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

Zsuzsanna Szelényi is a Hungarian politician and expert in foreign policy. As founding member of the centrist party “Together” in 2012 and a member of the Hungarian Parliament from 2014 to 2018, she covered foreign and security policy, European politics, migration, constitutional affairs, and gender issues. She established the Visegrad4Europe project to organize pro-European advocacy in Central Europe, and was member of the Mercator European Dialogue and the OSEPI-Carnegie European Reformist program. In the framework of the Europe’s Future program at the Institute of Human Sciences in Vienna, she conducted research on the impact of populism and the backsliding of democracy on the future of the European Union.

Szelényi started her career as founding member of Fidesz – a youth party at the régime change in Hungary in 1988 – which she represented in parliament from 1990 to 1994. After her retirement from politics in 1994, she worked at the Council of Europe for fifteen years advising governments and NGOs on conflict management, human rights education, and human development. She also worked as a human development consultant for international organizations in various Central European and North African countries.

Szelényi completed her studies in international politics and economics at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy in Boston. She holds a MA in psychology from the University of Eotvos Lorand (Budapest) and a MA in international relations from Corvinus University (Budapest).

Last updated: 2019