Board of Trustees
The Board of Trustees is, represented by some of the brightest minds in education, administration, and governance in the Czech Republic as well as from abroad. Their continued guidance has helped place AAU amongst the top institutions of its kind in Europe.
The members of the Board of Trustees of Anglo-American University are:
doc. Ing. Jiří Schwarz, CSc.
Jiří Schwarz, a Board of Trustees member since 2016, is an economist by profession, having received his doctorate at the University of Economics in Prague. Jiří currently serves as director of CETA (the Center for Economic and Market Analyses). He is an active educator, having served as dean at his alma mater, and is also a business professional and founder of Liberální Institut, the first independent Czechoslovak think tank. Jiří was appointed member of the National Economic Council (NERV) where he gave economic advice to Prime Ministers (2009–13). He has been prominently involved with a number of Czech and international companies and organizations including L’Institut de Recherches Economiques et Fiscales (IREF) where he has served as a board member for over 10 years. In addition, Jiří has authored two books: In Plea for a Liberal Order (2003) and In Plea for a Real Transition (2004).
Ing. Andrej Barčák
Andrej Barčák has been a member of the Board of Trustees since 2005 and is an alumnus of Anglo-American University.
He completed his undergraduate studies at AAU in Business Administration and continued to the University of Surrey in England to receive a Master’s degree in Marketing Management. Currently, Andrej works as the Marketing & RND Director at Opel Southeast Europe LLC and has previously held positions at A. Charouz Motors and M Motors CZ.
Mgr. Petr Chára
Petr Chára, a Board of Trustees member since 2016, is the Deputy Headmaster at Open Gate School, a prestigious International Baccalaureate boarding school. As an educator, tutor, manager and teacher, he has actively participated in many workshops, conferences and forums all over the world and has visited many foreign institutions and campuses of all levels over a course of more than 20 years. He is a fellow of the Marshall Memorial Fellowship; a leadership development program of the German Marshall Fund of the U.S. Petr has been advising and counselling high school graduates in facilitating their choices for their future educational path, and has experience in student mobility in higher education worldwide. He holds his Master’s degree in Mathematics and Geography from Charles University and is a certified tutor in IB Economics, IB Business and Management, and IB Geography and is a team leader of IB Economics examiners.
Rachel B. Danna, M.A.
Rachel Danna has been a member of the Board of Trustees since 2016. An NYU and AAU alumna, she served as Associate Dean of the School of Business Administration at Anglo-American University until 2013. Rachel currently works at Project Syndicate, a mission-driven organization that provides high-quality opinion commentaries to nearly 500 news media outlets in more than 150 countries on a not-for-profit basis. As Assistant Managing Editor, along with steering the editorial direction of the organization, she manages relationships with its many contributors, facilitates partnerships with foundations around the world, and oversees a number of the organization's grant projects.
Melissa Durda, a Board of Trustees member since 2017, is the Director of the Global Philanthropists Circle (GPC) at Synergos, a global nonprofit organization that brings people together to solve complex problems of poverty and create opportunities for individuals and their communities to thrive. She supports highly engaged philanthropic families from Europe and the Middle East so they may increase their effectiveness and impact towards a more just, equitable and sustainable world. Melissa previously created and managed a philanthropy program at Vaclav Havel’s Forum 2000 Foundation. In this role she worked with private philanthropists promoting human rights, civil society, and democracy. Melissa’s nonprofit project management experience spans a variety of fields (education, children, nutrition, advocacy, emergency response, water, media) and she has worked on projects in the Czech Republic, Africa, Asia, and the United States. She holds a MSc. in European Political Economy: Transition from the London School of Economics and a BA in International Relations from the University of Virginia.
Ing. Monika Kavanová, Ph.D.
Monika Kavanová, a Board of Trustees member since 2016, is an internationally experienced business professional with extensive experience in sales and marketing. She is certified by IoweU, Barrett Values Center, and Think on Your Feet. Currently a Partner at OslovMe, Monika has an educational background in informatics and economics and has held prominent positions at both public and large multinational corporations such as Oracle, Microsoft andSAP.Additionally, she has run Sales2Win, a consultancy firm. Monika has also served on the AAU School of Business Administration Advisory Board since 2015 and lectures at both the Czech Technical University and the Czech University of Economics, where she completed her studies. Monika's experience also spans previous service as a board member of non-profit organizations like Internet pro všední den (InternetforEvery Day) and FoundationAuxiliaas well as the development of several non-profit projects focused on education.
PhDr. Miroslava Kopicová
Miroslava Kopicová, a Board of Trustees member since 2016, is the Director of the National Training Fund with extensive experience in human resources development, having cooperated with the EC in this area since 1994. She has twice served as the Minister of Education,Youth and Sports of the Czech Republic and she chaired relevant Council of the EU meetings during the Czech Presidency of this organ. Her background also includes negotiating EU structural funds for the Czech Republic as well as chairing the SFIC on the EU level, serving as Deputy Chairperson of the RVVI, and cooperating with a range of international organizations. Miroslava also serves as a board member for several universities in the Czech Republic.
Matthew Kwasiborski, a member of the Board of Trustees since 2016, earned a bachelor’s degree in history at Loyola University in New Orleans, Louisiana and a master’s degree in executive leadership from the Thierry Graduate School of Leadership in Belgium. He has been the Director of European Institutes at The Fund for American Studies since 2005. Matt has worked with over a thousand students, alumni, facultyandstaff representing over 50 countries. He is also a member of the Board of Directors fortheInternational Association of Free Ukraine in Kyiv, Ukraine. Matt has also served as vice president and treasurer of the Board of Advisors for the Center ofInternational Media Ethics. In August,2016, he established the Lviv Leadership Academy, AILTE, an organization that teaches leadership skills for students, NGOsand businesses.
