President of the 36th session of the General Conference
Katalin Bogyay, FRSA, FWAAS
Hungary’s Ambassador to UNESCO
“Always open to listen to Member States”
Katalin Bogyay has served as Hungary`s Ambassador and Permanent Delegate to UNESCO since 2009 and in the capacity of the President of the General Conference of UNESCO (2011-2013) since her election on that post by the 36th Session. A tireless and committed cultural bridge-builder throughout her multifaceted professional life, she has occupied the posts of Hungary’s State Secretary for International Affairs for Education and Culture (2006-2009) and the Founding Director of the Hungarian Cultural Centre in Covent Garden, London, UK (1999-2006). She has also led a career of international television broadcaster, film producer and writer.
She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (UK) and of the World Academy of Art and Science (US). She is an International Advisor to the Institute of Cultural Diplomacy (Berlin, Germany) and to the Institute for Global and European Studies, IGES (Corvinus University, Budapest- ISES Koszeg, Hungary). She is an Honorary member of the London-based Imago-International Psychoanalytical Society.
Katalin Bogyay is an active promoter of music as the medium of intercultural cooperation and understanding. She is a founding member of the Liszt Academy Network, based in London, and a board member of the Budapest Philharmonic Orchestra, the oldest Orchestra of Hungary, founded by Ferenc Erkel.
She graduated from Economics at the Corvinus University, Budapest, holds a postgraduate degree in Journalism from the Gyorgy Balint Academy of Journalism, Budapest, and a Master of Arts in International Communications from University of Westminster, London. She read counseling at the Westminster Pastoral Foundation, London.
She is a recipient of several high honors, including the Nehru Gold Medal of UNESCO (2013); Special Trophy of Fair Play for promoting sports diplomacy from the International Fair Play Committee (2013); the Chain Bridge Award by Hungary for her services to Hungarian foreign affairs (2013); the Grand Cross of the Order of Sahametrei by King Norodom Sihamoni of Cambodia for intercultural cooperation (2013); Officer of the Order of Leopold by King Albert II of Belgium (2008); Aphelandra, the humanitarian prize for her international work on building bridges between people( 2009); and the Knight's Cross Order of Merit of the Republic of Hungary for her contribution to international culture (2005).
She was awarded the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Letters (D.Litt.) by Glasgow University for her work in building cultural links between Hungary and Scotland, as well as for promoting cultural diversity and cultural diplomacy throughout the world.
Her husband is a lawyer based in Budapest. Her son practices law in the City of London.
She has published several books: a biography on Hungarian actress Margit Dajka (1989, Officina Nova, Budapest ); a biographical work on János Pilinszky, a Hungarian poet (1990, Officina Nova, Budapest); Találkozásaim a nagyvilágban (My encounters around the globe), a collection of interviews with internationally acclaimed artists and scientists (1996, H.G.& Co.Budapest); A szabadság hangja (The Voice of Freedom), a compilation of interviews on the subject of the 1956 revolution (2006, HCC, London ); The interview book: A Magyar kultúra szolgálatában (Serving Hungarian Culture, interviewed by Hedvig Dvorszky), an insight into her professional life (2010, Kairosz, Budapest); The Art of Cultural Diplomacy: Panorama of a Presidency, 2013, representing her work as the President of UNESCO`s General Conference (Espace Cinko - UNESCO, Paris).