On November 13, 2017, Pavol Demeš, a renowned Slovak expert on international relations and civil society, gave a talk titled “Slovakia and the United States: The Ties that Bind” at the Embassy of the Slovak Republic in Washington D.C. The event was co-sponsored by Friends of Slovakia (FOS) and the Slovak Republic Embassy. The audience included members of FOS, the Embassy, think tanks and US government agencies. FOS President Joe Senko presented Pavol Demeš with a custom-made General Rastislav Štefánik coffee mug at the end of the event.
Pavol Demeš’ remarks covered a range of topics, including Slovakia’s current domestic and foreign relations as a respected member of the European Union and the Visegrád Group. He also discussed various societal trends and critical challenges faced by Slovakia, such as education and the judiciary. Pavol Demeš evaluated the current state of Slovak-US relations in today’s political climate and suggested ways to improve these relations through enhanced contacts.
Pavol Demeš served in the Slovak government, first at the Ministry of Education, then as Minister of International Relations (1991-92), and later as Foreign Policy Advisor to Slovak President Michal Kováč (1993-1997). In 1999, he received a six-month public policy research fellowship at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington, D.C. From 2000 until 2010, he served as the Director for Central and Eastern Europe of the German Marshall Fund of the United States based in Bratislava. Since then, he has been a non-resident Senior Fellow with German Marshall Fund and a board member of the European Endowment for Democracy. In 1998 he received the EU-US Democracy and Civil Society Award, and in 1999 the USAID Democracy and Governance Award. In 2011, he was awarded a Medal of Honor from the Friends of Slovakia, and in 2017, he received the Czech and Slovak Transatlantic Award.