Leonard J. Baldyga
Director of the Office of
European Affairs at the
U.S. Information Agency
Leonard J. Baldyga was a Senior Consultant for Central and East European Programs at IREX, an international nonprofit organization providing leadership and innovative programs to improve the quality of education, strengthen independent media, and foster pluralistic civil society development.
Mr. Baldyga is a former Director of the Office of European Affairs at the U.S. Information Agency. He retired from the foreign service in 1994 with the rank of Career Minister after more than three decades of service in Washington and overseas. As a senior officer he served as Public Affairs officer in Warsaw (1972-1975) and Mexico City (1976-1978) and Minister-Counselor for Public Affairs in Rome (1983-1988) and New Delhi (1988-1991). In Washington, he served as Deputy Director of European Affairs (Soviet Union and Eastern Europe 1979-1981) and as Director of European Affairs (1981-1983), a position he returned to again in 1992. He was USIA's principal negotiator of bilateral cultural and scientific agreements with the Soviet Bloc in the 1979-1983 period.
Before entering the foreign service in 1962, Mr. Baldyga worked in journalism and publishing as a financial writer, city editor and assistant to the publisher. His early career assignments overseas were in Dakar, Senegal, Poznan, Poland, and Vienna, Austria, and as country affairs officer for Romania and Czechoslovakia in Washington.
He has a B.S. degree in communications from Southern Illinois University and a Master's degree in International Affairs from Columbia University. He also attended the State Department's Executive Seminar in National and International Affairs (Senior Seminar) in 1978-1979. In 1991-1992, he was recipient of the Edward R. Murrow Fellowship at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, where he also served as Acting Director of the Murrow Center and taught seminars in international political communication and in public diplomacy.
Mr. Baldyga was the recipient of the Presidential Distinguished Service Award in 1984, the Presidential Merit Service Award in 1988; the USIA Distinguished Service Award twice; and the Edward R. Murrow Award for Excellence in Public Diplomacy from the Fletcher School in 1988. He was decorated with the Republic of Poland's Officer's Cross Order of Merit in 1994 and the Commander's Cross in 2002.
In addition to his consultancy work, Mr. Baldyga served on the Board of Directors of the Sabre Foundation (Boston); and of the Polish Institute of Arts and Sciences (New York). He was a member of the Executive Committee of the National Polish-American Jewish-American Council and of the Alumni Advisory Council of the School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University. He has served as a member of the editorial board of the Polish Edition of Encyclopedia Britannica. He is a member of several organizations dealing with international affairs, including the The Washington Institute of World Affairs, The Association of Diplomatic Studies and Training, the Public Diplomacy Council, and the American Foreign Service Association and DACOR. His other memberships include the John Paul II Foundation, the Polish American Congress, and the American Center of Polish Culture
He is married and has two grown daughters.