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Josef Ager has been a lecturer in German at the University of Economics in Prague since 1991 and has taught German at NYU Prague since the Fall of 1998. He holds a Ph.D. in Philosophy from the University of Vienna.

Currently the Ambassador-at-Large for Energy Security at the Foreign Ministry in Prague, Václav Bartuška was also the Czech Commissioner General at EXPO 2000 in Hannover, Germany. He was a Fulbright Visiting Scholar at Columbia University (1994-95) and a Marshall Fellow in 1999.

Bartuška graduated from the Faculty of Social Sciences at Charles University in 1992. As a student there, he was among those who started the strike in November 1989; the result of which--to the suprise of everyone--was the peaceful overthrow of Communism (the so-called Velvet revolution). Because of his previous experience with the Secret Police, Bartuška was elected as the students’ representative to the parliamentary committee which oversaw the investigation of the Communist Party security apparatus. He then published his first book, Polojasno, which sold 230,000 copies and made him independent enough to spend most of the 1990’s travelling, writing three more books and basically avoiding any serious work. 

Veronika Peimer Bednářová is an international reporter for the contemporary Czech cultural and international affairs magazine REFLEX, published by the Swiss publishing house Ringier.
During her career, Bednářová has interviewed many internationally known personalities, most recently the former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. Other prominent persons she has interviewed include the actors Robert De Niro, Danny DeVito, Robert Redford, Morgan Freeman, Harvey Keitel, the film director Milos Forman, playwright Peter Shaffer, designer Philippe Starck, magician David Copperfield, and many others. 

Bednářová  specializes in cultural and foreign affairs. She wrote a special 32-page feature on Silicon Valley, covered the situation in the Iraqi city of Basra, and wrote a travel column called Somewhere in Africa while living in South Africa in 2005.  She was awarded the 1st Ringier 2002 Award for the Best Cover Story of the Year for covering the 9/11 events in New York and the 1st Ringier 2005 Award for covering the AIDS epidemic in Africa. 

After receiving her Master‘s Degree from Charles University, Bednářová spent two years (1999-2001) at New York University as a Fulbright Scholar earning a Master’s degree in Arts Management. While there, she also worked for the Lincoln Center of the Performing Arts.

She also works as editor-in-chief of the Czech-English Festival Dailies at the International Film Festival in Karlovy Vary.

In 2006, she published a book of her successful travel stories, My American Beauty. 

Before moving to Prague, Amy Benjamin was Assistant U.S. Attorney, Department of Justice, where she litigated both affirmative and defensive cases on behalf of the U.S. Government in the Federal Courts of the Southern District of New York (Manhattan).

A graduate of Princeton (BA, History) and Yale Law School, Benjamin is a former Fulbright scholar and has clerked for Honorables Stephen G. Breyer and Leonard B. Sand. She speaks Spanish and German. 

Jan Bernard is a professor of Film History and Theory at the Academy of Dramatic Arts (FAMU) in Prague. The former Dean of the Film School at FAMU, Bernard has Ph.D., Doc and CsC degrees in Film from Charles University. He is the author of several books on film and theatre. 

Martin Bursik graduated with a doctorate in environmental studies at the Faculty of Natural Sciences of the Charles University in Prague in 1984. He was the Czech Republic’s environment minister in 1998. From 2005-2009 he was a chair of the Czech Green Party. After the parliamentary elections in 2006, when the Greens entered the Parliament for the first time in Central and Eastern Europe, he became a vice-prime minister, minister for the environment (2007-2009) and a green deputy of the Czech Parliament (2006-2010).

During the Czech Presidency in the first half of 2009 he represented the EU Council at the international climate negotiations with mayor economies of the United States of America, China, India, Canada, Japan, Russia, Australia, African states and others.

Bursík was an the activist of the Movement for Civic Liberty and member of the Vaclav Havels' Civic Forum after the Velvet Revolution in November 1989.

He currently works as a consultant in the area of energy and environment as a director of Ecoconsulting s.r.o. 

Kateřina Čapková is research fellow at the Institute for Contemporary History, Czech Academy of Sciences. She also teaches courses at Faculty of Arts, Charles University.

Čapková studied History and German Studies at Charles University in Prague, at the University of Vienna and in Münster (Germany). In 1998/1999, she was a visiting student at the Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies and she spent a semester at INALCO (Institute for Oriental Languages and Civilization) in Paris in 2000. Further research stays abroad include the University in Basel (2005) and Free University in Berlin (2010/2011).

In 2005, Čapková published Češi, Němci, Židé? Národní identita Židů v Čechách, 1918-1938, about national identities of Jews in Bohemia in the interwar period. The English revised version is forthcoming by Berghahn Books in spring 2012. Her next book, written together with Michal Frankl, was focused on Czechoslovak refugee politics in the interwar period and the situation of German and Austrian refugees in Czechoslovakia in the 1930s (Nejisté útočiště. Československo a uprchlíci před nacismem, 1933-1938, Prague 2008; German version is forthcoming by Boehlau Verlag in 2012).

Čapková is currently working on a comparative study about Jewish settlements in the Czechoslovak and Polish border regions after the WWII.

Rob Cameron is the BBC's correspondent in the Czech Republic and Slovakia, covering politics, human interest stories, arts and other issues for BBC Radio, BBC TV and BBC Online. Rob moved to Prague in 1993. He began his radio career in 1999, when he joined Radio Prague, the international service of Czech Radio, to which he remains a regular contributor. Cameron began reporting for the BBC in 2001, and became the BBC's Czech and Slovak correspondent in 2004. He has also reported for the BBC from Albania, Poland, Russia and the United States. He is currently working on a book based on a three-week journey across the Czech Republic by slow train. 

A well-received lecturer and a translator from Czech, Slovak, Russian and French, Clarice Cloutier currently teaches both undergraduate and graduate courses in Central European literature & culture at Charles University in Prague and New York University in Prague, as well as serving as a guest researcher and lecturer at the Universiteit van Amsterdam in The Netherlands. 

