The Hungarian American Coalition is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization founded in 1991. Its mission is to identify and promote the interests of the Hungarian-American community. Its goals are:
- To foster appreciation of Hungary’s history and culture;
- To protect and preserve the human and minority rights and cultural heritage of Hungarians throughout the world;
- To encourage educational and cultural interaction between the people of the U.S. and Hungary;
- to support democratic institutions and economic development in Hungary.
Education and Culture
- Sponsored four young Hungarian professionals to take part in the Congressional Internship Program in 2012: Dorottya Igricz (International Institute for Sustained Dialogue and the National Civic Art Society); Boglárka Bata (Researched non-profit fundraising and endowment building in Washington D.C. and Cleveland; Lilla Fördős (German Marshall Fund) and Daniel Szabó (Kauffman Foundation’s Global Entrepreneurship Week project).
- Participated in the Wallenberg Centennial Year inauguration in the Hungarian National Museum in Budapest. His Excellency Dr. János Martonyi, Minister of Foreign Affairs welcomed special guests His Excellency Mr. Carl Bildt, Sweden’s Minister for Foreign Affairs and His Excellency Mr. Yoseph Peled, Minster, Office of the Prime Minister of Israel.
- Supported the Common Sense Society in launching its Pannonius Fellowship for 2012-2013. CSS named Zoltán Kész as Fellow and Program Associate, he will provide leadership for CSS programs aimed at educating young Hungarians about economic freedom, private enterprise and tax policy.
- Provided a $2,000 grant to The Hungarian Cultural Center to relocate a collection of unique objects and photos from Vintondale, a Pennsylvania small-town to the Hungarian Open Air Museum in Szentendre. The collection will be on permanent display there, giving the most detailed and authentic anthropological exhibit on the lives of first generation Hungarian Americans.
- Supported the presentation of “Kossuth’s Message” with $500, commemorating the 160th anniversary of Lajos Kossuth’s tour of the United States in 1851-52. Kossuth, the governor of revolutionary Hungary visited the U.S. seeking support for Hungarian independence.
- Received a donation in the amount of $2,200 from the Bethlen Gábor Alap to underwrite the Hungarian American Coalition’s (HAC) Congressional Internship Program (CIP) in 2012.
- Made selected books and periodicals available on Amazon.com, the popular online retailer of books. These are: five issues of “Hungarian Review”, the English-language affiliate of the bi-monthly journal Magyar Szemle; the travel guide book “Out and About in Hungary”; the book “56 Stories”, and its Hungarian version “56 történet”, a collection of personal testimonials from participants in and observers of the 1956 Revolution of Hungary.
- Participated at the Eleventh Hungarian Standing Conference (MÁÉRT), held in the Hungarian Parliament. Delegations of Hungarians from all over the world and representatives of Hungarian political parties gathered to discuss the government’s actions to assist Hungarians outside the country’s borders to strengthen their identity and to prevent further assimilation in the Carpathian Basin and the Western Diaspora Hungarian communities. Ten Coalition member organizations were amongst the representatives of the Hungarian American Diaspora including Edith K. Lauer, Chair Emerita of HAC, Zsolt Szekeres, Treasurer of HAC and László Hámos, President of the Hungarian Human Rights Foundation and Executive Committee member of HAC.
- Awarded the Dr. Elemér and Éva Kiss Scholarship for the 2012-2013 academic year. This year’s awardees were: Tünde Cserpes, who is a PhD student in Sociology at the University of Illinois in Chicago; Edit Frenyó, a candidate for an SJD at Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, DC.; Dorottya Irén Győri, a former scholarship winner in 2010 and 2011, who is a rising senior business major at Messiah College in Grantham, PA; Petra Kövér, who is enrolled in the Business Administration program with a major in Hospitality and Tourism Management at Webber International University in Babson Park, FL; Tamás Kubik, scholarship winner in 2009, pursuing a BA degree, majoring in English at Sewanee – The University of the South; Bettina Varga, admitted to the Hult Master of International Marketing program at Hult International Business School in San Francisco, CA.
