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Ambassadors of Slovakia, Poland to discuss current status of Central Europe, March 7

The ambassadors of Slovakia and Poland to the United States will present a joint lecture titled "Rejoining the West: Central Europe 10 Years After the Revolutions" at 4:30 p.m. Thursday, March 7, in Bowl 1, Robertson Hall.

Martin Bútora, a sociologist, author and senior civil servant, currently serves as the ambassador of Slovakia to the United States. He co-founded the Public Against Violence movement in 1989, one of the leading Slovak movements in the Velvet Revolution against communism. From 1990 to 1992, he served as the adviser to President Vaclav Havel for human rights issues, and as the director of the Section for Human Rights in the Office of the President of the Czech and Slovak Federal Republic.

Bútora recently was a member of the social sciences faculty at Charles University in Prague and at Trnava University in Slovakia. Previously, he was an executive education fellow at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, a senior associate member at St. Anthony's College, Oxford University, and a German Marshall Fund Fellow.

Przemyslaw Grudzinski has been ambassador of Poland to the United States since September 2000, previously serving as undersecretary of state in the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He also is currently the vice minister of foreign affairs in the Polish government. Prior to this appointment, he was a professor at the George Marshall European Center for Security Studies in Poland.

A lifelong educator and political activist, Grudzinski was a professor of history at the Polish Academy of Sciences in Warsaw from 1976 to 1996. In the 1980s, he became involved in independent publishing activities as a member of the Solidarity Movement, which contributed to the fall of Poland's communist government and hastened the breakup of the Warsaw Pact. He became an adviser to the deputy minister of national defense in 1990 and the director of the Bureau of Research for the Polish Parliament in 1991 before assuming the position of deputy minister of national defense in 1992.

The lecture is sponsored by the Woodrow Wilson School .

Contact: Marilyn Marks (609) 258-3601

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