PhDr. Ján Oravec, CSc.
Ján Oravec, a Board of Trustees member since 2017, also holds membership in a number of governing bodies of several universities. He is the President of The Entrepreneurs Association of Slovakia, the first Slovakian organization of private businesses founded after 1989. Ján is also a member of the Presidium of the National Union of Employers. As Chairman of its European Affairs and Foreign Relations Committee, he represents Slovak employers in international organizations of employers, BusinessEurope in Brussels, BIAC at OECD, and in IOE at the International Labour Office in Geneva. He is a founding member of The F. A. Hayek Foundation as well as its long term President (1992 – 2013). In 1997 he established The Slovak Taxpayers Association and in 1999– 2002 he worked as Chief of Strategy at the Ministry of Economy of the Slovak Republic. Ján graduated in 1987 from Commenius University in Bratislava (Philosophy – Political Economy), The Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne, Australia in 1994 (Business Administration), and Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas in 1995 (Bank Management). In 1996 he received his PhD in economics at the Institute of Slovak and World Economy in Bratislava. He started his professional career at the Institute of Economics of the Slovak Academy of Sciences in 1987. Ján has his own business in consulting, focusing on regulatory impact assessments, sectoral analysis, macroeconomic analysis, economic outlooks, etc. He writes articles, gives lectures, TV interviews, and public speeches on various topics. Ján lives in Bratislava and is married with two children.
Doc. Ing. Štěpán Müller, CSc., MBA
Štěpán Müller, Vice-Chair of the Board of Trustees and an external member of the Academic Council, was a board memberatAAU already in 1995–2002 and is so again as of 2014. At present, Štěpán is the Dean of the School of International Relations at the University of Economics in Prague where he has also previously served as President. He is also a member of the Czech section of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development. In the past, Štěpán has held a number of positions in academia and finance. Štěpán holds an MBA from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
Mgr. Petra Padolsky
Petra Padolskyhas been a member of the Board of Trustees since 2016 and is an AAU alumna, having earned her BA degree at Anglo-American University in Political Science. She later graduated from Metropolitan University in Prague with a master’s degree in International Relations and European Studies. Petra has been working for Volkswagen Financial Services (ŠkoFIN)since2014,andis currently its Head of Retail Support and Corporate Financing. From 2009 to 2014, she served as the Director of Presto – Translation Agency and Language School. Petra also worked as the Project Manager of the Parliamentary Internship Program at Občan v akci(Citizens in Action) for two years.
Václav Pecha, MA
Václav Pecha, a Board of Trustees member since 2014, is the Executive Director of the Bakala Foundation. In the past, he has served as Director of Zaostřeno, a non-profit organization promoting good governance, and since 2011 he has worked for the Foreign Service Institute and as a consultant for McKellar Corporation. Václav has extensive experience in humanitarian affairs and economic and political development gained from holding a number of managerial positions overseeing humanitarian, development and electoral operations, and aiding communities in Iraq, Afghanistan, Kosovo, and South Sudan. He has received the Non-Article 5 NATO Medal for his work with NATO in Afghanistan, and the Czech Republic Minister of Defense Medal for Service Abroad. Václav graduated from the University of Maryland with a Bachelor’s degree in Government and Psychology and earned his Master’s degree in International Affairs at Columbia University.
Mgr. Daniel Soukup, MBA
Daniel Soukup, a Board of Trustees member since 2016, is the founder of Roubicek Invest, a business consulting company that helps hospitals, clinics, and private practices improve their business performance. In the past he worked for more than ten years in the financial sector. Daniel also dedicates his time to improving life in Africa (Tanzania and Kenya), where he supports solving problems with healthcare and energy supply. He is an alumnus of Anglo-American University where he obtained a BA in Business Administration. He also holds a Master's degree in law from Charles University and a Master in Business Administration from the Rochester Institute of Technology.
Maria Staszkiewicz, a Board of Trustees member since 2016, has been active in the non-profit sector since 2006 and where she has held a number of managing and executive positions. Before joining Aspen Institute Prague, Maria worked as the Director of the Association for International Affairs, a Czech think tank operating in the field of international relations, transformation policy, and democracy support. She has also served as a member and later Chair of the Board of Directors of DEMAS – Association for Democracy Assistance and Human Rights. From 2008–2010, Maria worked in the General Secretariat of the Council of the EU. Throughout her career, she has been responsible for strategic planning and development and advocacy and policy activities as well as overall organization management.
Bc. Miroslava Vlčková
Miroslava Vlčková, a Board of Trustees member since 2016, is the founder of Montessori Schools Andílek, Montessori Institute Prague, and Association Montessori CR, a unique trio of organizations serving children from birth up to 12 years of age, their parents, teachers from all over the world, and the Czech and international Montessori communities. In the past, she headed the Czech mother and family centers movement. She is an alumna of Anglo-American University and holds a BA degree from the Faculty of Humanities at Charles University in Non-Profit Sector Studies. Miroslava has served on various advisory boards of state institutions, but nowadays she believes that if we wish to bring about change in our educational system, it must be from below, working with parents and teachers.