His Excellency Karel Schwarzenberg, foreign minister of the Czech Republic, met with Hoover fellows in a roundtable discussion on May 31, 2011. He was accompanied by a delegation from the foreign ministry that included Czech ambassador to the United States Petr Gandalovic, Czech consul general in Los Angeles Michal Sedlacek (an alumnus of Hoover’s Diplomat Training Program), and honorary Czech consul in San Francisco Richard Pivnicka.
Minister Schwarzenberg met with Hoover fellows Condoleezza Rice, George P. Shultz, Larry Diamond, John B. Dunlop, Paul Gregory, Thomas Henriksen, Jeff Jones, Stephen Krasner, Henry Rowen, Kori Schake, Abe Sofaer, and Richard Sousa along with visiting fellows Morten Bergsmo, Craig Dunkerely, and Yuri Yarem-Agaev.
The ensuing wide-ranging discussion dealt at length with matters related to the Arab Spring, including the prospects for democracy and economic growth in the area. Additional topics included security in Europe and Asia and the rise of China in the international scene.
Minister Schwarzenberg, serving his second tour as foreign minister and his first as deputy prime minister, was an adviser to President Vaclav Havel and active in the Prague Spring. He is a fierce anticommunist and a human rights activist; as such he received the Human Rights Award of the Council of Europe.