Wanda Urbanska is president of the Jan Karski Educational Foundation. Prior to this, she directed the Jan Karski US Centennial Campaign which placed Jan Karski's name in nomination for a Presidential Medal of Freedom, which he received posthumously from President Obama on May 2012. As president of the Foundation, which has sister branches in the US and Poland, Ms. Urbanska lends her decades-long experience in strategic planning, development, media and public relations and writing to the campaign. The author or coauthor of nine books, including "The Heart of Simple Living: 7 Paths to a Better Life" (Krause: 2010), she was host-producer of America’s first nationally syndicated public TV series advocating sustainable living, "Simple Living with Wanda Urbanska". She has published widely in the "Los Angeles Times," the "Washington Post," the "Chicago Tribune," "Natural Home" and many others. A graduate of Harvard University and a frequent visitor to Poland, her father's native land, Ms. Urbanska was awarded the prestigious Amicus Poloniae award in 2006 for promoting good will between America and Poland. In 2012, she was decorated by President Komorowski at the Polish Consulate in New York with a Knight's Cross for her work to improve ties between Poland and America.
Ewa Wierzynska works as Senior Advisor for International Cooperation at the Polish History Museum in Warsaw, Poland and as the leader of the Jan Karski, Unfinished Mission educational and public awareness program. Her previous assignment was as deputy director of the Museum of the History of Polish Jews. Ms. Wierzynska holds masters degrees from the Warsaw School of Economics and the University of Warsaw. She is the author of several books of historical non-fiction and numerous articles. Exiled from Poland in 1984 for political reasons, Ms. Wierzynska and her family spent 20 years in the United States where she worked as a congressional aide, free lance journalist, advertising executive and public relations specialist. During the years 1992 - 2000, she lived in the Washington DC area, where she befriended Jan Karski. Since her return to Poland in 2005, Ms. Wierzynska has devoted her time to the memory of Jan Karski in Poland.
Krzysztof Zakrzewski is one of Domanski Zakrzewski Palinka (DZP) Law Firm's founders. He became its Managing Partner in 1999. He advises both domestic and foreign firms on investment projects and capital market instruments. He also advises banks and private and public companies for which he has negotiated numerous mergers, acquisitions, share acquisitions and project financing transactions. He is an attorney ad litem in domestic and international arbitration cases connected with mergers and acquisitions, and investment protection (BIT), and an arbitrator at the Arbitration Court of the Warsaw Chamber of Commerce and the Arbitration Court at the Polish Confederation of Private Employers Lewiatan. He participated in legislative work on the Act on the Privatisation of State-owned Enterprises and the Act on Companies with Foreign Capital and was adviser to and attorney-in-fact of the Minister of Privatisation. He formerly co-operated with the Business Development Institute and Foundation – Centre for Privatisation. He is a member of the International Bar Association and the Best Lawyers Advisory Board. Mr. Zakrzewski is also a member of the supervisory board of the think tank Instytut Wolności.
Advisory Board Members
David Harris has been executive director of the premiere global advocacy organization, the American Jewish Committee, since 1990. Mr. Harris was the first American Jewish organizational leader to address the World Economic Forum in Davos, and he has testified before the US Congress, as well as the UN Commission on Human Rights. Mr. Harris graduated with honors from the University of Pennsylvania and pursued his graduate studies in international relations at the London School of Economics. In 2009, he was elected a senior associate at Oxford University (St. Antony’s College). He has been honored by the governments of Bulgaria, France, Germany, Italy, Latvia, Poland, Spain, Azerbaijan and Ukraine. Since 2001, he has had a regular spot on the CBS Radio Network, reaching 30 to 35 million listeners. Mr. Harris writes a popular blog on international affairs at the Huffington Post and the Jerusalem Post. Married, he is the father of three.
Joseph Kurowski is currently a law student at St. Louis University School of Law. He received his undergraduate degree from Loyola University of Chicago. While at Loyola he attended its John Felice Rome Center of Liberal Arts for one year. During his time in Rome, he worked at the international NGO, Youth Action for Peace. After college, he worked at a civil litigation law firm in San Francisco, and then earned his Master's in Business Administration from Loyola University Chicago's Quinlan School of Business, where he was a member of the Beta Gamma Sigma honor society and president of the Association of Loyola Entrepreneurs. Before entering business school, Mr. Kurowski was a teaching assistant at Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń, Poland for a human rights course. He has traveled extensively throughout Europe and is proficient in Italian. In his free time, Joseph enjoys traveling, learning Polish, and playing ice hockey. He is single and lives in St. Louis, Missouri.