Dr. Cloutier completed her pre-college Slavic studies at Yale University and graduated Magna cum laude with an Honors degree in Russian from Dartmouth College. She subsequently received her M.A. from Princeton University in Russian and Czech Studies and a Master of Studies in Slavonic Studies from the University of Oxford (UK), specializing in 20th Century Czech poetry. In 2005, she received her Ph.D. in Czech Literature at Charles University. Clarice Cloutier has been inducted into the Phi Beta Kappa and Golden Key National Honor Societies and has received the Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn prize for Slavic Studies. She is the author of poetry and has been awarded several prizes for her poetry recitations. Most recently, she has published (together with Bohemist Bronislava Volková) the several-hundred page book entitled Up the Devil’s Back: A Bi-lingual Anthology of 20th Century Czech Poetry and is currently preparing an anthology of contemporary Slovak prose for the Dalkey Archive Press at the University of Illinois.  

Since 1989, Ivana Doležalová has worked as a researcher, interpreter and co-correspondent for the Central European Office of National Public Radio and The New York Times in Prague plus for various other foreign media (BBC, Danish TV, ABC, PBS). She has also worked as a translator and moderator for Center of Independent Journalism in Prague, Czech Republic, and has translated the works of Fay Weldon, Woody Allen, Susan Sontag, Erica Jong, and Sue Grafton.

A Fulbright scholar and later visiting professor teaching media, film and literature at Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois and University of Washington, Seattle, US (1994-97, 1999, and 2001), Dolezalova was also invited to give talks on film, history and feminism at University of Washington, Stanford and Harvard.

Presently, she is lecturing on Czech and European Film, Collegium Hieronymi Pragensis and Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic. Dolezalova also writes articles, reviews and interviews for various magazines and newspapers (Respekt weekly and The Presence quarterly). She is a Juror of the International Committee of Women of Europe Award, Brussels, Belgium and President of the Czech Committee of Women of Europe Award.       

Petr Dostál is currently a professor of Political and Social Geography at Charles University and, since 2003, chairman of the Commission on Social Sciences for the Czech government's Research and Development Council.

Born in Prague, Dostál studied geography from 1965 to 1968 at Charles University and fled Czechoslovakia in the autumn of 1968 to settle in the Netherlands. He graduated with a degree in social geography from the State University of Groningen and received his Ph.D. in regional economics and economic geography from the Faculty of Economic Sciences and Econometrics of the University of Amsterdam.

Dostál taught at the University of Amsterdam from 1972 to 1998. He has published papers in leading journals and books on issues of ethnonationalism, regional development, territorial administration and post-communist political mobilisation, as well as on European integration and public opinion. Dostál has authored or co-authored five books. He is currently a member of the editorial boards of four international journals, including GeojournalAn International Journal of Human Geography and Environmental Sciences (Kluwer Publisher, Dordrecht) and The Belgian Journal of Geography (Royal Belgian Society of Geography). 

 Jaroslava Gajdosova received her MA and Ph.D. in Sociology from the New School for Social Research in New York and an MA in history from Charles University in Prague. She has taught Sociology at Anglo American University in Prague and currently teaches courses on identity, gender and inequality at NYU and at AAU. Her main teaching and research interests lie in Cultural Sociology and in Critical Theory. Gajdosova has been published in academic journals on contemporary sociological theories and on German collective memory and identity. She has also worked as a researcher fellow at the New School University, Columbia University, Universität Greifswald and Humboldt Universität Berlin.

Currently a Marketing & Media Coach, Hana Huntova has worked in marketing and communication since 1994. She has held various positions in advertising agencies in the Czech Republic and abroad, including MindShare and Saatchi & Saatchi, followed by working in marketing and communications functions in Unilever.  In 2007, she established an independent coaching and training company, whose clients have included Unilever, Czech Television, Millward Brown, Union of Publishers, Google, and others.

A graduate of the Czech University of Agriculture in Prague, Huntova is an active member of the Czech Association of Advertisers. She was one of the judges of the European Effie in Berlin in 2002 and has been the judge of the Czech Effie for the past 6 years. 

A full time teacher of Czech for foreigners, Monika Janouchová has taught at Accent Language School and Charles Unversity while also instructing students privately. Janouchová holds a Master’s Degree in pedagogy from the Hradec Kralové Teaching College. 

Jan Jirák is Deputy Chair of the Centre for Media Studies at Charles University, as well as a faculty member of the Department of Media Studies, where he has taught Czech communications and mass media since 1992. An author and co-author of books and articles on the role of media and communication in contemporary society, media literacy and media education, Jirák is also the former chairman of the Czech Television Council and the former editor of KMIT Quarterly. Previously a translator of English-language movies for Czech TV Broadcasting, he still translates English language novels (e.g., Updike, Vonnegut, Frazer) and academic books on media (e.g., McQuail, Meyrowitz, Thompson). Additionally, he is co-author of the project of media education for Czech primary and secondary schools.

Jirák holds an M.A. degree from Charles University in English and Czech language and literature and has a Ph.D. from Charles University in media studies. He wrote his Ph.D. thesis on the development of media in post-transformational societies. In 2002, he became an associate professor, writing his professor´s thesis on the concept of media literacy. In 2008, he became a full-time professor in media studies. He holds professional affiliations with the Syndicate of Journalists of the Czech Republic, the Czech Union of Translators, and the Czech Circle for Modern Philology. 

Zdeněk Kirschner is the former Vice-president of the Academy (College) of Music Arts. Since the early 1990’s, Kirschner has taught photography courses in the Department of Journalism at Charles University’s Faculty of Social Sciences; he has also taught at the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague since 1983. In 1999, he earned his full professorship there.

