Having grown up in the Czech-Austrian border region, Jana Hrdá now works at the Bavarian representation in Prague, combining her interests in cross-border cooperation and German speaking countries. She is mainly responsible for event organization and drafting background papers. Previously, she has worked at the International Relations Department of the Czech Export Bank and at the Czech senate. She studied International Relations in Prague and Colorado and has gained further professional experience as an intern at the Czech Embassy in Vienna and the Czech Center Munich. In her spare time she loves travelling as well as skiing and hiking in the mountains.
Daniel Kister has worked as a policy advisor in the Berlin office of social democrat Gülistan Yüksel MP since 2016. Prior to this position, he worked for “Teach First Deutschland” – a NGO that tries to overcome educational inequality by providing additional teaching support to schools in socially disadvantaged areas. For two years, Daniel worked in a secondary school where he taught classes in history, ethics and mathematics and initiated several projects like the school magazine. Alongside he has started the social initiative “Kunst aber gut”, which prints and distributes postcards of art to homeless people. Daniel has a background in journalism. He completed a cross media editorial traineeship and worked for different radio stations and newspapers such as the Frankfurter Rundschau and Die Tageszeitung. Daniel studied “Liberal Arts and Science” at the University College Maastricht and at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Combining both Social Sciences and Humanities, he focused on subjects such as social and economic psychology, international relations, and political philosophy.
Pavlína Louženská is a business and marketing consultant. She is also a Lead Mentor in Google Developers Launchpad in the Czech Republic. In the past she worked as a CMO at fashion retailer ZOOT or at marketing agency H1.cz. Later on in 2FRESH, she was responsible for innovation. 5 years ago she founded #HolkyzMarketingu, a female empowerment community for marketing professionals which currently unites 15.000+ women. Find out more: https://www.linkedin.com/in/pavlinalouzenska/ or follow her on Twitter / Instagram @pavlina_speaks.
Andreas Müllerleile is a political analyst and communications specialist. He has a background in communicating European politics and developing advocacy and public diplomacy strategies. He is currently a Senior Project Manager for the Atlantische Initiative, a foreign policy think tank in Berlin. Over the past decade, Andreas has worked for a range of European organisations on strategic communications and political innovation such as the London-based European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR), one of Europe’s leading think tanks or the European Institute of Peace (EIP), a new peacemaking organisation in Brussels. Andreas is also a freelance political consultant and the founder of policylab.eu. He studied politics, European studies and communications and holds a degree from the University of Münster.
Jan Nechanický is a graduate of German philology, literature and philosophy from the Charles University in Prague who has spent several semesters as an exchange student at the universities in Konstanz and Saarbrücken. During his studies he started teaching German and Czech as a foreign language and also worked as a freelance translator. As a translator, he cooperated with various German and Austrian Prague based institutions such as the Goethe Institut, the Heinrich Böll Stiftung and also with the Film Academy in Prague. Later on, he acquired a position of a reporter in a Prague based German newspaper “Prager Zeitung” where he wrote on the Czech-German relations in politics, culture and history. He currently lives in Dresden and works in human resources in the healthcare sector where he as a unique opportunity to gather insights on how well foreign professionals integrate on the German labour market. Apart from that he enjoys climbing up the Czech and Saxon sandstone towers and translating the works of German philosophers into Czech.
Šárka Strahalová studied Political Sciences at Charles University in Prague and at University of Bonn. After her studies, she worked as an MP ́s assistant in the German Federal Parliament Bundestag. She has been working at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic (MFA) since 2008. She was seconded to the German Federal Foreign Office for two years. In 2015-2016 as a member of the MFA team she contributed to the Czech Presidency in Visegrad Group, co-organising high level summits with the Western Balkans or the countries of the Eastern Partnership. She works currently at the Czech Embassy in Berlin, where she is responsible for political and security issues. Her favourite quote is „I do not seek. I find.“ by Pablo Picasso.
Dr. Marc Venhaus
Dr. Marc Venhaus is working as a senior analyst & advisor at the department for “Macro and Competitive Analysis” within the HQ of the Volkswagen Group, where he is responsible for the identification and assessment of worldwide macroeconomic and geopolitical developments. Furthermore, he is a committed member of the steering core team of the currently 400 people strong Group-wide Future Heads Network and in addition bears responsibility for the so-called “Futures of the Global Economy” initiative. Dr. Venhaus studied global economics, international relations and modern history at the WWU Münster / NTNU Trondheim (M.A.) plus University of York / London School of Economics (M.A.) and received his doctorate (Dr. rer. pol.) at the Freie Universität Berlin / Fudan University Shanghai with a thesis about Chinese-American financial/economic relations. Whenever possible, he seized the chance to deepen his knowledge in the rele- vant fields by means of multiple prestigious programs (e.g. LSE-PKU Summer School, Harvard Project for Asian and International Relations, Georgetown Transatlantic Policy Symposium, GMF Brussels Forum) as well as first-hand diplomatic experiences (e.g. working as an Assistant Attaché at the Permanent Mission of the Federal Republic of Germany to the United Nations). Previously, he has been employed as a project manager and researcher both in Germany and abroad, and regards himself as an interdisciplinary wanderer between the intertwined worlds of business, economics and politics.
