International Advisory Board

Martin Bútora

Martin Bútora

Advisor to the President of the Slovak Republic Honorary President Institute for Public Affairs, Bratislava

Martin Bútora is a Slovak sociologist, writer, university professor and diplomat. He currently works as Advisor to the President of the Slovak Republic Andrej Kiska and serves as  the Honorary President of the Institute for Public Affairs. Ambassador Bútora is a graduate of the Faculty of Arts of the Comenius University, Bratislava, Slovakia, holding a degree in sociology. In the late sixties, he was active as the editor-in-chief of student newspapers "Echo bratislavských vysokoškolákov" [Echo of Bratislava's University Students] and later as the deputy editor-in-chief of Reflex magazine and the weekly publication "Kultúrny život" [Cultural Life]. In November 1989, Mr. Bútora was one of the founders of the political movement Public Against Violence. In the spring of 1990, as a member of its Coordinating Committee he took part in crafting the movement's election program, "Chance for Slovakia". In the period of 1990-1992 he held the position of Human Rights Advisor to the President of the Czech and Slovak Federal Republic Václav Havel, and the post of Director of the Human Rights Section in the Office of the President. At the beginning of the 1990s, he taught at Charles University in Prague (where he holds a position of Professor Habilis since 1992); later he taught at the Department of Political Science, Trnava University (1993-1998). In 1997 he co-founded the Institute for Public Affairs and served as its first president. Mr. Bútora is an author of three prosaic works, several TV programmes and film scripts, and translations of theatrical plays. In 1999 the National Endowment for Democracy based in Washington D.C. awarded him the Democracy Service Medal; in 2000 he received the Ján Papánek medal; and in 2002 a Celebration of Freedom Award by the American Jewish Committee. In the same year, he received the Order of Ľudovít Štúr for his contribution to defending human rights and to the development of civil society from the hands of the President of the Slovak Republic.