Amb. Dr. Réka Szemerkényi (ret.) is currently Senior Advisor in Transatlantic Strategy at the International Republican Institute, in Washington DC. Prior to this, between 2017-2020, she was Executive Vice President of the Center for European Policy Analysis. Between 2015-17, she was Ambassador extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Hungary to the United States. Since 1990, she has been high-ranking government official in the Ministry of Defense (1990-94) and Security Policy Advisor to the Prime Minister in Hungary (1998-2002, 2011-15), senior business advisor to the CEO and Chairman of MOL Group, the Hungarian Oil and Gas Company (2006-11), and university lecturer at the ASERI Center of the University of Milan, Italy, and of Pazmany and Karoli Universities in Budapest, Hungary and foreign policy op-ed writer of Heti Valasz (2004-11). She was Research Associate of the International Institute for Strategic Studies, IISS in London (1995-6), where she wrote Adelphi Paper 306, published by Oxford University Press and was Consultant of the World Bank (1994).
Her PhD, Pazmany University, 1996 was entitled „Energy Security - West European and Warsaw Pact Energy Strategies between 1945-1990.” She made her MA in Strategic Studies at SAIS (1995), The Johns Hopkins University, in Washington DC and in European Studies in IEHEI, in Nice, France (1991), and at ELTE, Budapest (1990).
Reka Szemerkenyi is member of the European Council on Foreign Relations, ECFR, and Board Member of the Fulbright Association. She has published and is frequent speaker on energy security and transatlantic relations.
Her recognitions include the Award „Bene Merito” for promoting Hungarian-Polish Relations (2010), awarded by the Minister of Foreign Affairs Radoslaw Sikorski of Poland, L’Ordre National de Mérite, Commandeur (2001) awarded by Jacques Chirac, President of the French Republic, and “National Service Award for the Contribution to Hungary’s Joining NATO (1999) by the Minister of Defense of Hungary. Forbes Magazine Hungary ranked her as Second Most Influential Woman of Hungary (2015, 2016, 2017). She is Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters (2017) of Marymount University, Arlington, VA, and Honorary University Professor at the University of National Public Service, Budapest (2016). Reka Szemerkenyi is mother of four (20, 18, 17, 12) and has a distant-adopted child in Haiti (age 7).
Her more recent publications include:
Westlessness? – Nyugat-talansag?, May 2020
In: Orszagut, Hungarian policy magazine
Covid-19 and the EU Response, Fireside Chat with Margaritis Schinas, European Commission Vice-President. April 9. 2020
Fighting Infection and Malign Influence, April 2. 2020
The Eu and Covid-19 –More Than a Health Challenge to the Union, March 26. 2020
A Region Falling Apart? – Visegrad Four Cooperation and the COVID-19 Challenge
https://www.cepa.org/v4-cooperation-and-covid-19, March 19. 2020
The New Era of Artificial Intelligence
In: The Future of Europe, V4, Strength and Unity, by Public Foundation for Research on Central and Eastern European History and Society, Budapest, pp. 160-163., 2019
Susan Sloan: A Seat at the Table, Women, Diplomacy, and Lessons for the World
New Degree Press 2020, Woman leader interviewee of the book. Pp. 95-99, 245-248., 2020