Arrives In Washington
WASHINGTON, D.C. – On November 9, 2016 the Ambassador of the Republic of Poland to the United States of America, Piotr Wilczek, Ph.D., officially presented his Letters of Credence to Ambassador Peter Selfridge – the United States Chief of Protocol in Washington.
Ambassador Wilczek is very well acquainted with the United States. From 1998 to 2001 he taught Polish language and literature as a visiting professor at Rice University, the University of Illinois and the University of Texas at Austin. He also was invited to give public lectures at Harvard University and conducted research as a visiting scholar at Boston College and Cleveland State University.
Professor Wilczek also has a direct familial bond with the American Polonia. Until his diplomatic appointment in the U.S., he officiated as the Representative in Poland of the New York based Kosciuszko Foundation, America’s premier non-profit organization dedicated to educational, cultural, and artistic exchanges between the United States and Poland. He also served as president of the Foundation’s affiliate in Warsaw.
On this evening, Ambassador Wilczek called directly upon the support of the many representatives of the Polish American organizations present. He hoped for their continued fruitful cooperation to further the collective goals of Poland vis a vis Polish America presently and into the future. He especially thanked the American Polonia for its tireless and focused efforts over the many past difficult and tumultuous years to free Poland – and to keep it free – from foreign occupation and domination.
In photo: A Most Newsworthy Welcoming. Ambassador Piotr Wilczek being interviewed by a bevy of Polish media at his residence during the recent Polish Independence Day Celebration on November 16, 2016. It was also marked the occasion of the ambassador’s first official introduction in Washington and to the United States as a diplomat representing the Republic of Poland.
Piotr Wilczek was born on April 26, 1962 in Chorzow, Upper Silesia, Poland. A prolific literary scholar, intellectual historian, author, and translator, he graduated in 1986 from the University of Silesia in Katowice, where he received his Ph.D. in 1992. He later was installed there as a professor and the Dean of Faculty. His academic disciplines also include comparative literature and philology. At the University of Warsaw in 2008 he was the Founding Director of Collegium Artes Liberales (College of Liberal Arts and Sciences). Wilczek is an active member of Warsaw’s non-partisan American Study Group at the Polish Institute of International Affairs. Most deservedly, in 2006 he received the honorific “Professor of Humanities” from Poland’s President Lech Kaczynski.
Being a true intellectual and scholar extraordinaire, Wilczek has been the recipient of numerous grants and scholarships. In addition to his extensive academic pursuits and accomplishments in Poland and America, Wilczek engaged in cultural diplomacy by conducting postgraduate research and postdoctoral projects in England at Oxford’s St. Anne’s College, the University of London’s Warburg Institute, and The British Center for Literary Translation, University of East Anglia.
And now Professor Piotr Wilczek embarks on a completely new journey into the fascinating – and often very demanding – world of international diplomacy and complicated politics to represent the Republic of Poland and its people. No doubt his superior intellect and academic achievements that form his “man of letters” culture and extensive breadth and depth of knowledge will serve himself and Poland well in the challenging environment of being a newly minted diplomat in the person of Ambassador Piotr Wilczek.
Text & Photos:
Richard P. Poremski
Polish American Journal
Washington, DC Bureau
January 6, 2016