Kirschner has a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from Charles University, which he earned in 1952. He has curated and co-curated dozens of photographic and literary exhibitions in Prague and abroad. From 1952 to 1968, he worked as curator, archivist and head curator of the Literary and Exhibition Department at the Prague Museum of Czech Literature. There, he worked on the first Franz Kafka exhibition in 1964. From 1970 to 1992, he acted as head curator in the Department of Prints and Photography at the Prague Museum of Decorative Arts, where he curated several international exhibitions. 

Dr. Tomáš Klvaňa currently works as the executive director of the Zdeněk Bakala Non-Profit Programs where, besides other projects, he has overseen the establishment of the Aspen Institute partner in the Czech Republic. He serves as the vice-president of the Aspen Institute Prague Board of Directors. In 2003 Dr. Klvaňa worked as the press secretary and policy adviser for the President of the Czech Republic, and in 2007-08 as a Special Government Communications Envoy for the Missile Defense Program. In 2001-03 Dr. Klvaňa was deputy editor-in-chief of Hospodářské noviny (a leading Czech daily newspaper), and in 2000-01 a senior international affairs commentator for the Czech daily newspaper Mladá fronta Dnes.

In 2011 he published his first novel, Marina. A Russian Story, in Czech (Marina. Ruský příběh. Paseka Publishing, Prague, 2011). Dr. Klvaňa serves on the Board of Directors of Economia Publishing, a leading Czech media organization, and also on the Board of the Harvard Club of Prague,  and is a member of Czech Euroatlantic Council. In 2012 he was awarded the Distinguished Leadership Award for Internationals from the University of Minnesota, where he earned his Ph.D. in Speech Communication in 1997. He also holds an M.A. in Journalism from the Charles University in Prague (1992). In 2003 he was a Shorenstein Fellow at the Harvard University Kennedy School. Dr. Klvaňa publishes a blog in Czech and analyses of international relations for leading Czech media. He frequently participates in international conferences. In 2005-06 and 2008-11 he worked in several managerial positions for British American Tobacco in Prague, Hamburg, London and Brussels.


Since 2004, Evžen Kočenda has been a Professor of Economics at CERGE, Charles University in Prague and, since 2002, Citigroup Endowment Professor. He is also a Research Fellow of the William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan Business School and a Research Affiliate of CEPR, London.

Kočenda graduated in 1985 from the Prague School of Economics in International Trade Management. He received his M.A. in Economics from the University of Toledo, Ohio, in 1992, and completed his graduate studies in Economics at the University of Houston, Texas, earning a Ph.D. degree in 1996. From 1996 to 1998, he was Deputy Director for Research at CERGE and the Economics Institute of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic.

In 1997, Kočenda was the Economic Advisor to the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic. From 1998 to 1999, he was a member of the Scientific Council of the Ministry of Transport and Communications and since 1999 has been a member of the CERGE Scientific Council. He is a member of the editorial board of the journal Finance a uver and the Journal of Comparative Economics. 

Inez Koeltzch teaches Modern Jewish History at NYU Prague 

Michal Kubát is a member of the Department of Russian and East-European Studies at Charles University in Prague and a part-time member of the Department of Political Science and International Relations at Western Bohemian University in Pilsen.

Kubát received both his B.A. and M.A. in political science from the Department of Political Studies at Charles University. He successfully completed his doctoral thesis at Charles University's Institue of International Studies in 2005.

A member of the editorial board of a number of periodicals, including Political Science Review, Kubát has published numerous titles on the politics of transition in the former Soviet bloc. 

Zdeněk Kühn is an Associate Professor at Charles University Law School, where he teaches legal theory, criminal law and human rights. He is also a lecturer for the Judicial Academy of the Czech Republic, which further educates Czech judges, and has been co-director of the international seminars “Constitutionalism: Europe and the United States in Comparative Perspective,” IUC Dubrovnik, since 2004. He graduated from the Charles University Law School in 1997 and received his Ph.D. degree there in 2001. He holds a Master of Laws (LL.M.) and Science Juridical Doctor (S.J.D.) degrees from the University of Michigan Law School. 

He has been awarded several prizes including the Bolzano Prize and the Hessel Yntema Prize, Berkeley, California, for the best article by a scholar under 40 (published in vol. 52 of the American Journal of Comp. Law). In addition to publishing widely in the Czech Republic and abroad, Professor Kühn is also a legal practitioner (he passed the Bar Exam at the Czech Chamber of Advocates in 2000). He has served as a legal expert on Czech and Slovak law before US courts, for example in 2003 for the plaintiff in the case In Re: Assicurazioni Generali S.p.A. Holocaust Insurance Litigation (United States District Court Southern District of New York), one of the most important recent class action suits in the United States. In Fall 2007, he was appointed by the Czech government to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg to serve as an ad hoc justice in a highly profiled set of cases relating to rent control in the Czech Republic; In December 2007, he was appointed a Justice of the Supreme Administrative Court of the Czech Republic. 

Since 2000, Zdeněk Lukeš, an art historian and architect, has been a professor at the Faculty of Architecture at Technical University Liberec, where he was Dean from 2000 to 2003. He has also been employed as an expert in the National Heritage Department at the Office of the President of the Czech Republic for over 15 years. 

Lukes earned his degree at the Faculty of Architecture of the Czech Technical University in Prague. From 1980 to1990, he worked at Prague's National Museum of Technology. He is the author of many books and articles published both in the Czech Republic and abroad. 

Since 1992, Andrzej Magala has worked at the Czech Academy of Sciences. He graduated from the Philosophical Faculty of Adam Mickiewicz University in Poland in 1976, specializing in Polish language and the theory and history of Polish literature. He studied as a translator in Warsaw for two years before attending Adam Michiewicz University for another four semesters, this time studying sociology and Czech studies. From 1976 to 1992 he worked at the Polish Institute in Prague, teaching Polish to foreigners. He also taught at the Polish Embassy’s school in Prague, at the Polish School for children from mixed marriages, and gave individual Polish lessons to adults. In 2006 he completed his Ph.D. in comparative linguistics at Ostrava University. 

