Kwasniewski_Aleksander

Aleksander Kwaśniewski

Former president of Poland

Aleksander Kwasniewski is the former president of Poland. During his 10 years in office, President Kwasniewski navigated Poland through the delicate transition from communism. He successfully led the adoption of a new national constitution and the campaign committed to Poland’s admission to NATO and the European Union. Before becoming president in 1995, he played an important role as a negotiator in the Round Table Agreement in 1989, which led to a peaceful transfer of power and cleared the way for a democratic Poland.

President Kwasniewski also advocated regional cooperation in Central and Eastern Europe. He pushed for Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia to be admitted to the EU and was a mediator in the resolution of the Orange Revolution in Ukraine.

Since completing his second presidential term in December 2005, President Kwasniewski has lectured around the world. He serves as a visiting faculty member at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., teaching in the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, where he was appointed a Distinguished Scholar in the Practice of Global Leadership. He is also a member of the board of trustees of the International Crisis Group; member of the president’s International Advisory Board of The Atlantic Council of the United States; member of the Bilderberg Group; chair of the supervisory board of the International Centre for Policy Studies in Kiev; chairman of the European Council on Tolerance and Reconciliation; chair of the board of Yalta European Strategy; and chief of the board of his presidential foundation, Amicus Europae.

Earlier in his career, President Kwasniewski served as editor-in-chief of two publications: the student weekly, ITD, and the daily Sztandar Mlodych. In 1985 he co-founded the first computer science periodical in Poland, Bajtek. Under the Zbigniew Messner government, President Kwasniewski served as the minister for youth affairs and started an exchange program for Polish and German youths. From 1988 to 1991, he was the president of the Polish Olympic Committee. In the late 1980s, President Kwasniewski served as a cabinet minister and chairman of the Social-Political Committee for the government of Mieczyslaw Rakowski.