The Trustees of the
BALTIMORE COUNCIL ON FOREIGN AFFAIRS
Cordially Invite You to an Address by
His Excellency Piotr Wilczek
Ambassador, Republic of Poland to the United States
Tuesday, March 5, 2019
Reception: 5:15 p.m. Address: 6:00 p.m.
The Maryland Club
Members: Free of Charge* – Guest of a Member: $10.00 – Non-Members: 25.00**
Poland has been, and remains, a great friend of the United States. It is easy to recall with appreciation her World War II government in exile, code breakers, and RAF pilots; the Cold War and Gdańsk Shipyard strikes, Lech Walesa and Pope John Paul; and now her NATO commitments including forces on her territory and the symbolism of her hosting the contemporary 60 nation Warsaw conference on the Middle East.
The challenges which the Poland of 2019 faces are common to other nations and often important in understanding today’s international politics. One example is that Poland appears to be significantly divided over cultural change, as are many nations. Its ruling Law and Justice Party is conservative, emphasizing traditional roots and values, is concerned about the possible cultural disruption of immigrants, and is rejecting some rules of the European Union. It is modifying its judicial system and increasing government influence in the media. Critics claim a drift toward authoritarianism. Our guest has been eloquent on this issue. A second simple example, is that many Americans, friends, and allies are concerned about policies (and statements) of the United States’ government which might jeopardize the transatlantic relationship and the cohesion of the bulwark of that relationship, NATO. Poland’s view on this can be enlightening. These are but two obvious examples of where the Poland of 2019 is of special interest to us.
We will be joined by a deeply thoughtful, informed, and articulate guest. Ambassador Wilczek, new to formal diplomacy, is a prolific internationally recognized literary scholar, intellectual historian, and translator. He is the author or editor of 22 monographs and over 100 journal articles. He holds his BA, MA, and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Silesia where he taught from 1986 to 2008. He joined the University of Warsaw faculty in 2008 where he served as the Head of the Center for the Study of the Reformation and Intellectual Culture in Early Modern Europe as well as the Director of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. The range and depth of Ambassador Wilczek’s scholarly thought is quite extraordinary. He has lectured, conducted research, and taught in Great Britain and the United States. He has been an active member of the American Study Group, comprised of highly respected professionals, at the Polish Institute of International Affairs. We look forward to a comprehensive and helpful analysis of Poland today.
It is an honor and pleasure to welcome His Excellency Piotr Wilczek to the Council.