Jan Macháček is a journalist and musician currently working as a commentator for both the daily newspaper Hospodarske noviny and the weekly Respekt, to which he also occasionally contributes articles and interviews. Mr. Macháček also has a blog - Audit Jana Macháčka and provides analysis for Czech public radio and television. Previously, he lectured on Politics and the Economics of Transformation at the Anglo American University in Prague.During communism in the 1980s, Mr. Macháček was involved in underground culture and samizdat publishing. He was a member of the famous underground band The Plastic People of the Universe as a guitar player and later joined the band Garage, with whom he still plays. In the 1980s, he signed Charter 77 and was involved in various dissident activities. He studied at the Prague School of Economics in the first half of the 1980s, but due to political reasons could not finish.After the revolution in 1989, Mr. Macháček coordinated people from theunderground publishing world to create the first independent media outlet in the country, the weekly Respekt (originally titled Information Service). His work for Respekt  frequently earned him awards for both his investigative and analytical writing. In 2000, he effectively became Respekt's deputy editor in chief. Additionally, Mr. Macháček has also been a fellow of the National Forum Foundation in Washington (1994) and the William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan (1998).Mr. Macháček is also a member of the board of Transparency International Czech Republic, serves as a member of the board of Vaclav Havel's Library and this year has been once again awarded the best journalist in the country 

(Ferdinand Peroutka Award). 

Michal March, poet and translator, directs the Prague Writers' Festival ( A graduate of history at Columbia College, he is the author of five volumes of poetry, translated into seven languages. He co-translated Zbigniew Herbert's Barbarian in the Garden and Gojko Djogo'sOvid in Tomis and edited Child of Europe: The Penguin Anthology of East European Poetry and The Vintage Book of Contemporary Eastern European Writing. In London, he founded The Covent Garden Readings at the Arts Theatre, the East European Forum at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, and presented Child of Europe at the National Theatre. 

Bill Miller completed his Ph.D. at the University of Dallas’ Institute of Philosophic Studies in 2006, an interdisciplinary program in philosophy, politics, and literature. His teaching career has involved stints in Kyrgyzstan (1996) and Czech Republic (2006-2009).

Miller worked for 7 years at the Hendricks Leadership Center (1998-2005) in Dallas, Texas, before beginning work in 2005 as a organizational development consultant for Premiere Global Services (NYSE: PGI), a global communications solutions company. He has worked closely with PGS’s chief people officer in designing a development model and program for the company’s employees. He and his wife, Lisa, have resided in Prague since 2006. Their two boys (ages 9 and 12) are avid ice hockey players. 

Photography - Assistant 

Currently Petr Mucha serves as an Interfaith Dialogue Project coordinator for the Forum 2000 Foundation, which organizes annual international conferences under the auspices of Václav Havel. He also works as a lecturer in various educational institutions.

After completing his graduate studies in Geography and Religious Studies at Charles University in 1994, Mucha served as a director of a nonprofit educational organization and taught at universities in Prague and Hradec Králové. During that period he studied sociology and philosophy and undertook internships at various institutions in USA, Great Britain, France and Malta. Later, throughout his doctoral studies at the Faculty of Arts, Charles University he spent several years in Canada as a visiting scholar and lecturer at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver.

During communism in the late 1980s, Mucha became actively involved in underground activities and in the student revolt during the Velvet Revolution in 1989. 

Karel B. Müller currently teaches courses on civil society and political sociology as a professor at the University of Economics in Prague, and he also lectures at Charles University. From 2004-05 he was a visiting lecturer and scholar at the University of Nottingham and Nottingham Trent University in the United Kingdom.

Müller earned a MA in philosophy (1996) and a Ph.D. in political science (2002) from Charles University. His publication Češi a občanská společnost (Czechs and Civil Society), published in 2002, has become a core reading for political science educational programs at several universities in the Czech Republic. He is a member of the Czech Political Science Association, the American Political Science Association, the Helsinki Committee in the Czech Republic and is on the board of the Institute for Economic and Political Culture, a Prague-based think tank. 

Richard Müller currently holds position as Scholar at the Institute of the Czech Literature, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic. In 2011, he was a Visiting Professor at Brown University, Providence, RI.

Richard Müller earned his MA in Czech and English Studies and his Ph.D. in Czech and Comparative Literature at Charles University. In 2005, he earned a scholarship at the University of Konstanz, Germany.

In 2012, he published A Dictionary of Contemporary Literary Theory, which was nominated for the Book of the Year by Lidové noviny. The areas of Richard Müller’s research and expertise include literary theory, modern Czech and English literature and the correlation of literary and historical context and writing. He is also a translator (Roald Dahl’s short stories, Leonardo da Vinci’s notebooks).

In addition to his academic profession, Richard Müller is a classically trained pianist.


Since September 2000, Salim Murad has been a lecturer in Political Science at the Pedagogical Faculty of the University of South Bohemia in České Budějovice. He teaches courses on the History of Political Thought, the Basics of Political Science, the Political System of the Czech Republic, the Principles of Multicultural Tolerance, and the Integration of Europe. He is also finishing his research as a Ph.D. student in the Department of Political Science at Comenius University in Bratislava.

Murad graduated from the Faculty of Social Studies at Masaryk University in Brno with a degree in Political Science. From April to June 2003, he was a Visiting Fellow at the Refugee Studies Centre, Queen Elizabeth House, University of Oxford. His reseach there was the Issue of Asylum in the Czech Republic: From the Fall of Communism to Access to the EU. He also studied at the Institute of Political Science, Copenhagen University in 2004.

His research interests include the current development of migration flows from the perspective of the Czech Republic in uniting Europe and the European Union and its impact on domestic policy development during the transition to democracy and the consolidation of democracy since 1989. Currently he also works on projects for UNHCR Czech Republic, the Human Rights Education Centre of Charles University in Prague. 