- Continued to help the victims of „Red Sludge” Disaster in Hungary through the “Red Sludge Disaster Relief Fund”. The Disaster Relief Fund was founded in 2010 in response to Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, who has asked Hungarian Americans to contribute to the relief effort, and who called upon Governor George Pataki to coordinate fundraising efforts in the United States. In 2011, the Coalition has signed grant agreements to provide funding for 5 grants totaling approximately $86,000, and are funded from the contributions of individual donors and foundations in the U.S.
- Operated an Office of Information in Washington, D.C. since 1991.
- Issued a statement entitled “Give Hungary a Chance” in February in which Coalition members voice their concerns over the tone of the harsh criticism in the mainstream U.S. and European media towards the Hungarian government. HAC reminded that Hungary is a friend and ally therefore it must be given a chance to put its economic house in order, and continue to function as a useful member of the Trans-Atlantic Alliance and the European Union, as it has so often done in the past.
- Maintained contact with US Embassy officials in Hungary.
- In March 2012, organized a visit of Coalition President Max Teleki, who, among other activities held meetings with the Board of the Tom Lantos Institute, government officials, U.S. Ambassador Eleni Kounalakis and her staff.
- Reached out to Governor Romney’s and President Obama’s Campaign Teams in May/June and September/October, 2012. Coalition President Max Teleki met with staff from the Democratic National Committee, the Republican National Committee, and the Romney and Obama teams.
- In June/July Mr. Teleki participated in the Tom Lantos Institute’s Executive Committee meeting and in the International Centre for Democratic Transition project and funding meetings. During this visit to Hungary, along with other Coalition members, he met with Attila Kocsis and Orsolya Milován of the Ministry of Public Administration and Justice; Dr. Pál Hatos, Director of the Balassi Institute; Klára Breuer, Chief of Staff of Foreign Minister János Martonyi and László Galántai, Department of the Americas, Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Mr. Teleki also participated in a Congressional Internship Program Alumni meeting attended by Coalition interns.
- Participated in an event entitled: “Visions of America: The State of US Presidential Politics” where speakers included Common Sense Society President Marion Smith and Coalition President Max Teleki.
- Issued a statement in favor of the Székely Mikó Reformed High School which was renationalized following a politically motivated decision in Sepsiszentgyörgy(Sfântu Gheorghe), Romania. The Coalition joined the greater Hungarian Diaspora in expressing strong objection to the decision.
- In September/October, Coalition President Max Teleki met with U.S. Ambassador Eleni Kounalakis and Hungarian officials in Budapest: the Prime Minister’s Senior Advisors Péter Szijjártó, Réka Szemerkényi, Government spokesman Ferenc Kumin, Ministry of Foreign Affairs Deputy State Secretary for Security Policy (Political Director) Péter Sztáray, Former Minister for National development Tamás Fellegi and European Parliament Vice-President, Bishop László Tőkés.
- Disseminated “Noticed in the Press,” a selection of newspaper articles from American and Hungarian newspapers on topics of interest to Coalition members and supporters.
- Continued to update the Coalition’s home page (www.hacusa.org).
Hungarian American Community Affairs
- Published The First 20 Years “Dedicated Advocacy and Community Leadership” book which is an account of the Coalition’s history; written by Andrea Lauer Rice, Vice-President, Edith K. Lauer, Chair Emerita and Katica Avvakumovits, and designed by Lorelei Grazier Danilchick.
- Hosted an Annual Gala Dinner on May 9 at the House of Sweden in Washington, DC, to honor Ambassador Nancy G. Brinker, founder of the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, and the Hungarian Scout Association in Exteris, represented by Mrs. Gabriella Kuni Nadas.
- Joined the celebration of the Hungarian American community in Cleveland on the occasion of the St. Emeric Church re-opening. The Mass was celebrated on November 4, where HAC leaders and Cleveland-area community leaders and parishioners were all present.
- Organized the traditional end-of-year Coalition events on December 2012, in Washington, DC. The events include a White House Briefing, the annual Mikulás Dinner, and the Board and Annual Meetings. The keynote speaker at the Mikulás Dinner was His Excellency Dr. Tamás Fellegi Former Minister of National Development of Hungary – Managing Partner, Euroatlantic Solutions.