Katalin Bogyay

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Katalin Bogyay
Born (1956-08-20) August 20, 1956 (age 60)
Székesfehérvár, Hungary
Residence New York City
Nationality Hungarian
Alma mater Corvinus University of Budapest
University of Westminster, London
Occupation Diplomat
Television broadcaster

Katalin Annamária Bogyay[1] (born 20 August 1956) is a Hungarian diplomat. She is the current Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary and Permanent Representative of Hungary to the United Nations in New York (1 January 2015-) and the former Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary and Permanent Delegate of Hungary to UNESCO (2009–2014) and the President of the 36th session of UNESCO General Conference (2011–13).[2]

Early life and education[edit]

Katalin Bogyay was born in Székesfehérvár, Hungary. She graduated in Economics at the Corvinus University of Budapest and obtained a Master of Arts in Communications from the University of Westminster(London)[3] with Chevening Scholarship.[4]

Professional career[edit]

She began her career as a theatre and music critic, later becoming a presenter, producer and senior editor of Music and the Arts at the Hungarian National Television (Magyar Televízió or MTV). Following the fall of communism, in 1990 she became the first Hungarian television personality to be awarded a Know How Fund Scholarship to study media in democracy at the BBC.[5]

After hosting galas and interviewing celebrities from all over the world, she hosted her own show, Katalin Bogyay and her Guests (2003-2004, MTV/Hungary). Bogyay went on to become an international broadcaster and documentary filmmaker, working throughout the 1990s as an independent producer based in London notably for European Business News, BBC Radio, Global Vision Network, MTV, Danube TV.

Political career[edit]

In 1999 she became a diplomat and began working for the Hungarian Ministry for Culture.[6] As Director General she opened the Hungarian Cultural Centre in 1999 in the heart of London's Covent Garden. She was the director of the Centre until 2006. To mark Hungary's entry to the EU in 2004, Bogyay created Magyar Magic, a seventeen-month long festival celebrating Hungarian talent throughout Britain under the dual patronage of Queen Elizabeth II and H.E. Dr. Ferenc Mádl, the President of the Republic of Hungary.[7]

In 2007 Bogyay was selected by the London School of Economics as one of the Top 50 thinkers in the publication EU The Next Fifty Years. In her invited editorial she wrote about the new European cultural space.[8]

In 2007 she represented Eastern, Central and Southern Europe as one of the deputy chairpersons of the Cultural Committee at the UNESCO's General Conference. Between July 2006 and April 2009, she served as the State Secretary for International Affairs at the Hungarian Ministry of Education and Culture. Since September 2009 until December 2014 she was based in Paris as Hungary's Ambassador to UNESCO. In 2009 she served as one of the vice presidents of the 35th General Conference of the UNESCO.[9]

On 5 October 2011 UNESCO's Executive Board unanimously proposed Bogyay as President of UNESCO's 36th General Conference. On 25 October 2011, the General Conference of unanimously elected Bogyay as President of UNESCO's 36th General Conference. She succeeded Davidson L. Hepburn (Commonwealth of The Bahamas) who presided the 35th session. On 5 November 2013 the General Conference elected Hao Ping, the Vice-Minister of Education of China as President of UNESCO's 37th General Conference.[10]

United Nations[edit]

She was appointed Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Hungary to the UN in New York and took office as head of the Hungarian Mission to the UN in New York on 1 January 2015.

She chaired the United Nations Committee on Conferences in 2016-2017. [11] The Conference Committee decides upon the yearly Calendar of Conferences of all UN duty stations, ensures that conference services, translation and interpretation work smoothly during all UN meetings. [12]

In January 2017, the President of the General Assembly appointed Tajikistan and Hungary, H.E. Ms Katalin Bogyay, Permanent Representative to the UN as Co-Moderators of the working-level dialogue to discuss improving the integration and coordination of the work of the United Nations on the water-related Sustainable Development (SDG) goals and targets, as well as a subsequent dialogue to take stock of progress made and exchange views on possible next steps. [13] The activities of the mission can be reached at https://un-newyork.mfa.gov.hu/.

She is a vocal advocate of women’s empowerment, a Gender Champion [14] [15] and started a thematic meeting series of the Circle of Women Ambassador in the UN to cover issues such as implementation of the SDGs or preventive diplomacy. [16] Ambassador Bogyay hosts a salon series to build bridges between the UN and the city of New York through cultural diplomacy, art, music and poetry. [17]

60th anniversary of the 1956 Hungarian Revolution in the UN[edit]

After the crush of the 1956 revolution, since the Security Council was unable to act, it was the General Assembly that adopted a number of resolutions on the matter and established the so-called Special Committee on the Problem of Hungary.[18]

The UN Archives keeps numerous documents concerning the 1956 Revolution and the following events. In 2016 Ambassador Bogyay, with the support of the Hungarian Government, requested to open and declassify the previously classified documents after 60 years for research purposes. The UN Secretariat opened up more than 400 pages of previously classified documents for research purposes. Moreover, more than 1000 pages of UN documents kept at Columbia University have also been declassified, and are therefore available for public research. [19]