Currently the editor of the Orientace supplement of the Czech daily newspaper Lidove noviny, Tomáš Němeček graduated with an M.A. in media and mass communications from Charles University in 1996, and in 2003 he earned a law degree from the Charles University Law Faculty. From 1993 to 1995 he worked as a reporter and columnist for the weekly Czech magazine Mladý svět. In 1995 he started writing for the weekly newspaper Respekt, where he was editor-in-chief from 2003 to 2005. Later he was the chief commentator of the Czech business daily Hospodarske noviny (2005-2009). 

Simon North currently teaches survey courses for the University of New York in Prague. He has worked as an art history lecturer for numerous American study abroad programs in Prague (SIT, NYU, CIEE, Lexia), and was Academic Director of the SIT program “Arts and Social Change” in 1997.

North received his M.A. in Fine Art from the University of Edinburgh. Following post-graduate studies in painting at the Edinburgh College of Art, he worked as an independent artist, drawing teacher and freelance lecturer/guide at the National Galleries of Scotland. From 1988 to 1993 he taught English in France, the UK, Hungary and Czechoslovakia. He was a tutor in the Department of History and Philosophy of Art and Architecture at the Central European University from 1992-96 (where he was also responsible for library acquisitions) until the university closed in Prague. He continues to paint on a freelance basis, and is currently focusing on landscape painting. 

Jiří Novák has been a freelance teacher of English and Czech for foreigners since 1990; he has been teaching at NYU since the fall of 2001. 

Novák graduated from Charles University in 1989 with a Masters degree in Czech and English language and literature, and a specialization in pedagogy. Besides tutoring, in the 1990´s he also translated a number of films and TV series (including 12 episodes of The Simpsons) for Czech TV. 

Monika MacDonagh Pajerová is chairperson of the civic association YES for Europe ( She studied modern philology at the Philosophical Faculty of Charles University in Prague, earning her doctorate there  in 1991. In 1987, she attended scholarship program at the Linkoping University in Sweden.

From 1988 to 1989, she lead the Student Press and Information Centre in Prague. During the Velvet Revolution she was the spokesperson for the University Strike Committee.

In 1990, Pajerová entered the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Czech Republic and became cultural attaché at the Czech Embassy in Paris until 1994. From1994 to 1998, she served as Administrator of the Culture Committee in the Council of Europe in Strasbourg. In 1998, she served as head and spokesperson of the Press Dept. of the Ministry of  Foreign Affairs in Prague.

From 1999 to 2000, Pajerová was the author and moderator of Shall We Get On? and Studio Europe, respectively television and radio programs about the EU.  

She has published two books, Students Wrote a Revolution with M. Benda, P. Dobrovský and Š. Pánek, and, in connection with a CE project, New Ideas in Science and Society (1997).  Pajerová has two children with her Irish husband, Peter MacDonagh. She speaks Czech, English, French, German, Russian and Swedish. 

Currently Director ofNYU Prague, Jiří Pehe was Director of the Political Department of Czech President Václav Havel from September 1997 to May 1999. He serves as Chairman of the Program Committee of the Forum 2000 Foundation that organizes annual international conferences under Havel’s auspices.

From 1995 to 1997, Pehe was Director of Analysis and Research Department at the Open Media Research Institute in Prague. Between 1988 and 1995, he first worked as an analyst of Central European affairs and later as Director of Central European Research at the Research Institute of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty in Munich, Germany. From 1985 to 1988, Pehe was Director of East European Studies at Freedom House in New York.

Pehe studied law and philosophy at Charles University in Prague from 1974 to 1978. In 1980, he received a doctorate in law (JUDr.) from the School of Law of Charles University. He fled Czechoslovakia in 1981 and eventually settled in the U.S.A. In 1985 he graduated from the School of International Affairs at Columbia University in New York.

Pehe has written hundreds of articles and analytical studies on developments in Eastern Europe for American, Czech, and German periodicals and academic journals. He is a regular contributor to various Czech newspapers and regularly comments on political developments for Czech Television and Radio. He co-authored and edited a book titled The Prague Spring: A Mixed Legacy, which was published by Freedom House in 1988. In 2002, his book Vytunelovaná demokracie was published by Academia, Prague. Pehe has also contributed essays and chapters to various other books. He teaches at Charles University and NYU Prague.

Magdaléna Platzová was born in Prague in 1972. After finishing secondary school, she studied at Georgetown University in Washington D.C. and at Brockwood Park School in England, a school based on the teachings of the Indian philosopher Jiddu Krishnamurti. In 1992, she returned to Prague to study Philosophy at Charles University, receiving a Master´s degree in 1998. After that she worked as a free-lance actress, journalist and translator until 2001, when she became editor of the weekly journal Literarni noviny (Literary News). Since January 2008, she has worked as a literary and cultural editor at the weekly journal Respekt based in Prague.

Platzová is the author of three stage plays, as well as of poems, numerous interviews, reports, literary reviews and articles. She also published three books of fiction, the fourth - a collection of short stories - is coming out in Semptember 2008. Her last novel Aaronův skok (Aaron´s Dive, Torst, 2006) is inspired by the life of the Austrian born Jewish painter and art teacher Friedl Dicker-Brandeis who is best known for her work with Jewish children in the Ghetto of Terezin in 1942-44. 

Milada Polišenská is Vice-President for Educational Development and Chair of the School of International Relations and Diplomacy at the New Anglo-American College in Prague (  She earned her Ph.D. in History from Charles University in Prague in 1987 and her Docentship from Palacky University in Olomouc in 2006.  She was a Fulbright Scholar at George Washington University in 1992 and in 1995 was named a Woodrow Wilson Fellow in the Cold War International History Project in Washington, D.C. She has taught as a Visiting Professor in the United States (at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln and at Texas Tech University) and at universities in Taiwan.

