Featured Alumni

Boglárka Bozsogi

Program: Graduate Scholarship Recipient

Year: 2018

Host Institution: Georgetown University

Current Position:  Research assistant at U.S. Institute of Peace

Quote: “Two and a half years in the US fundamentally changed my perspectives and ambitions. I am more open-minded, optimistic, and determined, I know where I come from, where I am going, and ready to build the paths to get there. I am forever grateful for this journey, for all I learned, the friends I made, the challenges I overcame, and the strength I gained.”

Read her interview: hungaryfoundation.org

Boglárka Bozsogi graduated from Corvinus University Budapest in 2016, where she studied International Relations. She mainly focused on international politics and security, international relations theory, and diplomatic history. She also completed a one-year graduate program in Security Studies and received a Master’s degree from the University of Birmingham, UK in December 2017.  Her dissertation research focused on the role of interpersonal trust in negotiations and conflict resolution, under the guidance of Professor Nicholas J. Wheeler.In Budapest, Boglárka worked at the U.S. Embassy as an intern at the Political and Economic Section, where she corresponded with diplomatic corporations, composed policy briefs, and organized roundtable conferences for members of the government, NGO representatives, civil society, and business leaders.

Boglárka has since graduated from Georgetown University and started her career in DC at the US Institute of Peace, now working remotely full time from Budapest, Hungary. Besides her professional journey, she is currently active as an alumni liaison, to help with the integration of the increasing number of other HIF alumni into our Budapest Fellowship Program events.

Georgetown University is a private research university in the Georgetown neighborhood of Washington, D.C. Founded by Bishop John Carroll in 1789 as Georgetown College, the university has grown to comprise ten undergraduate and graduate schools, among which are the School of Foreign Service, School of Business, Medical School, Law School, and a campus in Qatar. On a hill above the Potomac River, the school’s main campus is identifiable by its flagship Healy Hall, a National Historic Landmark.

Georgetown is the oldest Catholic and Jesuit institution of higher education in the United States. The Jesuits have participated in the university’s academic life, both as scholars and as administrators, since 1805. However, the university has always been governed independently of the church, and the majority of Georgetown students are not Catholic.

Undergraduate admissions is highly selective. The university offers degree programs in forty-eight disciplines, enrolling an average of 7,500 undergraduate and 10,000 post-graduate students from more than 135 countries. Georgetown’s notable alumni include 27 Rhodes Scholars, 21 Marshall Scholars, 33 Truman Scholars, 429 Fulbright Students, two U.S. Presidents, and two U.S. Supreme Court Justices, as well as international royalty and 14 foreign heads of state. Among the world’s leading institutions in government and international relations, the school’s alumni include more U.S. diplomats than any other university and many members of the United States Congress.

Máté Vincze

Program: Graduate Scholarship Recipient

Year: 2017

Host Institution: New York University Tisch School of the Arts

Current Position: Freelance filmmaker

Quote: “Being able to study in the United States was an eye-opening experience, I have learned and acquired skills that shaped me as a director and I also got to value diversity way more than ever before which I believe is crucial in our profession.”

Read his interview: hungaryfoundation.org

Máté Vincze is a freelance filmmaker, who graduated from the University of Theatre and Film Arts Budapest in 2012. The hands-on courses taught him not only the theoretical part of communication and video production but also ways to combine his storytelling ambitions with the world of digital media. He quickly fell in love with documentaries and continued his studies in the Directing Documentaries M.A. program. Máté has a Master’s Degree in Filmmaking from the New York University (NYU) Tisch School of Arts. He received the HIF Graduate Scholarship for Fall 2017 and Spring 2018 to support him in completing the program.

The New York University Tisch School of the Arts (commonly referred to as Tisch) is the performing, cinematic and media arts school of New York University, and is among the most competitive film schools in the world to enroll in.  With many famous alumni having gone to work in the American film industry, Broadway theatre, and in entertainment industries around the world, Tisch is typically ranked among the top American film schools, as such with yearly consistency in notable industry publications such as THR and Variety, and is often considered as one of the top film and theater schools in the United States and the world.