Leonard P. Slotkowski, Jr. is a consultant for several organizations in the food industry and director of business development for a company that provides green products and solutions to Fortune 500 and 100 companies. After graduating from Loyola University with a bachelor’s degree in history and a master’s degree in education, Mr. Slotkowski began his career in education. Later, he entered his family’s meat and sausage-making business, from which he retired in June 2011. Mr. Slotkowski studied abroad during his junior year at Loyola University Chicago’s Rome Center and has returned to Rome several times as an alumni guest speaker. He also volunteers for the John Felice Rome Center’s annual student trip to Poland. He is one of the founding members of the JFRC Alumni Board, having served over 12 years on the board and as president for four years. He is the recipient of the first John Felice Award for exemplary leadership in business and support to the Rome Center. Mr. Slotkowski remains active in several community organizations and charities. The Wisconsin Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired, the Chicago Lighthouse, and the Guild for the Blind are particularly important to Mr. Slotkowski for all the support and assistance they have given his brother and son who are both legally blind.
Management - Jan Karski Educational Foundation - America
Wanda Urbanska - President
Management - Jan Karski Educational Foundation/Council (Fundacja Edukacyjna Jana Karskiego) - Poland
Wojciech Bialozyt - Executive Director
Wojtek Białożyt is member of the Management Board and Executive Director of the Jan Karski Educational Foundation in Warsaw. His previous assignment was as Associate to the Leader of Jan Karski Unfinished Mission program at the Polish History Museum. He also worked at the Warsaw-based Digital Center think tank fostering digital aspects of the public agenda, where he was in charge of the Open Government project. Mr. Białożyt is an experienced NGO activist who has been involved in numerous international projects, (e.g. for OSCE and UN). He is passionate about 20th century history and is the author of numerous articles on Polish foreign policy and international affairs. He also worked in public relations, leading corporate communications projects for General Electric and Boeing. Mr. Białożyt graduated from the University of Silesia and Science Po Bordeaux.
Staff - Jan Karski Educational Foundation - America
Jane Robbins - Webmaster
Jane Robbins is the webmaster for jankarski.net and is also coordinating the social media outreach for the Jan Karski Educational Foundation. She is responsible for maintaining the website’s content, ensuring that it is accurate and timely. Ms. Robbins is owner and principal of the Usability for You firm, which performs website analysis and testing for non-profit and business clients. She has a masters degree, is a Certified Usability Analyst, and has many years experience working at three Fortune 100 companies. She has a keen interest in literature related to the Polish experience during World War II. She has participated in a program sponsored by the Kosciuszko Foundation at the Jagiellonian University in Krakow. Ms. Robbins is married with an adult son, and lives in the Washington, DC area.
Bozena U. Zaremba - Associate
Bozena U. Zaremba is a bilingual journalist and translator. She contributes to the Polish Daily News (Nowy Dziennik) and the Cosmopolitan Review. Her articles and interviews have also been published in Jazz Forum in Poland and in the Polish-Canadian Gazeta. She has interviewed over 40 renowned international pianists, musicians, writers and media personalities. She writes for the Chopin Society of Atlanta and serves as editor of its publication, Chopin Notes. Her recent translations into English include What I Received from God and People: A Story of Helena Modjeska by Joanna Sokołowska-Gwizdka and Radiation: A Tribute to Maria Skłodowska-Curie by Kazimierz Braun. She holds an M.A. in English from the Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland, and is a graduate of the State School of Music in Krakow, where she studied voice. She lives with her family in South Florida.
Maria Belka - Project Manager
Holly Robertson works as a Research Assistant for the Center of Advanced Holocaust Studies at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC and is a Masters candidate at Georgetown University in Global, International, and Comparative history focusing on 20th century Poland and Christian-Jewish relations. Originally from southern California, she graduated from Westmont College in 2009 with a B.A. in History and a minor in Spanish. She moved to DC to intern with the Holocaust Museum’s Visitor Services Department, where she provided visiting groups with a detailed orientation of the museum, facilitated survivor presentations, and conducted volunteer and survivor interviews. In July 2011, Ms. Robertson volunteered at Państwowe Muzeum Auschwitz-Birkenau, Oświęcim as part of the Amizade Global Service-Learning project, Witness to History: From the Holocaust to the Revival of Jewish Life in Poland. Ms. Robertson is an active member of the American Historical Association, the Conference Group for Central European History, and Phi Kappa Phi.
The Jan Karski US Centennial Steering Committee
Alicia Belzberg holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology. In 1993, together with her husband, Sid Belzberg, Ms. Belzberg co-founded Belzberg Technologies Inc., a technology-based brokerage firm. She led two acquisitions of floor-brokerage operations (NYSE, CBOE) and a successful IPO on the TSX. Ms. Belzberg is co-founder and CEO of Infinigon Group Inc, a venture focused on building technology, which identifies real-time trends and sentiment based on Social Media. Developed to identify real-time actionable events, the technology can be deployed across a multitude of industries as a brand monitoring and risk management tool and as an early warning system. Ms. Belzberg is also the founder and President of Silver Car Publishing LLC, a book publishing company. Additionally, Ms. Belzberg is in the process of directing and producing a documentary film “The Last Exodus and the Reconciliation”. Ms. Belzberg is a recipient of the the JNF Tree of Life award.