ITI Interview with Ján Figeľ
On Tuesday 10 May 2022, the ITI welcomed to campus Ján Figeľ under the guise of the Adenauer Forum for a conversation on Catholic Public Leadership with ITI’s President, Dr. Christiaan Alting von Geusau. Mr. Figeľ was instrumental in providing leadership to his native Slovakia as it transitioned from communism and the Soviet Bloc to democracy and the European Union. After Slovakia joined the European Union, Mr. Figeľ was European Commissioner for Education, Training, and Culture and then returned to Slovakia for several more years to serve in various leadership roles in the Slovak government. Following that, he returned to the European Commission to serve as its Special Envoy for the Promotion of Freedom of Religion or Belief outside the E.U. where he was instrumental in helping to free several people who had been jailed due to their faith.
Mr. Figeľ and Dr. Geusau’s conversation ranged from his adolescence under totalitarianism, his experience on the ground floor of Slovakia’s political transition, and his time serving in various leadership roles in Slovakia and Europe. Following the conversation, Mr. Figeľ answered student audience questions and then spent several minutes meeting and talking with students informally following the event.