|Born||27 December 1967|
|Occupation||Executive Director of People in Need|
Šimon Pánek (born 27 December 1967) is a former Czech student activist during the Velvet Revolution in 1989 and today the executive director of the humanitarian organization People in Need (Člověk v tísni), which he co-founded in 1992. People in Need (PIN) became the biggest non-governmental organisation in Central and Eastern Europe and works worldwide to mitigate the suffering of people in times of crisis. For its international and national effort, PIN has become highly respected in the Czech Republic and abroad.
In 1988, Šimon Pánek and Jaromír Štětina were the main organizers of humanitarian assistance in Armenia, collecting various anecdotal material to help affected people of the earthquake. One year later, in 1989, Pánek became one of "student leaders" during the Velvet Revolution in Czechoslovakia, where he was organising anti-regime occupation strikes and became co-chairman of the Central Students Strike Committee.
In 1992, he founded the news agency Epicentrum, which specializes in global conflict reporting. In 1992 Šimon Pánek co-founded Nadace Lidových novin (The Lidové noviny Foundation), now known as People in Need (PIN), and has been a foreign policy specialist on the Balkan region and human rights issues abroad in the presidential administration of Václav Havel.
Since 2004, Pánek chaired the Czech NGO development platform FoRS. He received the Czech State Medal of Merit in 2002 and the European of the Year Award in 2003. However, Šimon Pánek chaired the Board of the Open Society Fund Prague, is a member of the European Council on Foreign Relations, of the Board of the European Partnership for Democracy and of the Board of Eurostep.
With Marek Benda and Monika Pajerová, Studenti psali revoluci (students wrote a revolution), Praha. Univerzum. 1990, ISBN 80-85207-02-8
European of the Year in 2002 by the Reader's Digest magazine
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