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Aleksander Kwaśniewski (Chair)

Aleksander Kwaśniewski is a former President of Poland, and served for two successive terms from 1995 until 2005. Aleksander Kwaśniewski was a member of the Polish United Workers’ Party (PZPR) from 1977 until its dissolution in 1990. He was particularly active in the student movement, and worked as the editor-in-chief of the student weekly ITD magazine from 1981 until 1984, and of Sztandar Młodych from 1984 to 1985. Mr. Kwaśniewski participated in the famous “Round-Table” negotiations that finally brought the peaceful transformation of Poland and the wider Central and Eastern Europe region from communism to democracy. Once the Iron Curtain had fallen, he co-founded the Social Democratic Party of the Republic of Poland (SdRP) and became its first Chairman. 

Aleksander Kwaśniewski won the Polish presidential elections in December 1995. One of his first great achievements was to bring about a new democratic Constitution in Poland, which became effective in July 1997. He was re-elected in 2000 for a second and final five-year term. During his Presidency, he played a key role in the reconciliation between the Poles and the German, Jewish and Ukrainian people. He further inspired the international mediation efforts during the 2004 Orange Revolution in Ukraine, helping the young democracy to prevail. Finally, he also was a strong advocate of EU and NATO integration, and ensured that Poland joined both institutions during his tenure. 

Mr. Kwaśniewski was appointed Distinguished Scholar in the Practice of Global Leadership at Georgetown University, USA, where as a visiting faculty member he taught for several years at the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service. Until November 2013, Mr. Kwaśniewski co-led the European Parliament monitoring mission in Ukraine to monitor the criminal cases against Yulia Tymoshenko, Yuriy Lutsenko and Valeriy Ivaschenko. He is Founder of the Amicus European Foundation, member of the Atlantic Council of the United States, Chairman of the Board of Yalta European Strategy, a member of Club de Madrid, a member of the Supervisory Board of Babyn Yar Holocaust Memorial Center, and a member of the Global Commission on Drug Policy. Since 2019, Mr. Kwaśniewski is also a member of the International Advisory Council (IAC) to Uzbekistan. In 2021, he became the Chair of the Eastern and Central European and Central Asian Commission on Drug Policy (ECECACD).