Hungary Foundation’s annual Young Hungarian Leaders Program (YHLP) concluded last week with 9 Hungarian participants. The program’s goal is to provide all HF scholarship recipients with a better understanding of the Founder’s idea of the role of government in American society, the way the U.S. federal system of government is designed, and to appreciate the various elements impacting US public policy today.
Through a mixture of briefings, study sessions, workshops, and meetings with think tanks, U.S. government representatives, as well as site visits, participants deepened their understanding of the history and evolution of the American constitutional order, and a representative government necessary for a free and prosperous society.
Day 1 – Washington, The Federal City
We kicked off our 2021 Fall Season Young Hungarian Leaders Program with a classical tour of Washington, discovering the philosophical foundations that the city was built on. Exploring the Founder’s vision for the capital of America based in part on Greek and Roman philosophy, and the challenges to creating the seat of the government out of marshland. From the White House through various Memorials, and the overall history of the nation’s capital, the excursion was accompanied by Jeanne Fogle, our amazing tour guide partner.
“It was a very useful addition to my studies and it had reached its goal for me. I have managed to get insight and understand many of the principles, institutions and virtues that drive the american nation. I now understand why the Founding Fathers and the Constitution are so important.
I have learned a great deal from specialists and bright minds – I am referring to both the presenters and the program participants.”
Day 2 – George Washington’s Mount Vernon
The group then spent the following day on the gorgeous estate of George Washington learning about his life, legacy, and leadership. We peeked into the Library’s rare books vault, learned about Washington’s Enduring Relevance with Dr. Peter Cressy, created a simulation exercise, and related seminars with Dr. Joseph Stoltz. A guided tour of the estate rounded out the day.
“This was a great introduction to what the entire week is going to be about. Getting to know George Washington and his military and leadership skills gave us a great taste of why he was able to lay the foundations of one of the strongest and most prosperous nations.”
Day 3 – Understanding Federalism and the Separation of Powers
Through seminars on Federalism and the Separation of Powers with Dr. Jeremy Rabkin; US Foreign Policy Traditions with Dr. George Bogden; and the Traditions of American Political Thought with Alan Levine, participants gained a deeper understanding of the principles that guide US politics today.
“YHLP is an excellent program, providing unique opportunity to learn about the United States. Well-organized, well-planned and well-executed.”
Day 4 – Civic Institutions and Public Policy
The day was spent exploring The Role of Media and Thinks Tanks Influencing Public Policy in Washington with site visits at the National Press Club with a briefing by Daniel Lippman from Politico, a seminar on the State Department by Ivan Weinstein, and a visit at the American Enterprise Institute for a presentation by Dalibor Rohac. The group then received a briefing on US-Hungary relations with Ambassador Szabolcs Takács at the Embassy of Hungary.
Day 5 – How Government Actually Works
Briefings by the staffers at the House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate served to highlight how the various branches of government work together or against each other in forming public policy. Later on that day, the participants visited the Kossuth House for a documentary screening of Created Equal: Clarence Thomas in His Own Words.
“I have been to the Capitol before, but getting an exclusive insight to the behind the scenes workings of such a large and powerful institution was mind-broadening.”
Day 6 & 7 – Free Market Workshop, Debate, and The Pitch
We wrapped up our week-long program with a seminar by Nancy Bocskor, who shared her knowledge on Fundraising for a cause, and personal branding. and Prof. Chris Ball of Quinnipiac University, with a seminar on free markets. We held a British Parliamentary-style debate on whether university education should be free and closed the program with The Pitch where participants collectively came up with an exciting project idea to foster Hungary-US relations.
“Nancy’s seminar was fascinating. Very important presentation on a topic that is completely disregarded in Hungary. Well-structured presentation from an inspiring person.”
“Chris is a wonderful person and a great professor. I love his humor and we had a great time during his course. It was a good revision of basic macroeconomic concepts and we touched upon a couple more advanced topics.”
Participants of this Year’s Program:
- Boldizsár T. Hajas – 4th-year law student at Eotvos Lorand University, Széll Kálmán Public Policy Fellow
- Zsolt Jakó – MBA student at Quinnipiac University
- Lilla Nóra Kiss – Post-Graduate Visiting Research Fellow at the Antonin Scalia Law School of George Mason University
- Mónika Palotai – Visiting Research Fellow at the Hudson Institute
- Csenge Savanya – Bachelor of Arts in Human Resources at Corvinus University of Budapest, Széll Kálmán Public Policy Fellow
- Balázs Tárnok – Kellogg Institute for International Studies at the University of Notre Dame as a Visiting Research Fellow
- Balázs Turcsán – Faculty of Humanities at Eötvös Loránd University
- Kristóf György Veres – Andrássy National Security Fellow
- Zsombor Verkmann – BA in Economics from Clare College at University of Cambridge, Széll Kálmán Public Policy Fellow