According to a government decision published in the Hungarian Gazette on Monday evening, the Political Director of the Prime Minister, Balázs Orbán has been appointed to oversee the Institute for Foreign Affairs and Trade (IFAT), which is also changing its name back to the pre-2014 Hungarian Institute of International Affairs (HIIA).
The government had decided in March to renew the institute. According to IFAT’s website, this is necessary ‘so that the Institute can more effectively support the Prime Minister’s strategic foreign policy decision-making and strengthen its activities: channelling academic and international information, promoting awareness of the basics of Hungarian foreign policy among a wider and professional audience, as well as actively communicating with the public about international events.’
HIIA, while continuing to maintain close cooperation with the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Trade, will receive the legal status of a state-owned enterprise, and will support the government’s work through the Political Director of the Prime Minister, the institute said on its website.
Balázs Orbán will receive new obligations with his position, which will essentially entail strengthening the Institute’s research activities and its cooperation with foreign counterparts.
The organisation also has a new president: Gladden J. Pappin, a Hungarian–American dual citizen who earned his doctorate at Harvard University and has taught at Dallas University for years, and is now a resident fellow at Mathias Corvinus Collegium.
The current leadership will continue their work at HIIA, with Márton Schőberl serving as CEO and Dr Tamás Baranyi as the institute’s strategic director responsible for professional activities.