Šimon Pánek (Czech Republic)

Šimon Pánek is the Chairman of the Board of the Prague Civil Society Centre, a new institution working in former Soviet Union countries.

Šimon Pánek was the co-founder and executive director of People in Need, a humanitarian organization based in Czech Republic. People in Need provides humanitarian aid and solidarity for human rights and civil society, principally in authoritarian or conflict-ridden states and zones, including Chechnya, the Balkans, Belarus, Ukraine, and Cuba.

Pánek’s activism goes back to 1989, when as a student activist in the Velvet Revolution he was a leader of several anti-regime occupation strikes. Pánek served as a foreign policy specialist on the Balkans and Human Rights issues in the presidential administration of Vaclav Havel. He is a member of the European Council on Foreign Relations (www.ecfr.eu), and a founding member of the Board of the European Partnership for Democracy (www.eupd.eu). From 2004 to 2010, Pánek  was the Chairman of the Board for a Czech NGOs’ development platform FoRS, (www.fors.cz). From 2011 to 2013, Pánek served as the Supervisory Council President of Alliance 2015, European NGO network (www.alliance2015.org).

Pánek is a recipient of the 2002 Czech State Medal of Merit and the 2003 European of the Year Award.