Martin Vodňanský was born in Prague on May 14, 1988. He obtained his Bachelor’s degree in International Studies and a Master’s degree in American Studies at the Charles University Prague. He spent a semester in Denmark studying political sciences at the University of Copenhagen via the Erasmus scholarship. For four years, he was a part of the videoconference team in McKinsey & Company, where he had a chance to cooperate with teams in India and Costa Rica on a daily basis. He gained experience in communication, teamwork and mentorship. In September 2018, he started at the position of a political analyst at CEC Government Relations, where he is responsible for media monitoring, crafting brief analytical reports for clients and business intelligence research. He focuses on the following topics: energy policy, digitalization, smart cities and financial services.
Michael Münch is a Policy Officer at the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) in Berlin and currently part of the “Strategic Planning and Management; Political Analysis” unit. Previously, he worked on the German development cooperation portfolio with Kenya. Prior to joining the BMZ in 2013, Michael has worked as an advisor for the CDU/CSU-Group in the German Parliament in the area of international politics for five years. He holds M.A.s in International Relations from the London School of Economics (LSE) and the University of Manchester as well as a 4-year Diplom in Political Science from Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg.
Alexandra has a Slovak-Austrian background, but grew up in Northern Germany. She came to Czech Republic for the first time to do an European Voluntary Service in Brno and has been interested in Central and Eastern Europe ever since. After graduating in Eastern European Studies from LMU Munich she worked as a Lecturer for German as foreign language for the Robert-Bosch-Foundation in Jalalabat, Kyrgyzstan. After returning, she took up a position at the Goethe-Institut Prague, where she coordinated a civic education project. In her spare time, Alexandra is active in volunteer work and enjoys recharging with all kinds of outdoor activities.
Václav Kříž comes from the border region Karlovarský kraj and now lives in Prague. He graduated in European Studies at the Charles University Prague and currently works at the Czech Council of Children and Youth, managing the program of Czech UN Youth Delegates. He also works at the Prague 7 City District Authority, managing strategic planning and the project A Good Job in the Neighborhood. He is also a member of the town council in his hometown Krásno. He was a chair of the youth organization Mladí občané (Young Citizens), which is trying to promote active citizenship and political participation.
Maria Donata di Taranto
Maria Donata di Taranto
After finishing her dual Bachelor degree in German-Italian Studies at the Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität and the Universitàdegli Studi di Firenze, she absolved her dual Spanish-German Master degree in Intercultural and European Studies, concentrating on Cultural and Political Science at the University of Regensburg and the Universidad Complutense de Madrid. During that time she did additional courses in “International negotiating skills” and finished the “Bohemicum” with courses on Czech language, culture, and politics. During various seminars on and excursions to Russia, the Ukraine, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovenia, Hungary and Romania she concentrated on the one hand on eastern and on the other hand on western politics and regimes. Especially her participation in the Model United Nations in New York convinced her to engage more in the field of politics and human rights. After her studies she worked as a teacher for German as a foreign language as part of the project “German for unaccompanied minor refugees” mainly from Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and Eritrea. Since 2017 she works for the EUREGIO Bayerischer Wald – Böhmerwald – Unterer Inn e.V. as a projectmanager for the Linguistic Centre German- Czech, organizing Czech language courses and excursions to Czech Republic.
Břetislav Ševčík works in international sales for the leading German automotive company Continental. Before joining Continental, he worked for the Czech export-oriented machinery company ISMM and for Siemens. After his studies at universities in Ostrava, Erlangen (Erasmus), Bamberg (Hertie foundation scholarship) and Berlin he was awarded the International Parliamentary Scholarship by the Federal German Parliament. During his studies he was involved in the foundation and management of the International Student Club at the University of Ostrava. He loves culture and art and is a passionate violinist (CM Portáši) himself. Apart from hiking in the beautiful Beskydy mountains, he likes books and is a lazy student of the Chinese art of baguaquan.
Tomíček leads Sales and Customer relataions Department for Clean mobility (meaning e-mobility and CNG mobility) at innogy. He has been with innogy (previously RWE) for 9 years holding different positions in Corporate and Business Development and Strategy. Previously he lead Product Development in the Czech subsidiary of TÜV SÜD and also worked in a start-up company in the field of executive education where he was responsible for its activities in Asia.
Pavel holds a degree in Economics from Prague University of Economics. He also studied in Sweden, Germany and the UK as an exchange or visiting student. Pavel is former Czech National University Champion in 800m running.