Featured Alumni

Domonkos D. Kovács

Program: Széll Kálmán Public Policy Fellowship

Year: 2022 Summer

Host Institution: German Marshall Fund of the United States

Research Focus: Improving relations between the think tank and governments, whilst also contributing to the efforts of GMF’s Alliance for Securing Democracy

Quote: “You must possess a grand – but nonetheless realistic – vision of how you want the world to look like in 50 years, and most importantly, you must conjure a well-defined image of your role in contributing to such a future. However, one must not forget, that such a determination shouldn’t render us tunnel-visioned, and it must not be prescriptive; the designation of your trajectory is in vain without the willingness to change course when the opportunity presents itself.”

Read his introduction here: hungaryfoundation.org

Domonkos D. Kovács is a recent graduate of the University of Cambridge, having majored in History and Russian, and will pursue a master’s degree in international relations at the Central European University of Vienna from September.
His primary research interests include Transatlantic and NATO-Russian relations, EU-Russian security relations, European Strategic Autonomy, Russian near abroad policy pertaining to the EU’s Eastern Partnership states, cyber security, disinformation, and election interference, as well as hybrid and asymmetric warfare. He authored and published numerous research papers, op-eds, articles, and policy memos on topics ranging from the withdrawal from Afghanistan, through European Strategic Autonomy and Russian disinformation, to US policy in the current Russo-Ukrainian war.

Domonkos is the Co-Founder and President of the University of Cambridge Society for Geopolitics, which aims to educate the undergraduate student body about geopolitics, grand strategy, and statecraft, by organizing panel discussions, lectures, and workshops. He was named Young European Ambassador for the EU’s Eastern Partnership Program, where he works on the Ukraine and Georgia programs, developing peer-to-peer networks and sharing best practices vis-à-vis civil society building with students from EaP states. He fulfills the position of Director of Publications for European Horizons, a 1,100-strong global student-led think tank, and acts as the Editor in Chief of its peer-reviewed academic journal, The Review of European and Transatlantic Affairs. During his studies, Domonkos worked for the most prominent Hungarian think tanks across the aisle researching and advising on foreign policy.

 

The German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF) is a non-partisan policy organization committed to the idea that the United States and Europe are stronger together. GMF champions the principles of democracy, human rights, and international cooperation, which have served as the bedrock of peace and prosperity since the end of World War II, but are under increasing strain.

GMF works on issues critical to transatlantic interests in the 21st century, including the future of democracy, security and geopolitics, alliances and the rise of China, and technology and innovation. By drawing on and fostering a community of people with diverse life experiences and political perspectives, GMF pursues its mission by driving the policy debate through cutting-edge analysis and convening, fortifying civil society, and cultivating the next generation of leaders on both sides of the Atlantic.

Bence Szabó

Program: Széll Kálmán Public Policy Fellowship

Year: 2022 Summer

Host Institution: Mercatus Center of George Mason University

Research Focus: Analyze and understand how governmental public policy decisions affect the lives of US citizens

Quote: “The backbone of our civilization is small communities. I’m from a town of 28,164 people who work hard to improve their life despite many obstacles. I am working to obtain experience in one of the most influential cities in the world so that I may better serve my home community and provide future generations a chance to be where I am now.”

Read his introduction here: hungaryfoundation.org

Bence holds a bachelor’s degree in International Business Economics from the Budapest Business School (BBS). As vice-president of external relations of the Youth Enrichment Society, a local student organization, he’s been a strong advocate for bridging the gap between the international and Hungarian students. In addition to his economic studies, Bence is a 3rd-year law student at the Pázmány Péter Catholic University. As secretary-general of the Hungarian department of the European Law Student Association (ELSA), his responsibility is to establish international cooperation with the far-reaching organization.

The Mercatus Center at George Mason University is the world’s premier university source for market-oriented ideas—bridging the gap between academic ideas and real-world problems.

A university-based research center, the Mercatus Center advances knowledge about how markets work to improve people’s lives by training graduate students, conducting research, and applying economics to offer solutions to society’s most pressing problems.

Our mission is to generate knowledge and understanding of the institutions that affect the freedom to prosper, and to find sustainable solutions that overcome the barriers preventing individuals from living free, prosperous, and peaceful lives.

Founded in 1980, the Mercatus Center is located on George Mason University’s Arlington and Fairfax campuses.

Dorottya Zsiborács

Program: Széll Kálmán Public Policy Fellowship

Year: 2022 Summer

Host Institution: RWR Advisory Group

Research Focus: Chinese and Russian financial and economic activities posing national security threats

Quote: “I believe the best way to improve is to always set the bar one step higher than you are capable of. That is why I challenged myself to study in the United States when I was 16, then applied to my most admired university in London. Now I am looking forward to embracing great professional development in the most politically lively city, in the hub of international relations, Washington DC.”

Read her introduction here: hungaryfoundation.org

Dorottya is a rising senior International Relations BA student at the War Studies Department of King’s College London. Her main professional interests are security and defense, with a special focus on the United States’ foreign policy, strategic defense planning, transatlantic relations, and the changing nature of warfare.

