Jiří Schneider entered public life after democratic changes in 1989 when he was elected to the Czechoslovak Parliament (Federal Assembly) in 1990 and 1992. In 1993 he joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and held various positions at the Czech diplomatic service. Most prominently he served as Ambassador to Israel (1995-1998) and First Deputy Foreign Minister of the Czech Republic (2010-2014).
Jiří Schneider graduated at The Czech Technical University (ČVUT) and obtained a Diploma in Religious Studies from University of Cambridge. From 2000 to 2009 he lectured on security studies, international relations, public policy, and the role of think tanks in Central Europe at Charles University in Prague, Masaryk University in Brno, and New York University in Prague. During the International Policy Fellowship at the Central European University in Budapest he published on Think Tanks in Visegrad Countries (2003) and Lobbying and Interest Representation (2007). He was closely associated with the Prague Security Studies Institute (PSSI), a leading Czech security think tank, as a Program Director (2005-2010) and most recently as a Senior Fellow and Director of Special Projects (2014-2015).
Jiří’s engagement with Aspen dates back to the early 90ʼs when he was a fellow of Aspen Institute Germany. More recently he supported the establishment of Aspen Institute Prague and served as a member of its Supervisory Board from 2011 to 2014.
Deputy Executive Director
Maria Staszkiewicz has been active in the non-profit sector since 2006 and has held a number of managing and executive positions. Before joining the Aspen Institute, Maria worked as the Director at the Association for International Affairs, a Czech think tank working in the field of international relations, transformation policy and democracy support. She also served as European civil servant in the Secretariat General of the Council of the EU. Throughout her career, she has been responsible for strategic planning and development, advocacy and policy activities, as well as overall organization management.
Maria holds a Master of European Studies, a Bachelor of International Relations (European University, Cracow). At Aspen Prague, she is mainly responsible for the supervision of operations, communication with stakeholders, expanding the Institute's activities in the Central European region. Maria also coordinates activities related to digital agenda.
Kamila Rychecka holds a master's degree in Andragogy from J. A. Komenský University in Prague. Before joining the Aspen Institute, Kamila was working as an e-learning consultant in learn2grow, s. r. o. where she was responsible for preparation of custom-made e-learning programs. Her job history includes several positions in Johnson & Johnson, McKinsey & Company, and Czech Airlines.
At the Aspen Institute Prague, Kamila is responsible above all for the office management, providing support to the director as well as performing organizational and logistical tasks related to AIP's events and activities.
Kateřina Hendrychová joined the Aspen Institute at the beginning of 2015 for an internship focused on digital agenda, and later started working with the team on a full-time basis. Her prior experience includes working for Material Times - an online magazine focused on the creative industry, the network of Czech Centers or an internship at the Permanent Representation of the Czech Republic to the United Nations in New York.
Kateřina graduated from Charles University in Prague from the Faculty of Law, specializing in International Law and Intellectual Property Law, and from the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, where she studied English and American Studies.
She is also an active member of Fair Art, an NGO providing legal support for artists and cultural organizations. At Aspen Institute Prague, Kateřina is responsible for the program activities and coordination of specific projects.
Communication and PR Manager
Jenda Žáček is active in the field of NGO's and in the topic of communication studies and media ownership. He is a lecturer and consultant in strategy, communications, political marketing and NGO's. Jenda graduated at the Faculty of Social Sciences of Charles University in Prague in marketing communication and public relations.
Jenda acted as the Spokesperson on behalf of more than 50.000 young people organized in Junák – Czech Scouting from 2006. In 2011 he became the chief of PR department and Spokesperson of the Ministry of Agriculture of the Czech Republic. From 2013 he was managing the communication at the Czech Green Party. As the Head of communication and Spokesperson he encouraged to raise the amount of local green representatives by more than 20 % in the elections and contributed to obtain four seats in the Senate.
Jenda joined the Aspen Institute in 2016 and is responsible for managing communications including communication strategy, social media as well as PR.