Washington, DC – Rafał Siemianowski, a young Polish diplomat working at the Embassy of the Republic Poland in London, was the first recipient of the Jan Karski scholarship sponsored by the Jan Karski Educational Foundation to participate in the Georgetown Leadership Seminar 2014 organized by the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. The seminar was a unique opportunity to deepen the participants’ knowledge of the challenges facing the globalized world and build their professional network while giving them an opportunity to exchange views on current international affairs with top American diplomats and renowned scholars.
“During the seminar in Washington, a broad range of issues was discussed: Russia’s foreign policy under Vladimir Putin; conflicts in the Middle East; post-2015 development goals; China's future; and the challenges connected with the spread of Ebola virus, to mention just a few,” said Rafał Siemianowski. “The program of the seminar gave me an inspiring insight into the complexity of the contemporary world.”
In his comments, Mr. Siemanowski expressed his appreciation for the opportunity to meet and talk to the seminar’s speakers, including former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. “What’s important is that the speakers were able to draw on both the academic and the practical experience in the field of diplomacy, which makes their perspectives on international relations more meaningful,” Siemianowski said. “During the seminar, I got to know people from different professional backgrounds representing over 20 countries from all continents. Among them there were politicians, diplomats, journalists, and NGO activists. The exchange of views was a real intellectual adventure. During one of the workshops, I discussed the importance of the conflict in Ukraine for the US president with the participants from the Netherlands, Trinidad and Tobago, Denmark and Indonesia. It was an enlightening and valuable exercise.”
The location of the seminar, Georgetown University, was especially meaningful to Siemianowski as this was Jan Karski's academic home for decades. “As a recipient of the Jan Karski scholarship, I was able to talk to other participants about Jan Karski’s legacy, which was mentioned throughout the course of the GLS 2014, most notably during a lecture on the Responsibility to Protect. What's more, I was honored to meet with Professor Peter Krogh, former Dean of the School of Foreign Service, student, friend and colleague of Jan Karski.”