His Excellency Dr. Aleksander Kwaśniewski
Former President of Poland
A Polish politician and journalist who served as the President of Poland from 1995 to 2005, Dr. Aleksander Kwaśniewski was also a co-founding member and first chairman of the Social Democratic Party of the Republic of Poland.
Dr. Kwaśniewski won the presidential elections in 1995 against Lech Walesa. He co-authored the new democratic Constitution of Poland, which he signed into law on July 16th, 1997 and participated in the famous “Round-Table” negotiations in Poland that finally brought the peaceful transformation of Poland and the whole Central and Eastern Europe from communism to democracy. As a great advocate of Poland’s membership in both NATO and the European Union, it was under his leadership that Poland finally joined NATO in 1999. He is an active supporter of further alliance enlargement under the "open door" policy in which Kwaśniewski campaigned for approval of the European Union accession treaty in 2003 that saw Poland become a member on May 1st, 2004. Dr. Kwaśniewski was one of the leading figures in European Politics. As a long-standing supporter of Ukraine’s independence and sovereignty, Aleksander Kwaśniewski inspired the international mediation efforts during the 2004 Orange Revolution, helping the young democracy in Ukraine to prevail.
During his Presidency, he courageously confronted the past, significantly contributing to the reconciliation between Poles and the German, Jewish and Ukrainian people. Aleksander Kwaśniewski was appointed Distinguished Scholar in the Practice of Global Leadership at Georgetown University, where, as a visiting faculty member, he taught students in the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service about contemporary European politics, the trans-Atlantic relationship and democratisation in Central and Eastern Europe. He is also a member of the Board of Trustees of the International Crisis Group, member of the Atlantic Council of the United States, member of the Bilderberg Group, Head of the Supervisory Board of the Amicus Europae Foundation in Warsaw and International Center for Political Studies in Kiev, Head of the International Council on Tolerance and Reconciliation, Head of the Board of Yalta European Strategy.