The author of a number of articles and monographs in diplomatic history and Central and Eastern European historical  issues, Polišenská's most recent book is on Czechoslovaks deported to the Gulag camps in the Soviet Union and  Czechoslovak diplomacy, 1945-1953. 

Janusz Salamon is a philosopher specializing in moral and political theory and cross-cultural philosophy (esp. global ethics). He is Senior Lecturer in Philosophy at the Faculty of Social Sciences of Charles University in Prague. He studied at University of London (B.A.), University of Oxford (M.Phil.) and Jagiellonian University in Cracow (Ph.D.). He joined the faculty of New York University Prague in 2011. He serves as Co-Editor (with Dr. Anna Abram, University of London) of the Bloomsbury Studies in Global Ethics, a book series published by Bloomsbury Publishing London, and is a member of Editorial Committee of the Journal of East-West Thought published by the International Association for East-West Studies. He is also an Associate Member of the John Hick Centre for Philosophy of Religion at the University of Birmingham and the Editor-in-Chief of the European Journal for Philosophy of Religion.



Since 1995, Ilona Floriánová Šaršonová has specialized in teaching Czech for foreigners, both privately and for the Calix Language School and NYU Prague. She studied Czech language and literature at the Pedagogical faculty of Charles University. After graduating with her Masters degree, Šaršonová taught at Jesinova Elementary school for five years and spent one year instructing high school sophomores in art. 

 Lukáš Sedláček is currently President of the Oxford & Cambridge Alumni Society Czech Republic and Executive Director of the European Leadership & Academic Instiute (ELAI). Previously he worked in the Government of the Czech Republic in the Department for Informing on European Affairs, in the Ministry of Defence as Policy Analyst for Cubic Defense Applications Group, in the think-tank Yes for Europe as Project Manager and at Telefónica O2 as the Chief EU Projects Coordinator and Senior Business Development Manager. He was also a Co-Founder and Spokesperson of a civic iniciative Yes for Svejnar during the last Czech presidential campaign.  


Sedláček holds degrees MPhil. in International Relations from the University of Cambridge and PhDr. in European Studiues from the Charles University. Previously he studied International and Area Studies, Comparative Religion and Jewish Studies at the Charles University and International Relations at the Otago University in New Zealand.

Vilem Semerak currently teaches Intro to Economic Issues at NYU Prague 

Jaroslava Sitkancova teaches 21-st Century Theatremakers at NYU Prague 

Ivo Šlosarčík is a lecturer of European and international law at the Jean Monnet Center of Excellence, Charles University; he is also the deputy-head of the department. Czech correspondent for the European Public Law Journal,  Šlosarčík is also a member of the advisory board to the European Constitution at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He is a founding member of the Insititute for European Policy EUROPEUM, where he is active as director for research.

Slosarčík holds degrees from Charles University’s Faculty of Law and Central European University in Budapest. His major areas of interests are legal issues of European integration, judicial and police co-operation in the EU and Czech reform of the civil service and judiciary. 

Milan Šmíd is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Journalism of the Charles University’s Faculty of Social Sciences, where he has taught courses on television history and developments and foreign media since 1991. He earned his M.A. from the School of Social Sciences and Journalism at Charles University in 1970. Prior to joining the University in 1990, he worked for the former Czechoslovak Television station in several capacities, lastly in the Department of Foreign Programs. From 1990 to 1991, he was a member of an expert group organized by the federal government for the drafting the Czech Broadcasting Law. He wrote several studies on broadcasting legislation commissioned by the Czech parliament (on the regulation of broadcasting in Europe, on license fees, etc.). He has authored numerous studies and monographs on the transformation of the Czech electronic media, in Czech, German and English (for details see 

Vlad Sobell is a leading Russia and Eastern Europe analyst and commentator with more than 35 years’ experience. He began his career at Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty in Munich in the mid-1980s as an analyst focused on the former Soviet bloc. From 1990 onwards he worked for the Economist Intelligence Unit in London – the research arm of the world-renowned weekly newspaper The Economist – as editor for Russia and Eastern Europe. Thereafter he spent some 15 years working in the City of London as a senior economist and analyst for Russia and Eastern Europe. Throughout his career he has published extensively and given numerous media interviews.

Sobell obtained his Ph.D. from St Antony’s College, Oxford for a dissertation on economic integration in the Soviet bloc. He also holds a Master’s degree from the University of Essex, UK, and a Bachelor’s degree in Russian studies from the University of Liverpool, UK.

Sobell was born in Prague but left for the West in 1969, shortly after the Soviet invasion. He returned to live and work in Prague in early 2012.


Dinah Spritzer is the central and eastern Europe editor for the New York-based Jewish Telegraphic Agency, a news wire service founded in 1917 that reaches 1 million people through 110 newspapers, magazines and web sites. She covers security, political, religious and social issues in ten countries. Dinah is also a regular contributor to the New York Times, providing insights on the Central European cultural scene. Previously Dinah was news editor for four years at The Prague Post, Central Europe's leading English-language weekly. She upgraded the political coverage of the newspaper and as a result became a columnist for several Czech dailies. Prior to arriving in Prague, Dinah worked as the Europe editor for Travel Weekly, the largest travel business weekly in the United States, where she was also a regular contributor to the magazine Conde Nast Traveler and Fodor's Travel Guides. Dinah believes that freelancing for a variety of media outlets keeps a journalist on her toes: She has written on  topics from combating obesity to the imperialist nature of Santa Claus for the New York Times, USA Today, The San Francisco Chronicle, Womens' E-news, The Canadian Medical Association Journal, The Independent of London, The Irish Examiner, The Jerusalem Post, and even OK! Magazine and USWeekly. She also contributes regularly to Grazia and the Sunday Mirror in the United Kingdom.

