po in July 2019, Martin has begun his full-time professional career. He is working as an Accredited Parliamentary Assistant (APA) for MEP András Gyürk in the European Parliament focusing on the policies covered by the Parliament’s Committee on Industry, Research and Energy.

The mission of The Fund for American Studies, its board, staff and our thousands of supporters is to change the world by developing leaders for a free society.

TFAS offers transformational programs that teach the principles of limited government, free-market economics and honorable leadership to students and young professionals in America and around the world.

TFAS programs inspire these future leaders to make a difference in their communities and throughout the world by upholding the values essential to the preservation and success of a free society.

The Fund for American Studies (TFAS) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit educational organization, based in Washington, D.C. 

Grace Goulding

Program: HIF Communications Internship

Year: 2018

Host Institution: The Hungary Initiatives Foundation

Current Position: Broadcasting and Media Rights Manager at the International Judo Feredation

Quote: On a personal level, my internship at HIF taught me valuable insights into Hungarian life, language, and culture that I carry with me everyday in my new life in Budapest – including the friends I made!

Read her interview: hungaryfoundation.org

Grace’s connection to Hungary has started from birth. Having grown up with a Hungarian mother and an American father, she is lucky to call both Budapest and Washington D.C. home. She is an alumna of American University, where she studied Communications and International Relations. Grace is working at the International Judo Federation (IJF), as the Broadcasting and Media Rights Manager. Her job consists of coordinating the live television feeds for international judo competitions, as well as developing the digital media, YouTube, Facebook and other relevant media and marketing for the IJF.

The Hungary Initiatives Foundation is an independent, US-based non-partisan and non-profit organization committed to strengthening the understanding and cooperation between Hungary and the Unites States of America. Founded in 2013, HIF was established to “preserve and promote an appreciation of Hungarian culture, art, science in the United States by raising the public awareness of Hungarian history, arts, culture, and academic achievements across the United States, providing an institutional framework for outreach programs towards the Hungarian diaspora living in the United States, promoting Hungarian-U.S. relations, generating internships, scholarships, and academic exchange programs.”

Balázs Mártonffy

Program: Graduate Scholarship

Year: 2014

Host Institution: American University

Current Position: deputy director of the Security Policy and Non-Proliferation Department, at the Hungarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Quote: “My U.S. college and university education (including as an Eliot Scholar at Washington University and a Sie Fellow at the University of Denver) provided a solid footing for both a broad academic and research mindset, which have been incrementally helpful in my career. The HIF scholarship which I received for the first year of my doctoral studies assisted with enabling me to focus solely on my academic pursuit.”

Publications: American University

Read his interview: hungaryfoundation.org

Balázs Mártonffy was one of HIF’s earliest Graduate Scholarship recipients for the Fall 2014 / Spring 2015 season. He received his doctorate degree at American University in an impressively short period of time, and for his doctoral thesis received the prestigious 2020 John McCain Dissertation Award at the Munich Security Conference earlier this year. His area of expertise is NATO issues and he currently is the deputy director of the Security Policy and Non-Proliferation Department, at the Hungarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade while teaching part time at the University of Public Service

American University has eight schools and colleges: the School of International Service, College of Arts and Sciences, Kogod School of Business, School of Communication, School of Professional and Extended Studies, School of Public Affairs, School of Education, and the Washington College of Law (WCL). It has over 160 programs, including 71 bachelor’s degrees, 87 master’s degrees, and 10 doctoral degrees, as well as JD, LLM, and SJD programs. AU’s student body numbers over 13,000 and represents all 50 U.S. states and 141 countries; around a fifth of students are international. Its prominent alumni include numerous journalists, media personalities, ambassadors, foreign heads of state, and members of the United States Congress.

Fanni Virág

Program: Atlanticist Fellowship

Year: 2018

Host Institution: Atlantic Council

Current Position: Member of Globsec Young Leaders

Focus: US-Central European engagement, energy security, advanced energy and technologies

Quote: During my Atlanticist Fellowship, I picked up such a diverse experience and knowledge in this intense environment – that I couldn’t even comprehend during my stay – , while gaining skills that brought me much closer to myself. My program in the US played a major role in setting new goals along my knowledge and new mindset, for which I cannot be grateful enough for HIF.

