Focus on alumni: Elemér Hankiss

Written by Fulbright on 08/25/2010. Posted in News

Hankiss ElemérDr. Elemér Hankisshas been promoting democratic ideals in Hungary for much of the past 30 years. After his Fulbright exchange in 1979, he returned to a regime in which criticism could warrant imprisonment. Yet Dr. Hankiss devoted himself to researching and writing on the values of a democratic society, which influenced many books and research in years following the Kadar regime.

Dr. Hankiss now serves as a Senior Fellow in the Institute of Political Science of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. Outside of his position, he has created a social travel guide to list active non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in Hungary, initiated the “Adopt a Village” program to bring attention to poor rural villages, and compiled a “Talent Map of Hungary” to link community leaders and small grassroots businesses throughout the nation.

On the Fulbright program, Dr. Hankiss, in his own words, “gained courage to take part in public life and say no to things that were inhuman or not democratic.” Praised for his modest spirit, Dr. Hankiss has exemplified his strong commitment to encourage the development of democracy in Hungary tirelessly since his exchange.