Tatiana Štíhelová has been teaching Russian language courses at NYU Prague since 2000. She was born in Moscow and received her M.A. first class honors degree from the Philological Faculty of Moscow State Pedagogical University. She then held the post of Russian Lector for 9 terms at Oxford University. Styrkas also earned her Master of Letters Degree from the Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages at Oxford University, United Kingdom.



Vanda Thorne teaches and researches on the themes of mass mentality, social movements, and collective civil action in totalitarian and post-totalitarian regimes. Other interests include gender and politics in Central Europe, ideology and propaganda, and theories of cultural resistance. She received her Ph.D. in Communication from the University of Pittsburgh. She also holds an M.A. in English and American Literature from Masaryk University in Brno, Czech Republic, and an M.A. in Gender and Culture from Central European University in Budapest, Hungary. 

Tomáš Trampota is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Media Studies at the Faculty of Social Sciences at Charles University; there, and at Vyšší odborná škola publicistiky, he has taught courses on Sociology of NewsMedia and SocietyMedia Content Analysisand Analysis of Media. He earned his Ph.D. degree in media studies in 2005 and later worked as an executive producer for Czech television (from 1992 to 1996) and as editor of the specialized weekly Marketing and Media (from 2003 to 2004).

Trampota regularly publishes on Czech media in the Czech press and has authored the monography Zpravodajství (News) and several academic studies and analysis. He frequently participates in international conferences on media and occasionally translates media literature from English to Czech (e.g., Meyrowitz).           

Hana Ulmanová is a senior lecturer in American literature at Charles University. She studied Czech and English and American language and literature both in Olomouc and in Prague, where she earned her Ph.D. in 1995. She also received an M.A. in American civilization from George Washington University (1992).

Ulmanová´s chief areas of expertise are contemporary American literature, American Jewish literature and literature of the American South. In those fields, she has offered several advanced classes and supervised numerous M.A. theses and Ph.D. dissertations. In the academic year 1997-98, she was a Fulbright scholar at NYU in New York City, researching contemporary prose, and she attended quite a few conferences and workshops (such as Salzburg Seminars or CEU summer program in Budapest).

Ulmanová is a regular contributor to MFDnes, the most widely read Czech newspaper, and the prestigious political and cultural weekly Respekt. She has written close to 100 book reviews and essays and conducted interviews with leading American literary figures (e.g., Arthur Miller, William Styron, Edward Albee and Gore Vidal). She is a translator of short stories by Truman Capote, Tennessee Williams, Eudora Welty, Arthur Miller, Bernard Malamud and Isaac B. Singer and of Nicole Krauss´s The History of Love and Ambrose Bierce´s The Devil´s Dictionary. She has also translated poetry (Emily Dickinson) and drama (David Ives). In addition to Czech and English, she speaks Russian, German, French, Spanish and elementary Yiddish and Hebrew. 

Jan Urban, who has recenly worked on several projects in Iraq training journalists and working on building reconciliation measures through the reconstruction of cultural heritage sites, was one of the leading dissidents under the communist regime. In 1974, he graduated with a degree in history and philosophy from Charles University. From then until 1989, Urban, forbidden by the communists to continue his academic career, worked as a schoolteacher and a manual laborer. He was one of the founders of the Eastern European Information Agency, a dissident network. He also worked with underground newspapers and as a reporter for Radio Free Europe and the British Broadcasting Company. In November 1989, he helped found the Civic Forum, the movement that led to the eventual overthrow of the Communist regime in Czechoslovakia, and was placed in charge of its logistics and management. In 1990, Urban was elected as the Civic Forum's spokesperson and leader. He led the Civic Forum to its victory in the first free democratic elections in June 1990.

He resigned from all political positions one day after announcing the electoral defeat of Communism and returned to pursue his career in journalism. He studied post-conflict societies in Central America and won two international human rights awards from Humanitas, San Francisco, in 1991 and Centro Demos in San Salvador in 1995. Urban also served as a war correspondent in Bosnia and Herzegovina from 1993 through 1996 and was the publisher of Transitions magazine from 1997 to 1999.

More recently, he has made two documentary films, one of them on the Kosovo conflict. He is the author of three books, two of them on the war in Bosnia and one on a major corruption case in the Czech Republic. He is currently working on a book of interviews with the founder of the People in Need Foundation, Simon Panek. Last semester, Urban brought Joan Baez to his NYU class, which, he says, was great fun.  

Since 1993, Otto M. Urban has been teaching courses on Modern Czech Art for numerous international university programs in Prague, including New York University, American University, CIEE, and ECES. 

Urban studied art history and aesthetics at Charles University from 1985-1990; in 2000, he earned his Ph.D. in the same field. From 1994 to 1998, he taught art history at Charles University, and subsequently worked as a researcher at the Institute of Art History in Prague. He has also taught courses on art history in the U.S.: at the University of Texas at Austin in 1999, 2001, 2003 and 2005, at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2007 (he has cooperated with the SAIC since 2001).

Since 1990, he has focused his studies on Central European symbolism, specifically the question of decadence. He was curator of a number of exhibitions (including František Kobliha in 1990, Moderní revue in 1995,and Karel Hlaváček in 1998, 2003). He also co-curated exhibitions of Alfred Kubin (2003) and Arnold Schönberg (2004). His recent project (2007) was a major exhibition In Morbid Colours, Art and the Idea of Decadence in the Bohemian Lands, 1880 – 1914.

Urban's articles about Decadence and Symbolism have been published in magazines in the Czech Republic and abroad and his texts have been included in a number of anthologies and publications. He published his first monograph on Karel Hlaváček (2002), one of the main figures of Czech Decadence. His latest book is In Morbid Colours, Art and the Idea of Decadence in the Bohemian Lands, 1880 – 1914 (2007, English version). He is currently working on a monograph about painter and graphic artist František Kobliha (2008) and on an exhibition and a book, Eroticism in Art in the Bohemian Lands (2011). 