Founded on August 17, 1965, Tisch is a training ground for artists, scholars of the arts, and filmmakers; the school merges the technical training of a professional school with the academic resources of a major research university to immerse students in their intended artistic disciplines. The school is divided into three Institutes: Performing Arts, Emerging Media, and Film & Television. Many undergraduate and graduate disciplines are available for students, including: acting, dance, drama, performance studies, design for stage and film, musical theatre writing, photography record producing, game design and development, and film and television studies.

Noémi Szakonyi

Program: Graduate Scholarship Recipient

Year: 2018

Host Institution: New York University Tisch School of the Arts

Current Position: Freelance film director and producer

Quote: “Living and learning in New York allowed me to have a broader, complex perspective on art, everyday life, different cultures, and even myself. This experience contributed tremendously to make my first steps in the field of narrative filmmaking and helped me to thoroughly define my career path.”

Read her interview: hungaryfoundation.org

Noémi Veronika Szakonyi is a freelance film director and producer who earned both a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree in International Relations from Corvinus University of Budapest.  She graduated in 2011 from the Beijing Film Academy. After leaving China, she applied to the University of Theatre and Film Arts Budapest for the directing documentaries Master course. She graduated in July 2015 with an animated documentary. At the end of 2014, Noémi co-founded Match Frame Productions with one of her classmates to support young Hungarian filmmakers. The film production company has become a place where young filmmakers can exchange ideas and apply for Hungarian and international grants. She is also a Sundance Documentary Film Program grantee, thanks to her first feature-length documentary, which received a development grant from the Sundance Institute. Noémi pursued her Master of Fine Arts degree in filmmaking at New York University Tisch School of the Arts with assistance from HIF’s graduate scholarship program in 2018.

The New York University Tisch School of the Arts (commonly referred to as Tisch) is the performing, cinematic and media arts school of New York University, and is among the most competitive film schools in the world to enroll in.  With many famous alumni having gone to work in the American film industry, Broadway theatre, and in entertainment industries around the world, Tisch is typically ranked among the top American film schools, as such with yearly consistency in notable industry publications such as THR and Variety, and is often considered as one of the top film and theater schools in the United States and the world.

Founded on August 17, 1965, Tisch is a training ground for artists, scholars of the arts, and filmmakers; the school merges the technical training of a professional school with the academic resources of a major research university to immerse students in their intended artistic disciplines. The school is divided into three Institutes: Performing Arts, Emerging Media, and Film & Television. Many undergraduate and graduate disciplines are available for students, including: acting, dance, drama, performance studies, design for stage and film, musical theatre writing, photography record producing, game design and development, and film and television studies.

Krisztián Jójárt

Program: CEPA Andrássy National Security Fellowship

Year: 2018

Host Institution: CEPA

Current Position: External Research Fellow at the Institute for Strategic and Defense Studies (SVKI)

Quote: “My experience in the United States helped me to become more confident in myself, and also to be more critical. I learned a lot during the 6 months about the work of Washington think tanks. I learned that an analysis does not only have to be written but also has to be sold. Writing for American think tanks requires a very different approach than what usually researchers in Europe got used to. Both approaches have their pros and cons. It must be noted however that the big think tanks in Washington do not necessarily produce better analyses than their smaller European counterparts, including the studies of my excellent colleagues and mentors with the Institute for Strategic and Defense Studies.”

Publications: Find them all listed at Krisztián’s Academia site.

Read his interview: hungaryfoundation.org

Prior to arriving to Washington in 2018, Krisztián has been an external fellow at the Center for Strategic and Defense Studies in Budapest where his research has covered the Russian military reform, contemporary Russian military thinking, and Russia’s ongoing wars in Ukraine and Syria. He also holds an M.A. degree in security and defense policy and has pursued studies in international relations at Corvinus University of Budapest.  During his six-month research, Krisztián provided a thorough analysis of Russia’s asymmetric warfare strategy based on the critical evaluation of the writings of prominent Russian military thinkers.

