WASHINGTON, DC, October 25, 2017 - The Center for European Policy Analysis (CEPA) announces that Ambassador Réka Szemerkényi is joining the Center as executive vice president. Based out of CEPA’s Washington office, Szemerkényi will be responsible for expanding the Center’s policy outreach and stakeholder engagement in both the United States and Europe. She assumes the post immediately.
“I could not be more pleased that Réka is joining CEPA as our new executive vice president,” said CEPA President Peter B. Doran. “Réka embodies CEPA’s mission and vision as one of Central Europe’s leading Atlanticist voices, most recently as Hungary’s first female ambassador to the United States. And she is joining a world class team of American and European policy experts at CEPA.”
As executive vice president at CEPA, Szemerkényi brings to the organization a wealth of experience in U.S.-Central European relations, with over two decades of achievements in government, the private sector, and the expert policy community.
“Réka has demonstrated a strong commitment to Atlanticism throughout her career,” said CEPA Chairman Larry Hirsch. “We are delighted to have Réka join the CEPA team, as I know she will continue to work tirelessly to promote a deeper, more enduring relationship between Europe and the United States.”
Previously, Szemerkényi served as Hungary’s ambassador to the United States. In her career spanning the public service and nonprofit sectors, she was instrumental in helping facilitate Hungary’s NATO accession process, in establishing alternative natural gas supplies for Central Europe, in strengthening energy policy cooperation among U.S. allies in the region, and in launching several initiatives designed to bolster American ties with Europe.
“Réka is a stalwart Atlanticist with deep expertise in all the areas that matter most, including energy security, defense, intelligence, and information warfare,” said CEPA Senior Vice President Edward Lucas. “I am delighted that we will be working together at CEPA.”
Szemerkényi holds a doctorate from the Pázmány Péter Catholic University of Budapest. She received a master’s degree in strategic studies from Johns Hopkins University (SAIS) in 1995. She also holds degrees from the European Institute of International Relations in France (1991) and Eötvös Loránd University of Budapest (1992). In 2017, she was awarded the title of Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from Marymount University for Promoting International Cooperation, and in 2016 she received an honorary doctorate from the Hungarian Public University. She is the recipient of several awards, including the Hungarian National Service Award for her contribution to Hungary’s NATO admission (1999); l’Ordre National du Mérite by French President Jacques Chirac (2001); the “Bene Merito” award by Polish Foreign Minister Radek Sikorski (2010); and the Award for “Promoting Freedom and Security in Central Europe” by the Slovak Atlantic Commission (2013). She is an elected member of the European Council on Foreign Relations and serves as vice president of the Hungarian Atlantic Council.
CEPA is a registered 501(c)(3) non-partisan public policy research institution dedicated to the study of Central and Eastern Europe, with offices in Washington and Warsaw. CEPA’s mission is to promote an economically vibrant, strategically secure, and politically free Central and Eastern Europe with close and enduring ties to the United States. Through written analysis and public events, CEPA educates policymakers and the public on the need for sustained engagement, helps transatlantic businesses navigate changing strategic landscapes, and builds networks of future leaders.
Since its creation in 2005, CEPA has grown rapidly to become a leading voice for strengthening security and democracy in the countries of post-communist Europe. It has also provided a forum for scholarly research, writing and debate on key issues affecting the CEE countries, their membership in NATO and the European Union, and their relationship with the United States. CEPA has grown to become the premier source of expert analysis and policymaker attention on U.S.-CEE relations, defense and geostrategy.