Security and defense have not only impacted her academic path but also her personal extracurricular activities, as well. To strengthen multilateral security networks, she plays an active role as the Secretary-General of the Hungarian Youth Atlantic Treaty Association. Moreover, she is one of the 28 selected young professionals of the Transatlantic Security Initiative Program of IRI, building the next generation of Europe’s leaders for the transatlantic relationship. In 2021, she was a Summer Young Fellow of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Education and Research Center at KAIST, a top science, and technology institution in South Korea. Furthermore, she pursued a summer internship at the United Nations Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Hungary.

Janes IntelTrak specializes in tracking and assessing the use of economic and financial statecraft, including the risk and threat implications of foreign state-owned or state-controlled enterprises. We provide open source intelligence and analytic products for government agencies and risk management services for private sector clients, usually focusing on the behavior, track records and risk profiles of Chinese and Russian companies. This improved awareness helps with export controls, end user and supply chain risk management, and threat assessment.

Janes IntelTrak specializes in tracking and assessing the use of economic and financial statecraft, including the risk and threat implications of foreign state-owned or state-controlled enterprises.

They provide open source intelligence and analytic products for government agencies and risk management services for the priovate sector clients.

Márk Vad

Program: Széll Kálmán Public Policy Fellowship

Year: 2022 Summer

Host Institution: National Association of Business Political Action Committees (NABPAC)

Research Focus: General overview of the US political system and how corporations and business organizations engage in the political process in the United States

Quote: “It’s not important what university or degree you graduate from, but rather what other opportunities you seize during your university years and what attitude you have. My motto – Always All In – perfectly describes everything I stand for and will continue to stand for throughout my career.”

Read his introduction here: hungaryfoundation.org

In Hungary, Márk is an active shaper of youth policy thanks to the Youth Business Group, where he is responsible for international business development and is also one of the leaders of the Public Affairs team. Youth Business Group is one of the largest leadership incubators in the CEE region and its goal is to build up Europe’s largest and most advanced university student organization-based talent hub.

Márk holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business and Management from the Budapest Business School (BBS). During his university years, he was an active participant in university life, serving as vice-president of the student organization of the Hungarian Economic Association and founding the University Business Club, which is currently the largest and fastest-growing student organization at BBS. Currently, he is pursuing a Master’s degree in Leadership and Management at the Corvinus University of Budapest. Márk is also part of the CEMS Masters in Management program, which is jointly delivered by leading universities, business schools, multinational companies, and non-profit organizations delivering a powerful combination of theoretical knowledge and experiential learning.

The National Association of Business Political Action Committees (NABPAC), a 501(c)(6) non-profit trade association, was founded in 1977 and is the sole national organization dedicated to promoting, defending and professionalizing PACs and political action professionals.

NABPAC is not a PAC, and does not contribute to candidates – it is a trade association for corporations and business associations. Our goal is to advance the interests of our membership and protect the rights of millions of Americans who participate in democracy though voluntary contributions to a PAC.

NABPAC also provides comprehensive membership services to PAC and grassroots professionals through continuing educational workshops, annual conferences, informative publications and peer-to-peer advising. Membership consists of over 700 PAC and government affairs professionals from more than 240 corporations, associations and vendors throughout the country who represent some of the smallest and largest PACs. NABPAC members collectively accounted for PAC receipts in excess of $250 million during the 2018 election cycle.

Imre Andrikó

Program: HF Communications Intern

Year: 2022

Host Institution: Hungary Foundation

Quote: I am very excited to work as part of the Hungary Foundation’s team as a Communications Intern. I believe that the three months that I can spend in Washington DC will have a long-lasting impact on my career and bring me memories that I’ll always cherish.

Read his introduction here: hungaryfoundation.org

Imre Andrikó is a fourth-year law student at the Law School of Eotvos Lorand University in Budapest has joined Hungary Foundation for a spring internship in Washington D.C. Besides his university studies, he is also engaged in the Law School of Mathias Corvinus Collegium, a college for advanced students in Hungary. Currently, he is doing his research with the Heritage Foundation in Washington DC on the topic of the ‘Impact of immigration on the concept of State sovereignty under international law’.

Imre attended a bilingual Hungarian-English language high school in Debrecen, where he acquired most of his English language skills. During his high school years, he was an exchange student in Purcellville, VA back in 2016.

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.

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: hungaryfoundation.org

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.

Noémi Pálfalvi

Program: Széll Kálmán Public Policy Fellowship

Year: 2019

Host Institution: Religious Freedom Institute (RFI)

Current Position:  Senior international relations coordinator at the Mathias Corvinus Collegium

Quote: “I am honored to be affiliated with the Hungary Foundation not only as an alumna but as the program coordinator of the Budapest Fellowship Program. When coordinating the elements of the programs I always think back on my time as a fellow and try to involve the best practices in my current work.”

Read her interview: hungaryfoundation.org

Noémi is currently working as a senior international relations coordinator at the Mathias Corvinus Collegium. Meanwhile finishing up my master’s in East Asian Studies at Pázmány Péter Catholic University and the Corvinus University of Budapest. Her work is very diverse, she is involved in a lot of different types of projects, like organizing international conferences, but her favorite activities are focusing on the preparation and management of international fellowships. Before joining MCC she was working for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Hungary.

The Religious Freedom Institute is committed to achieving broad acceptance of religious liberty as a fundamental human right, a source of individual and social flourishing, the cornerstone of a successful society, and a driver of national and international security.

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: hungaryfoundation.org

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: hungaryfoundation.org

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: hungaryfoundation.org

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.

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