FW: We Bid Farewell to Ambassador Martin Butora
- At the end of May, we bade farewell to Ambassador Martin Butora and his wife
Zora, who are leaving for Slovakia today after completing their tour of duty
in the United States, which has lasted more than four years. Those have been
very exciting years, filled with official and unofficial meetings, endless
days and nights devoted to improving Slovakia's standing in the US and
strengthening the Slovak-American relations, broadening the ranks of
Slovakia's friends in the United States.
During his entire stay in the United States, Ambassador Butora has
relentlessly fought for Slovakia's inclusion into Euro-Atlantic structures.
His efforts were rewarded by invitation of Slovakia to both NATO and EU,
inter alia by an overwhelming support of the US Senate for Slovakia's
membership in the North Atlantic Alliance.
Almost five hundred guests came to say personal good-byes and best wishes to
Ambassador Butora and his wife Zora during their farewell reception at the
Embassy last week, which was just one of many farewell events for this
remarkable couple. Zbigniew Brzezinski, former National Security Advisor to
President Carter; Heather Conley, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State; and
Robert Bradtke, Deputy Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs
offered their words of praise and admiration for the work and achievements
of Ambassador Butora. Representatives of the Slovak American Society of
Washington announced that their two scholarships would be given this year in
honor of the ambassadorial couple, one in honor of Martin Butora, one in
honor of Zora Butorova.
Ambassador Butora was one of the co-founders and leaders of the Public
against Violence, the leading Slovak movement in the Velvet Revolution
against communism. From 1990-1992, he served as the Adviser for Human Rights
to President Vaclav Havel. In 1993-1994, he was a Fellow at the Woodrow
Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University. In
1991-1998, he taught as an associate professor of sociology at the Faculty
of Social Sciences, Charles University in Prague and Trnava University,
Slovakia. In 1994-1996, he was the President of the Slovak P.E.N. Club. In
1995-1997, he coordinated a research project based on videotestimonies of
Holocaust survivors from Slovakia in cooperation with the Fortunoff Video
Archive at Yale University. In 1996-1998, he was the co-editor of Global
Reports on Slovakia, comprehensive analyses of Slovakia's development. In
1997, he co-established and became the President of a public policy research
think-tank - Institute for Public Affairs (IVO) in Bratislava, Slovakia.
Since February 1999 until May 2003, he had served as the Ambassador of the
Slovak Republic to the USA.
In 1999, he was awarded the Democracy Service Medal by the National
Endowment for Democracy in Washington, DC.
He is author of several books, including two sociological monograhps and
three fiction books, studies and articles on post-communist transformation,
civil society, non-governmental organizations, political behavior, foreign
policy issues, ethnic and nationalism issues, anti-Semitism, value
His wife, Zora Butorova, is a sociologist and author, one of the leading
personalities in public opinion polling and gender studies in Slovakia.
Press Office, Embassy of Slovakia