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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 Bednarova

Veronika Bednarova is a senior reporter and editor for the contemporary Czech cultural and international affairs magazine Reflex.

She spent two years (2012-2014) as the managing editor of the Czech monthly Esprit and two years (2010-2012) as the senior reporter of the weekly magazine Pátek (Friday), both published by Lidové noviny, the most influential Czech daily newspaper known for its high-quality editorial supplements.

Prior to joining Lidove noviny, she worked for 9 years as an international reporter for Reflex magazíne.

Bednarova specializes in cultural and foreign affairs. She has been reporting regularly from the U.S, the U.K and South Africa. She wrote a book feature on Silicon Valley, covered the situation in the Iraqi city of Basra, and wrote a travel column Somewhere in Africa while living in South Africa. She was awarded the 1st Ringier 2002 Award for the Best Cover Story of the Year (covering the 9/11 events in New York), and the 1st Ringier 2005 and 2009 Awards for covering the AIDS epidemic in South Africa.

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

Since 2002, she works as editor-in-chief of the Czech-English Festival Dailies at the annual International Film Festival in Karlovy Vary. During her career, Bednarova has interviewed many internationally known personalities (the former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, actors Robert De Niro, Danny DeVito, Robert Redford, Morgan Freeman, Harvey Keitel, Antonio Banderas, John Travolta, Mel Gibson, the film directors Milos Forman, Woody Allen and many others).

She has been teaching at NYU Prague since January 2006. In 2006, she also published a book of her successful travel stories, My American Beauty.

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. 

Katerina Capkova

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

Capkova studied History and German Studies at Charles University in Prague and 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).

She is the author of Czechs, Germans, Jews? National Identity and the Jews of Bohemia (Berghahn Books 2012, pb 2014), which was awarded the Choice Outstanding Academic Title in 2012. Her second book, Unsichere Zuflucht (co-authored with Michal Frankl) focuses on Czechoslovak refugee politics in the interwar period and the situation of German and Austrian refugees in Czechoslovakia in the 1930s (published in Czech and in German).

Capkova is currently working on a comparative study about Jewish settlements in the Czechoslovak and Polish border regions after the Second World War.



Rob Cameron

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. 

William Cohn is an attorney and constitutional law scholar. He has practiced and taught law since 1993, working with clients, judges, international organizations, bar associations and scholars, lecturing and publishing extensively on issues of international jurisprudence. He has taught at Stanford University, lectured at Charles and Anglo-American Universities and taught U.S. law students studying in Prague. In 2010, he has been nominated for the Lorenzo Natali Prize by the European Commission in recognition of contribution to rule of law, human rights and democracy, and appeared as amicus curiae before the International Criminal Court in The Hague in a case of first impression under international law.
Mr. Cohn received his law degree from the University of California and his B.A. degree from Stanford University. He practiced law for a decade in California, where he was honored by the State Bar for his work and the law firm he founded was selected as a sponsor firm of the Bar Association of San Francisco. A member of the State Bar of California, he is admitted for practice in U.S. District Court and the U.S. Court of Appeals. Bill has worked on Capitol Hill, for a U.S. federal district court judge, and at the United Nations. He was invited by the Board of the J. William Fulbright Commission to assist the Commission in developing its agenda and program on the Rule of Law.

Ivana Dolezalova

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.       

Jeremy Druker

Jeremy Druker is the Executive Director and one of the founders of Transitions Online (TOL), a media development organization with the mission of providing independent news and analysis in Central and Eastern Europe, the Balkans and the former Soviet Union. TOL was founded in 1999; it was the winner of the 2001 NetMedia Award for Outstanding Contribution to Online Journalism in Europe and the 2003 NetMedia Award for Best Innovation in Online Journalism.

Jeremy Druker has had his work published in US News & World Report, the Columbia Journalism Review, Oxford Analytica and Transparency International's Global Corruption ReportHe is the author of the chapter on the Czech Republic in the Freedom House Books Nations in Transit.  

Jeremy Druker earned an MA in International Affairs at the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University in 1997, and completed his BA at Harvard College in 1991.

Kristina Foerster

Kristina Foerster graduated from Heinrich-Heine University in Düsseldorf, Germany with a degree in literary translation in 2008. During her undergraduate years, she also studied at the Université Lumière Lyon II, France, and at the University of California, Santa Barbara. She wrote her master thesis on the impossibility of translating Afro-American English into German at the University of Chicago. After receiving her MA in translation, she continued her studies at the University of Illinois in Chicago (UIC) where she earned a Masters Degree in Germanic Studies in 2010. She defended her dissertation on multilingualism in literature in 2013 and is currently working on her first book publication. Her main research interest is contemporary transnational literature, and she has also worked on transnational film, Kafka and translation. Kristina began teaching in 2009 and has greatly enjoyed the opportunity to develop and teach a variety of language and literature courses. 

Dr. Yasar Abu Ghosh is an Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Charles University, where he was the head of the department from 2009-2012.  He has taught as a visiting professor at Central European University in Budapest, Ludwig Maximilians Universitat in Munich, Germany, at the Czech Academy of Sciences, and at the University of New York in Prague.

Dr. Ghosh's has done extensive field research on the Roma in Southern Bohemia, focusing on the Romani identity and how governmental policies have affected this minority group.  He has participated in numerous conferences and published dozens of articles on topic related to this area.  

