Topics: Development Policy
Peace and Human Rights
Regional focus: Europe
Russia and Eurasia
Origin: Hungary
Fellowship: Richard von Weizsäcker Fellow

Sándor Köles is a Hungarian-born sociologist and Senior Advisor to the Budapest based International Center for Democratic Transition (ICDT) and the Prague based Institute for Stability and Development (ISD). From 2006 until 2011 Mr. Köles had been the Senior Vice-President for Programs and Development with the ICDT. Founded in 2005, ICDT's main goal is to pool Hungarian and Central European knowledge and experiences on transition and help countries across the world navigate their own transitions to democracy. Under his leadership the ICDT has developed and implemented numerous projects in Eastern Europe, the Western Balkans, South Caucasus, the Middle East and the Caribbeans on security, regional cooperation, community and civil society development.

Previously, Mr. Köles had been working with the Carpathian Foundation, first as Country Director for Hungary and, since 1997, as the Executive Director of the Foundation that promotes cross-border and interethnic cooperation in the bordering areas of Hungary, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Ukraine. Prior to joining the Carpathian Foundation Mr. Köles has worked with the Hungarian Institute for Culture, first as researcher and, later as its Deputy Director. Since the beginning of 80’s, he was profoundly involved in the emerging civic movements and assisted to the creation a number of civil society organizations in Hungary.

Sándor Köles holds graduate degrees in adult education and sociology. He was visiting professor at the University of Wisconsin in River Falls and Madison, USA, in 1994 and recipient of the Central and Eastern European Third Sector Fellowship program at the Policy Institute of the Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore in 1990. In 2011 he was visiting scientist at the Geisteswis-senschaftliches Zentrum Geschichte und Kultur Ostmitteleuropas (GWZO) at the Leipzig University, Germany.

From 1993 to 1998, Mr. Köles had been the Vice-President of the European Council for Villages and Small Towns (ECOVAST). He was the member of the Governing Council of the European Foundation Centre in 1998-2005. He has been working as advisor to the Central Asia Leadership Academy (CELA).

Sándor Köles is the author and editor of books, articles, studies and documentaries on civil society, regional and cross-border cooperation and ethnic minorities.


Last updated: 2015