Henryka Bochniarz, Ph.D. (born in Swiebodzin on 29 October 1947) is a Polish economist, former Minister of Industry and Trade, founder and head of the Polish Confederation of Private Employers ‘Lewiatan’ and president for Central and Eastern Europe Region of Boeing International Co.
Professional Summary Henryka Bochniarz is a leader of the business community in Poland and one of the most important voices in the European dialogue on diversity. Since 1999 she has headed the Polish Confederation ‘Lewiatan’, the largest organization of private sector employers in Poland. She is a member of the Council of Presidents of BUSINESSEUROPE, the biggest and most prominent confederation of employers in the European Union, and a member of the European Commission Enterprise and Industry Advisory Group, a consultative committee established by the commissioner Antonio Tajani. Since 2002, she has served as Deputy Chair of the Polish Tripartite Commission for Social and Economic Affairs and has played an active role in the dialogue between government, employers’ associations and trade union bodies. In 2011, joined the pan European think-tank European Council on Foreign Relations. She co-funded the Congress of Women and was one of the originators of Poland’s. In 2006, the Boeing company named her president of Boeing International Central and Eastern Europe. Before joining Boeing, she was president and co-owner of Nicom Consulting, one of the first Polish consulting companies, which she created in the 1990s. In 1991, she served as Minister of Industry and Trade in the cabinet of Prime Minister Jan Krzysztof Bielecki. In 2005 she was the Polish Democratic Party’s candidate for President of Poland. In 2012, placed on the list of the 50 Most Influential Poles by the ‘Wprost’ magazine.
Education Graduated from Foreign Trade Faculty, Warsaw School of Economics in 1971. Received Ph.D. in economics from the Foreign Trade Research Institute, and became also certified advisor in management. She was awarded with the Fulbright scholarship and spent two years doing research and teaching at the University of Minnesota (1985–87).
Activities in Poland Almost twenty years (1971–90) she performed her career as an academic lecturer and researcher at the Institute for Business Cycles and Prices at the Main School for Planning and Statistics (currently Warsaw School of Economics). At the time she was a member of the Polish communist party - Polish United Workers' Party (1970 – 1990).
In 1990, Henryka Bochniarz founded and led the Nicom Consulting, one of the first consulting companies in Poland. Shortly after, she initiated establishing and became the first president of the Association of Economic Consultants in Poland. In 1991, the Polish Prime Minister Jan Krzysztof Bielecki invited her to become the Minister of Industry and Trade consolidating two previously separated ministries. In the ministerial capacities she was responsible for restructuring and privatization of over 7000 Polish firms. After her public service she came back to consulting business facilitating the transformational reforms, particularly the largest privatization projects in Poland. The business representative in recognizing her role in transforming the Polish economy elected her to chair the Polish Business Roundtable in 1996-99 – the representatives of the top 50 companies in Poland. In that capacity, she organized a universal association for all private firms – the Polish Confederation of Private Employers ‘Lewiatan’, and became its fist president (1999). This is a non-governmental organisation which serves as private business representative in the Polish constitutional body – the Tripartite Commission for Social and Economic Affairs along with trade unions and government representatives. Since the establishing of this Commission she is its vice-chairperson. Ms. Bochniarz used to co-chair the Committee of Good Practices – a non-governmental organization representing businesses committed to the implementation of a voluntary Code of Good Practices.
In June 2005, Ms. Bochniarz was nominated by the Democratic Party its candidate for the office of the President of the Republic of Poland, ran good campaign and received the strongest support from the best educated constituencies in Poland.
International activities Currently she serves as a member of the Council of Presidents of BUSINESSEUROPE, the biggest employers’ organization in the European Union. Ms. Bochniarz is a member of the European Commission Enterprise and Industry Advisory Group, a consultative committee established by the commissioner Antonio Tajani. In 2011, joined the pan European think-tank European Council on Foreign Relations. Since 2000, she has chaired the Polish Japanese Economic Committee, striving to develop Polish-Japanese economic cooperation.
In the past, she used to be a member of the Enterprise Policy Group at the European Commission, advising on economic policy of the European Union. Dr. Bochniarz participated also in the works of BIAC - The Business and Industry Advisory Committee, an advisory organisation to OECD, which represents groups of entrepreneurs from OECD member states. For almost ten years she had been a member of Private Sector Advisory Group established by the World Bank and OECD focusing on corporate governance and anti-corruption.
Public and social activities Henryka Bochniarz is very active in the public life. She is originator of the European Forum for New Ideas, international congress of business communities, economists and experts devoted to seek meaningful solutions to the most fundamental economic problems facing Europe. First edition of the Forum held in Sopot (north Poland) was organized on the occasion of the Polish Presidency of the EU Council.
Henryka Bochniarz initiated and co-founded the Nike Literary Prize - the most prestigious award for Polish literature and has been its donator for 10 years (1996-2006). She is co-founder and a vice-chairperson of the Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz Arts Foundation assisting the Witkacy Theatre in Zakopane, Poland. Dr. Bochniarz has established and donated the initial endowment for the ‘Prymus’ Foundation promoting and providing equal educational opportunities for children in rural areas. She also participated in the works of the Junior Achievement Foundation, established to prepare children and youth to live in the conditions of market economy and civil society.
Ms. Bochniarz is a strong supporter of rising presence of women in business and political life. At the 20th anniversary of democratic transformation in Poland co-founded the Congress of Women, which became an important social movement and initiated the parity legislation in Poland. She is the Polish advocate of the EU project “Equality pays off” aiming to use better female potential. In 2003, together with Jacek Santorski, she wrote a book titled Bądź sobą i wygraj - 10 podpowiedzi dla aktywnej kobiety (Be yourself and win – ten hints for an active woman).
Awards, medals She is a laureate of the Andrzej Bączkowski Award (2003) for extraordinary contribution to development of social dialogue in Poland and activities beyond political differences; Kisiel Prize (1998) for independent thinking and entrepreneurship. In 2004 the President of the Republic of Poland awarded her the Commodore Cross of the Order of “Polonia Restituta”. She was decorated with the Japanese Order of the Rising Sun, Golden and Silver Star (2010).
Private life Married to Zbigniew Bochniarz, academic lecturer, Visiting Professor at the Evans School of Public Affairs, University of Washington in Seattle. She has two children and nine grandchildren.
- Kto jest kim w polityce polskiej -Roman Ignasiak - 1993 Page 31 "BOCHNIARZ Henryka Ur. 29 października 1947 r.; świebodzin; mężatka, córka, syn. Wykształcenie: SGPiS, 1971; dr ekonomii 1984. Przebieg pracy zawodowej: Instytut Koniunktur i Cen Handlu Zagranicznego, 1972-76, 1980-90, m.in."
- Polish presidential election, 2005