Read her interview: hungaryfoundation.org

Ms. Virág is from Budapest, Hungary, but has also lived in Croatia and Slovenia for extended periods of time. Prior to getting her degree at Szent István Egyetem in the field of Business Administration, Management and Operations, she earned her B.A. in Bosnian, Serbian, and Croatian Languages and Literatures and M.A. in Slovenian Language and Literature from Eötvös Loránd University.

Speaking 5 different languages (Croatian, English, Slovene, German, and Hungarian) led her to work for the Embassy of the Republic of Slovenia in Hungary as Head of Secretariat/PA to the Ambassador and Economic and Cultural Affairs Officer.

The Atlantic Council promotes constructive leadership and engagement in international affairs based on the Atlantic Community’s central role in meeting global challenges. The Council provides an essential forum for navigating the dramatic economic and political changes defining the twenty-first century by informing and galvanizing its uniquely influential network of global leaders. The Atlantic Council—through the papers it publishes, the ideas it generates, the future leaders it develops, and the communities it builds—shapes policy choices and strategies to create a more free, secure, and prosperous world.

Zoltán Turai

Program: CEPA Andrássy National Security Fellowship

Year: 2017

Host Institution: CEPA

Current Position: Counter-Terrorism Coordinator at Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Hungary

Quote: “My experience also made me realize that if you really want to be good at something, you have to be passionate about it and work hard to reach your goals. I am very happy to have found my real passion in foreign policy.”

Publications: cepa.org

Read his interview: hungaryfoundation.org

Dr. Turai was chosen from a highly competitive pool of applicants. He comes to CEPA with four years of professional experience at the Hungarian Ministry of Defense where he worked as a defense policy analyst on Russia, the post-Soviet space and cybersecurity issues. His professional interests include information warfare, the development of conventional warfare capabilities, the role of intelligence in political decision-making and the future of transatlantic relations. He holds a law degree from the Faculty of Law and Political Sciences of the University of Szeged where he is currently pursuing a doctorate degree.

The Center for European Policy Analysis (CEPA) is a 501(c)(3), non-profit, non-partisan, public policy research institute. Their mission is transatlantic: to promote an economically vibrant, strategically secure, and politically free Europe with close and enduring ties to the United States. Their analytical team consists of the world’s leading experts on Central-East Europe, Russia, and its neighbors. Through cutting-edge research, analysis, and programs they provide fresh insight on energy, security and defense to government officials and agencies; they help transatlantic businesses navigate changing strategic landscapes; and they build networks of future Atlanticist leaders.

Márton Hegedüs

Program: Széll Kálmán Public Policy Fellowship

Year: 2019

Host Institution: The Fund for American Studies (TFAS) & RumbleUp

Research Focus: Ethical Leadership

Quote: “I was treated from the very first minute as a valuable full time employee. They truly want me to have the best experience…Being handled as one of the colleagues and being listened to in meetings is something that shows how seriously RumbleUp takes this internship. This attitude inspires me to give my best and earn their respect by delivering great work as well.”

Read his introduction: hungaryfoundation.org


Márton will finish his master studies in leadership and management at Corvinus University of Budapest in 2020 along with a double degree program in international management at CEMS Program. During his studies, Márton was engaged in Széchenyi István College for Advanced Studies where he had Sociology major and later became the Head of the Admissions Committee. The 5 years he has spent at the college taught him being academically excellent and responsible for the community he is part of.

TFAS’s vision is to win over each new generation to the ideas of liberty, limited government and free markets. Their mission is to change the world by developing leaders for a free society. TFAS offers transformational programs that teach the principles of limited government, free-market economics and honorable leadership to students and young professionals in America and around the world. TFAS programs inspire these future leaders to make a difference in their communities and throughout the world by upholding the values essential to the preservation and success of a free society.

RumbleUp: RumbleUp is the biggest peer-to-peer texting platform and one of the most dynamically developing technology startups in the US. https://pro.rumbleup.com

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