Featured Alumni

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.

Csilla Ábrán

Program: Quinnipiac University’s HABL Scholarship Recipient

Year: 2016

Host Institution: Quinnipiac University

Current Position:  Project Manager in Citibank’s Global Product Control Organization

Quote: “Thanks to my studies I become a project lead of several digital applications deployed across multiple regions. This exposure has helped me gain confidence in my current work and be open to any challenges and opportunities that might come my way.”

Read her interview: hungaryfoundation.org

Csilla’s passion for economics and finance started with her Bachelor’s degree in Finance and Banking at Babes-Bolyai University in Kolozsvár. Following her undergrad degree, she started working at a mid-size tire distribution company managing its credit portfolio by monitoring and setting credit limits, examining payment plans, and conducting litigations. During this time, she has also established the first credit scoring system of the company mitigating exposure to counterparty risk.

After working and studying for a while in Hungary and Romania she allpied for the Hungarian-American Business Leaders Scholarship offered by Quinnipiac University and the Hungary Foundation. She was able to earn her MBA at Quinnipiac’s Chartered Financial Analyst track.
While studying in Connecticut, she started working at Otis Elevator’s World Headquarters in the Service Transformation department.

Currently, she is a Project Manager in Citibank’s Global Product Control Organization working on process automation and digitalization.

Quinnipiac University is a private, coeducational, nonsectarian institution in Hamden and North Haven, Connecticut, offering more than 140 programs to an estimated 6,800 undergraduates and 3,000 graduate, medical and law students. Quinnipiac prepares graduates as enlightened global citizens equipped for the challenges and opportunities of 21st-century careers.

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: hungaryfoundation.org

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.

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: hungaryfoundation.org

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.

Ármin Ladányi

Program: Széll Kálmán Public Policy Fellowship

Year: 2021 Summer

Host Institution: TFAS

Current Position: Board Member and Lead, Public and Corporate Relations, Youth Business Group

Research Focus: US constitutional amendments, US legislative and government affairs

Quote: “I am thrilled to see what comes of the upcoming weeks. There will be case studies, op-eds, and countless mind-provoking discussions. I’ll have the opportunity to accumulate theoretic knowledge in the classroom, and then will be able to apply it in the real world, whether it be using it in legislative institutions or at lunch with a lobbyist.”

Read his introduction: hungaryfoundation.org

Ármin Ladányi works currently as a Board Member and leader for the Public and Corporate Relations Team at the Youth Business Group, an association of university student organizations.YBG was founded in 2017, the regional organization already connects 1,000+ young people in several disciplines. Ármin graduated from the Corvinus University of Budapest with a degree in International Studies and then continued his studies at Corvinus to become a Master’s degree in Public Policy and Management. He gained international experience during his one-year studies in France at the Sciences Po University.

In addition to studies and professional advancement, community and active citizenship also play an important role in Ármin’s life: in 2016, he and his colleagues founded the House of European Affairs and Diplomacy(HEAD), a student organization for European Union diplomacy that now has more than 100+ members at three universities. As a result, he has been a key player in several of the European Parliament’s “This Time I am Voting” and “Together.eu” campaigns and became the main organizer and national ambassador of the Schuman 70 initiative which took place in 15 countries.

The mission of TFAS, 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. 

Virág Turcsán

Program: Széll Kálmán Public Policy Fellowship

Year: 2021 Summer

Host Institution: TFAS

Current Position: Graduate of the Erasmus Mundus International Master’s program in Security, Intelligence, and Strategic Studies

Research Focus: Counter-terrorism and the role of intelligence as well as the evolution of human rights during COVID-19

Quote: “During the first few days, we already had the chance to interact with a number of inspiring speakers and learn about their career journeys. TFAS focuses on creating opportunities for meaningful exchanges with policymakers where we get to interact with them in a small group setting and gain valuable insight into their backgrounds.”

Read her introduction: hungaryfoundation.org

Virág graduated from Sewanee: The University of the South in 2017 with a double major in Political Science and International Studies as well as a minor in Psychology. After graduation, she worked at the Permanent Mission of Hungary to the United Nations in New York focusing on security and counter-terrorism-related issues.

In December 2020, she graduated with distinction from an Erasmus Mundus Joint International Master’s degree in Security, Intelligence, and Strategic Studies awarded by the University of Glasgow, Dublin City University, and Charles University in Prague.

She was awarded the Mo Dabo Prize for best dissertation for her research focusing on norms convergence between the EU and UN-related to counterterrorism sanctions listings.

She has been named an EFA Scholar at the European Forum Alpbach in 2019 and 2020. In 2021 she was selected as a Youth Consultant at the UN’s Consultation on Preventing Violent Extremism through Sport.

The mission of TFAS, 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. 

Henry Meyer

Program: HF Summer Internship

Year: 2021

Host Institution: Hungary Foundation

Current Position: Junior at Villanova University

Quote: “Through fundraising events, lectures, and the pride in their culture, I saw firsthand how my grandparents worked to ensure the Armenian diaspora remained engaged and connected. As a result, the culture and pride of being Armenian lives on through me, even though I was not physically born there.”

Read his interview: hungaryfoundation.org

Henry Meyer is a rising junior and a Political Science and Sociology double major at Villanova University. Given his strong academic achievements, Henry has made the Dean’s List each semester. His coursework includes a broad range of topics including comparative politics, international relations, and American foreign policy.

Henry developed a passion for European and Hungarian politics after attending an educational summit in Budapest and Berlin. His grandparents were active members of the American-Armenian diaspora which has allowed him to understand the importance of the diaspora community in the United States. 

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.

Balázs Tárnok

Program: Post-Graduate Visiting Research Fellowship

Year: 2021

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

Current Position: associate researcher, EUstrat – Europe Strategy Research Institute, Ludovika – University of Public Service, Budapest

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

The European Commission turned its back on national and linguistic minorities

EP committee demanding action of the European Commission on the Beneš Decrees

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 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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