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Last modified: Thursday, March 1, 2012

Hungary's ambassador to the United States to visit IU Bloomington on March 7 to 9

March 1, 2012

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Dr. György Szapáry, Hungary's ambassador to the United States, will visit Indiana University Bloomington on March 7 to 9 to present a free, public lecture and attend its annual commemoration of the 1848 Hungarian Revolution.

György Szapáry

Ambassador György Szapáry

Print-Quality Photo

Szapáry, who has served as Hungary's ambassador since January 2011, will give a talk, "Melting Down the Iceberg: How to Deal With the Debt Crisis?" at 4 p.m. Wednesday, March 7, in Room 102 of the Fine Arts Building, 1201 E. Seventh St.

He also will attend a program and reception on Thursday, March 8, that commemorates the March 1848 Hungarian Revolution and the following War of Independence against Austrian-Habsburg rule in 1848-49. The annual event, organized by the IU Hungarian Cultural Association, Department of Central Eurasian Studies and Hungarian Studies Program, will begin at 5:30 p.m. at the University Club in the Indiana Memorial Union, 900 E. Seventh St.

He also will meet separately with students, faculty and administrators during his visit.

"More than 30 years ago, the Hungarian Academy of Sciences invested in the future of Hungarian studies at IU by endowing a professorship that has brought top Hungarian scholars to Bloomington," said IU Vice President for International Affairs David Zaret. "Hungarian studies have flourished at IU, and we are honored that the Hungarian government continues to support and participate in this program."

Before his current diplomatic assignment, Szapáry, an economist, worked for 25 years in Washington, D.C., with the International Monetary Fund, where his last position was senior resident representative in Hungary. He was a member of the Board of Directors of OTP Bank, the largest Hungarian commercial bank, and deputy governor of the National Bank of Hungary for many years before his appointment as chief economic policy advisor to the prime minister of the Republic of Hungary.

He is the grandson of a former prime minister of Hungary. He attended college in Hungary and Austria, and left Hungary when the Soviet Union invaded the country in 1956. He completed his graduate studies at the University of Louvain in Belgium. There, he received his Master of Arts degree with honors in 1961 and his doctorate in 1966, both in economics.

In 1965-66, he worked at the European Commission in Brussels, and then went to work at the IMF in Washington, D.C. After the fall of communism in Hungary, Szapáry returned and regained his Hungarian citizenship.

Sponsors of his March 7 speech are the IU departments of Central Eurasian Studies, Economics and Political Science, the Hungarian Studies Program, European Union Center, Russian and East European Institute, Kelley School of Business and the Inner Asian and Uralic National Resource Center.