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March 26, 2013

Polish ambassador Schnepf visits Hoover

Richard Sousa (left), senior associate director at the Hoover Institution, meets
Image credit: Steve Gladfelter
Richard Sousa (left), senior associate director at the Hoover Institution, meets with Polish ambassador Ryszard Schnepf.

In his first official visit to California, Ryszard Schnepf, the Polish ambassador to the United States, met with Hoover fellows on Monday, March 25, 2013. Hosted by John Raisian, the Tad and Dianne Taube Director of the Hoover Institution, and Hoover Board of Overseer member and Polish honorary consul general Tad Taube, the ambassador spent the afternoon at Hoover.

In meetings with Hoover fellows Gary Becker, Russell Berman, Stephen Haber, Henry Rowen, Richard Sousa, and Amy Zegart, discussions ranged from international relations and security issues to the economic situation in Europe to the direct implications of immigration issues on Poles in the United States. The economics discussion focused on the success of the Polish economy, despite the global downturn, and currency issues with regard to the zloty, dollar, and euro.

Assistant archivist Nicholas Siekierski provided Ambassador Schnepf with a brief tour of material from the Hoover Institution Archives, including material from the World War II Polish government in exile and the Jan Karski papers.

Ambassador Schnepf was the ambassador of Poland to the Kingdom of Spain (2008–12) and the ambassador and minister of foreign affairs' plenipotentiary for global threats (2006–7). He was also Poland’s ambassador to Costa Rica, Paraguay, and Uruguay.

Hoover has a long history with Poland. In addition to the Karski and government-in-exile papers, the Hoover Institution Archives has the largest collection of Solidarity material outside Poland. Young members from the Polish Foreign Ministry participated in every session of Hoover’s Diplomat Training Program, which ran in the early 1990s following the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Raisian and Hoover fellow Robert Conquest received the Polish Order of Merit in 2009 from Polish foreign minister Radosław Sikorski. The Hoover Institution itself was awarded the Jan Karski Eagle Award for its efforts “to rescue and preserve the archival legacy of independent Poland.”