Tomáš Vachuda is a practicing attorney, admitted in New York and the Czech Republic, and the managing partner of Vachuda & Co., a Prague based business consultancy and law firm specializing in international transactions and corporate law.  He is also Vice President of the Anglo-American University and Senior Lecturer in Business Law at the John H. Carey II School of Law at the Anglo-American University.

Although born in Prague, Vachuda grew up and studied in the United States, earning undergraduate degrees from the University of Washington (history) and the Jackson School of International Studies (Russian and East European Studies), a masters from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, an MBA from Chapman University and a JD from the Yale Law School.  During his studies he managed a political polling operation for the Democratic Party in Seattle and spent nine summers in Yellowstone National Park conducting research on geysers and hot springs. 

Vachuda practiced law for most of the 1990s with Simpson Thacher & Bartlett in New York City, subsequently served as the Managing Consultant of the Central European Advisory Group, and in 2005 founded Vachuda & Co. 

Gaëlle Vassogne is an assistant professor of German Studies at the Université Stendhal in Grenoble, France, where she specializes in German history, business German and Jewish history in Central and Eastern Europe. She has taught at the Universität Heidelberg, the Université Paris 3 – Sorbonne Nouvelle and the Institut d’Etudes Politiques. She studied German Studies at the Ecole Normale Supérieure and at the Université Paris 3 – Sorbonne Nouvelle and Business at H.E.C. In 2004, she received her Ph.D. from the Université Paris 3 – Sorbonne Nouvelle. She will be publishing her book "Max Brod und Prag: Identität und Vermittlung" in 2009 (Niemeyer, Tübingen) and is currently working on a project on Prague Zionism. 

Lenka Vlasakova teaches Czech language at NYU Prague 

Tomáš Vrba graduated from Charles University with a Ph.D. in philosophy and worked from 1974 to 1977 as a social worker. In 1977, he was a signatory of the Charter 77 human-rights declaration. Through the 80s he worked as an editor of samizdat literature and from November 1989 through the spring of 1990, he was a member of the Občanské Forum (Civic Forum).  Editor-in-Chief of the Lettre Internationale quarterly (Czech and Slovak edition) from 1990 to 1995, Vrba founded and was president of the AEJ-Association of European Journalists/Czech section in 1993. From 1997 until 2000, he was the Editor-in Chief of the monthly magazine Nová Přítomnost/The New Presence; more recently, from 2002 to 2004, he was the Association of European Journalist international Vice President and, until 2007, the Chair of the Czech News Agency Council (ČTK). He is currently President of the Board of Directors at Theater Archa and the Forum 2000 Foundation.  

Currently the Head of the EU Office, Česká spořitelna/ Erste Bank in Prague, Petr Zahradnik was born 1965 in Prague, where he graduated from the Prague School of Economics (Finance) in 1987. He went on to study at Columbia University, New York (Economic policy management) in 1993, and the Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium in 1993 (European studies). 

Zahradnik undertook economic research for the World Bank, Institute for European and International Studies (Luxembourg), and the Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (Austria) between 1993 – 1995. In the Czech Republic, he has worked as a macroeconomic analyst and Chief Economist and Head of Research for brokerage companies, Patria Finance and Conseq Finance. Between 1995 and 1998, he was External Advisor to the President of the Czech Republic for Economic Affairs. Since 2003, he has been Head of the EU Office at Česká spořitelna/ Erste Bank. 

Zahradník is a member of the Scientific Board at the Prague School of Economics. He has published a book on European integration (C.H. Beck, 2003), several chapters for other books, several tens of articles in impact specialized journals, and several hundreds of articles in general newspapers in the Czech Republic as well as abroad. He has also several thousands of quotations in Czech and foreign media, including Reuters, Bloomberg, Financial Times, or New York Times. 

Josef Zieleniec, the former Minister of Foreign Affairs (1993-1997), has been a Senator since 2000 and a Member of the European Parliament since 2004.  He was also a member of the Faculty of Social Sciences, Charles University, and of the Executive Board of CERGE.

Zieleniec attended the School of Nuclear Technology in Prague, the Prague School of Economics, and earned his Ph.D. in Economics at the Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences. Prior to 1989, Zieleniec worked at the Research Institute of Technology and Economics and later went on to join the Institute of Economics of the Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences.

In the early 1980s, Zieleniec founded and became the first Director of the Centre for Economic Research and Graduate Education (CERGE) at Charles University in Prague. At that time Zieleniec was appointed associate professor of economics and was a member of the Scientific Council of the Faculty of Social Sciences, Charles University. He is a co-founder of the Civic Democratic Party and worked as the party Deputy Chairman beginning in 1991. Following the 1992 elections, Zieleniec was appointed Minister of International Relations of the Czech Republic. After the dissolution of Czechoslovakia on January 1, 1993, he was appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Independent Czech Republic. Following the 1996 elections, he served as Deputy Prime Minister as well as Minister of Foreign Affairs. 

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Faculty Spotlight

Miroslav Pudlák

Miroslav Pudlák ( is a Czech composer and musicologist who lectures at the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague, where he teaches music theory and analysis. He is currently the director of the Czech Music Information Centre, a research institution that promotes Czech contemporary music ( Under his leadership, the center has developed into a non-profit modern arts management facility. It publishes two music magazines (in English and Czech), music directories, books and CDs, as well as running an information service on Czech music and managing archives and databases. Pudlák also works with MoEns, another contemporary music group (, as a conductor and composer.

Professor Pudlák's research concentrates on contemporary and 20th century Czech music. He has published a monograph and many articles on this topic.  In 1985 he founded the contemporary music ensemble Agon, for which he was the artistic director until 1991. He is the author of many orchestral and chamber compositions, and he has also written music for theatre performances and electro-acoustic music. His music has been performed at contemporary music festivals in the USA, Great Britain, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, Poland, Finland, Luxembourg, Ukraine, Mongolia and France and has appeared on the label Arta Records.

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