Amb. Dr. Réka Szemerkényi

Programs Chair

Amb. Dr. Réka Szemerkényi is a leading geopolitical expert in trans-atlantic security with over 20 years of experience in a variety of government, academic and private sector capacity. She is currently Non-resident Senior Advisor in Transatlantic Strategy at IRI, the International Republican Institute in Washington DC. Between 2017-2020, she was Executive Vice President of the Washington think-tank CEPA, the Center for European Policy Analysis. Her government roles include her mission as Ambassador of Hungary to the United States (2015-7) and being National Security Policy Advisor to the Prime Minister of Hungary (2011-5, 1998-2002). Her business experience include being Senior Advisor to the Chairman and CEO of MOL Group, the Hungarian Oil and Gas Company (2006-11) and Consultant of the World Bank (1994).

Between 2005-08 she was University Lecturer at the Catholic University of Milan, Italy, the Catholic University Pazmany, and at Karoli Reformed University in Hungary. She taught European Foreign and Security Policy, International Relations and International Organizations, US Foreign Policy, Energy Security, and the impact of Russia and China on Transatlantic relations.

Reka Szemerkenyi is Board Member of the Fulbright Association and member of the European Council of Foreign Relations (ECFR).

She earned her PhD (2006) at the Pazmany University in Budapest with a thesis entitled „Energy Security – West European and Warsaw Pact Energy Strategies between 1945-1990.” She holds MA Degrees from SAIS, the Johns Hopkins University (1995), from IEHEI, France (1991) and from ELTE (1990), Budapest.

Ambassador Szemerkenyi has several international awards and recognitions, such as the Order of Merit of the French Republic, the Award Bene Merito donated by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Poland. She is Honorary University Professor of the National Public University in Hungary and Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters of Marymount University, VA (2017).

She is mother of four (22, 20, 19, 14) and has a distant-adopted child in Haiti (9).

She speaks English, French and Italian in addition to her native Hungarian.