He is currently working with the Budapest-based Institute for Strategic and Defense Studies (SVKI) as an external research fellow, where he focuses on Russian strategic thinking and foreign policy. He is pursuing his Ph.D. in Military Studies and he will submit his doctorate thesis in the upcoming years.

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.

Anna Biczó

Program: Graduate Scholarship Recipient

Year: 2017

Host Institution: Fordham University

Current Position: Legal Counsel at Vodaphone Hungary

Quote: It was an eye-opening journey to study and work in the US. Meeting international students from all over the world, studying from knowledgeable professors with exciting backgrounds, creating life-long friendships with people from different nations, and being able to live abroad, especially in one of the most amazing cities in the world was a life-changing experience. I believe these two years in New York made fundamental changes in my way of thinking, taught me to be open and acceptable to differences, however at the same time it deepened my beliefs in my fundamental values and important matters to me.

Read her interview: hungaryfoundation.org

Anna Biczó graduated from Pazmany Peter Catholic University Faculty of Law with a legal diploma in 2010. She was then a practicing lawyer in Budapest, Hungary for 7 years. She I always felt the desire for continuous development in her life, so she applied to LLM studies in the United States and attended Fordham University in New York City, which allowed her to satisfy my hunger for new knowledge and new experiences.

With the generous support from HIF, she graduated with an LLM degree in International Business and Trade Law in 2018. After the LLM, she was able to stay for an additional year and work for big corporations such as Apple in the compliance area and as a financial contract negotiator for BNP Paribas Bank. After these two amazing years in New York City, she moved back home to Budapest, Hungary.

With her LLM diploma in international business and trade law, her aim was to find a company to work for and contribute my Hungarian and US legal knowledge as well as international legal and business experience. She found a perfect opportunity with Vodafone Group Legal, where as part of the Hungarian legal team, she supports Vodafone business worldwide and negotiate different international contracts.

Fordham University is a private research university in New York City. Established in 1841 and named for the Fordham neighborhood of the Bronx in which its original campus is located, Fordham is the oldest Catholic and Jesuit university in the northeastern United States, and the third-oldest university in New York State.

Founded as St. John’s College by John Hughes, then a coadjutor bishop of New York, the college was placed in the care of the Society of Jesus shortly thereafter, and has since become a Jesuit-affiliated independent school under a lay board of trustees. The college’s first president, John McCloskey, was later the first Catholic cardinal in the United States. While governed independently of the Church since 1969, every president of Fordham University since 1846 has been a Jesuit priest, and the curriculum remains influenced by Jesuit educational principles. Fordham is the only Jesuit tertiary institution in New York City.

 

Dávid Kosztrihán

Program: Széll Kálmán Public Policy Fellowship

Year: 2019

Host Institution: TFAS

Current Position: Junior Associate at the Parliamentary State Secretariat of the Prime Ministers’ Office

Quote: The bedrock of my attitude in regards to pursuing more and more was significantly strengthened by the Széll Kálmán Public Policy Fellowship in DC. The new environment that I was seeking suddenly appeared at the right time in my life and motivated me to reach new heights. Meeting the requirements of my university at home in line with the recognition of outstanding performance by the program showed me it is all about willpower. The personal bonds I established in DC only deepened this belief. These valuable impulses keep pushing me even today by providing the confidence to do several things at the same time with everything I can give.

Read his interview: hungaryfoundation.org

Dávid Kosztrihán successfully completed his studies of Public Administration Manager summa cum laude at the National University of Public Services Faculty of Public Administration in 2014. Since 2017, also completed his Master’s degree in Political Science at the Faculty of Political Science and Administration, where ha was awarded a national scholarship and a national excellence award by the Minister of Education. Dávid also completed a thesis in which he examined the political role of the Prime Minister’s Office in light of institutional and personal changes, which ranked second in the legal competition section of the institutional competition (also a national competition).

He is a junior associate at the Parliamentary State Secretariat of the Prime Ministers’ Office and a member of the largest higher education student association called HÖOK / The National Union of Students’ in Hungary, responsible for foreign affairs.

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. 

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.

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