Yasar Abu Ghosh earned a PhD in ethnology/social anthropology from Charles University in 2008.  He studied social anthropology at the DEA en Sciences Sociales, Laboratoire de Sciences Sociales in Paris. He participated in study programs at the University College London, Central European University (Budapest), and was a visiting post-graduate student in the Department of Anthropology at New York University in 1988.  

Dr. Ghosh founded the Czech Association for Social Anthropology, and has been a member of the board of experts to the Government Council for Roma Community Afffairs.  He is a member of the European Association of Social Anthropologists and an advisor to the Committee for the redress of the Roma Holocaust.

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. 

Monika Janouchova

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. 

Tomas Klvana

Tomas Klvana is a visiting Professor at New York University in Prague and Management Consultant at InReach Global Consulting (, where he specializes in stakeholder strategies and business communication. He is a founder and Vice-President the Aspen Institute Prague and serves as Chairman of Editorial Board of Aspen Review Central Europe (

Dr. Klvaňa was a Shorenstein Fellow at the John F. Kennedy School of Government of Harvard University (2003). In 2012 he received the Distinguished Leadership Award for Internationals from the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. Dr. Klvaňa served as the Press Spokesperson and Policy Adviser for President of the Czech Republic, Special Government Envoy for Communications of the Missile Defense Program, and between 2005 and 2010 he worked in various CSR and Regulatory Management functions with British American Tobacco in London, Hamburg, Prague and Brussels. He holds a Ph. D. from the University of Minnesota in the U.S. (1997) and an M. A. from Charles University in the Czech Republic.

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. 

Michal Kubat

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. 

A Magala

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). 

Petr Mucha

Currently Petr Mucha serves as a program coordinator for the Forum 2000 Foundation, started by President Václav Havel in Prague, which organizes annual international conferences on global issues and challenges. Mucha focuses primarily on facilitating interfaith dialogue and debates on religion in the contemporary global society. For many years, he has been working with Templeton Prize laureate Tomas Halik in the field of dialogue between religion and the secular world.

In addition New York University Prague, Mucha teaches in various educational institutions and also manages projects studying European identity, culture and European integration.

After graduating in Geography and Religious Studies at Charles University in 1994, Petr
Mucha served as a director of a nonprofit organization and taught at universities in Prague and Hradec Králové. During that period, he also studied sociology and philosophy and worked at educational institutions in the USA, Great Britain, Germany and France. Later, throughout his doctoral studies, he worked as a lecturer and visiting scholar at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, Canada.

During the Communist regime in Czechoslovakia in the late 1980s, Mucha was actively involved in youth dissent 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. 

Tomas Nemecek

Currently head of the legal department in a public hospital in Prague, Tomas Nemecek 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 Mlady svet. 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). After this, he became the editor of the opinion supplement and of law and justice supplements in the daily Czech newspaper Lidove noviny (2009-2013).

Todd Nesbitt is the Department Chair of Communication and Mass Media Studies and the Director of the Master's Program in Professional Communication and Public Relations at the University of New York in Prague (UNYP).  In 2004 he was awarded the Outstanding Faculty Award for Teaching Excellence at UNYP. 

Dr. Nesbitt has also taught courses on communication at Charles University CERGE-EI, the Faculty of Social Sciences, and the Law Faculty.

Todd Nesbitt earned a PhD from the Institute of Communication Studies and Journalism at Charles University.  He did his undergraduate work at The University of Windsor in Ontario, Canada. 


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 Pajerova

Monika MacDonagh Pajerová is chairperson of the civic association YES for Europe ( and advisor to the minister of Culture of the Czech Republic (since 2014). 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 from 2009 to 2012 author and moderator of the weekly European Manual created for Czech Television.

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).  She is currently working on a book based on her personal involvement in the events that culminated in the Velvet Revolution in 1989.  Pajerová has two children and is married to Peter MacDonagh. She speaks Czech, English, French, German, Russian and Swedish. 

Jiri Pehe

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.

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. 

Lenka Rovná was recently appointed Vice Rector of European Affairs at Charles University.  She is the founder and chair of the Department of West European Studies, Faculty of Social Sciences at Charles University in Prague.  

In 1999 she became a Jean Monnet Chair Ad Personam and the bearer of the Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence in European Studies at Charles University (the first in Central and Eastern Europe).  She was awarded the "Chevalier de l'Ordre National du Merite" by French President Jacques Chirac in 2004.

Lenka Rovna taught as a visiting professor at the University of Calgary from 1993-95, and in 2000 she was appointed the Vice Dean for Public Relations at Charles University, Faculty of Social Sciences.   

She earned her doctorate in history at Charles University in 1980 and did postdoctoral study on comparative politics and British government at Oxford University in 1988. 

Her teaching and research is focused in the areas of European politics and British history and politics.


Janusz Salamon

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. 

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. 

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

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

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.  

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.   

Lenka Vochocova

Lenka Vochocová is a lecturer and researcher at the Department of Media Studies, Faculty of Social Sciences, Charles University in Prague, where she graduated in journalism and media studies. Her research interests cover the fields of political economy of communication, gender media studies and public sphere theories. She is a core member of the Political Communication Research Group (PolCoRe) group studying political participation in the social media environment. 

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.  

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. 

Tony Ackerman


Meet Tony Ackerman, a world-renowned American guitarist who has lived in Prague for over 30 years. He has performed in thousands of concerts and recorded 9 albums with jazz pianist Martin Kratochvil. Ackerman is now working for NYU Prague in a newly-created position: our first Faculty Coordinator of the NYU Prague music program.

We met with Tony to find out more about his plans for developing this highly successful program.






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