Ambassador Bogyay hosted a series of events, including a roundtable discussion on the “1956 Hungarian Revolution and the 20th Century Democratization Processes" as well as a historic panel discussion to honor the memory of Povl Bang-Jensen.Under her leadership, Hungary, for the first time, co-hosted the UN Day Gala Concert, that marks the birth of the United Nations in 1945 through the universal language of music. The theme of this year’s concert was “Freedom First”.[20] The Permanent Mission of Hungary to the United Nations and iASK Insitute of Advance Studies Kőszeg published book A CRY FOR FREEDOM: Reflections on the 1956 Hungarian Revolution at the UN and Beyond by Ambassador Bogyay as well as created Statues of Remembrance by Hedva Ser, UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador és Special Envoy for Cultural Diplomacy, based on the concept of the Ambassador.[21]

Awards and honors[edit]

She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA)[22] and of the World Academy of Art and Science (FWAAS).[22] In 2005, she was awarded the Knight's Cross Order of Merit of the Republic of Hungary for her contribution to international culture.[23] In 2012, she was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Letters from the University of Glasgow for her work in building cultural links between Hungary and Scotland, as well as promoting cultural diversity and cultural diplomacy throughout the world.[24] In 2013, on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the International Fair Play Committee Bogyay was awarded the Special Trophy of Fair Play to her contribution in sports diplomacy.[25] In 2014, she was awarded the Commander's Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Hungary for her achievements in culture and cultural diplomacy.[26] She is an International Advisory Board Member of the Institute for Cultural Diplomacy (ICD - Berlin) and President of the Program The Arts and Cultural Diplomacy.[27] In 2016, she was awarded a Doctor Honoris Causa from the Pannon University for her work in multilateral and cultural diplomacy.[28] In 2016 she received the Global Citizenship Award from the James Jay Dudley Luce Foundation for embodying the characteristics of honor, intelligence, benevolence, and integrity [29] Ambassador Bogyay received an Honorary Professor distinction from the Utah Valley University in April 2016.[30] [31]


She has published several books: a biography on Hungarian actress Margit Dajka (1989, Officina Nova, Budapest )[32] as well as another biographical work on János Pilinszky, a Hungarian poet (1990, Officina Nova, Budapest).[33] Találkozásaim a nagyvilágban (My encounters around the globe) is a collection of interviews with internationally acclaimed artists and scientists (1996, H.G.& Co.Budapest).[34] The Voice of Freedom-A szabadság hangja (2006, HCC, London ) is a compilation of interviews on the subject of the 1956 revolution.[35] In the interview book: A Magyar kultúra szolgálatában (Serving Hungarian Culture, interviewed by Hedvig Dvorszky, 2010, Kairosz), Budapest she gives an insight about her professional life.[36] The Art of Cultural Diplomacy: Panorama of the Presidency, (2013, Espace Cinko- UNESCO, Paris)[37] and Elnökségem története (2014, Holnap Kiadó, Budapest) [38] are about her work as the President of UNESCO`s General Conference (2011–13). In 2017, it was published in China by Yilin Press. [39] Her book on the 1956 Revolution at the UN called “A CRY FOR FREEDOM: Reflections on the 1956 Hungarian Revolution at the UN and Beyond” was published in 2017 in New York.[40]

Personal life[edit]

Her husband is a lawyer in Budapest and her son Tamás is an associate attorney in the London office of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP.[41]


  1. ^ "Former Child Soldier Describes Forced Recruitment during Security Council Debate, Urges International Community to Aid Other Children Released by Armed Groups". ReliefWeb. Retrieved 17 August 2015. 
  2. ^ "Opening of 36th session of UNESCO’s General Conference - United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization". unesco.org. Retrieved 17 August 2015. 
  3. ^ "New Permanent Representative of Hungary Presents Credentials". un.org. Retrieved 17 August 2015. 
  4. ^ http://www.cheveningalumni.org/Register.aspx
  5. ^ http://www.cd-n.org/index.php?president-katalin-bogyay
  6. ^ http://feol.hu/hirek/bogyay-katalin-valora-valt-vizioi-1669931
  7. ^ https://www.nytimes.com/2004/01/09/style/09iht-menkes_ed3_.html
  8. ^ http://www.lse.ac.uk/publicEvents/events/2007/20061219t1718z001.aspx
  9. ^ http://www.unesco.org/new/en/general-conference-36th/president/unesco-biography/
  10. ^ "2013 - United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization". unesco.org. Retrieved 17 August 2015. 
  11. ^ https://www.un.org/en/ga/fifth/71/Statements/137.%20Pattern%20of%20Conferences/C5_71_0m_ST_2016_10_28_Item137_PoC_Vice-Chair%20CoC.pdf
  12. ^ http://coc.dgacm.org/
  13. ^ https://www.un.org/press/en/2016/ga11880.doc.htm
  14. ^ http://genderchampions.com/champions?chapter=1
  15. ^ http://genderchampions.com/champions/katalin-annamaria-bogyay
  16. ^ http://www.diplomaticconnections.com/r5/showkiosk.asp?listing_id=5387452
  17. ^ http://blacktiemagazine.com/rose-billings/Salon_dHiver_and_Musical_Soiree.htm
  18. ^ https://www.un.org/en/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=S/RES/120(1956)
  19. ^ http://magyarhirlap.hu/cikk/54708/Hungarian_Documents_Declassified
  20. ^ http://www.worldtribune.com/in-late-october-1956-it-was-dwight-vs-adlai-here-and-a-freedom-fight-for-the-ages-in-hungary/
  21. ^ http://www.politics.hu/20170622/hungarys-un-mission-in-new-york-closes-1956-memorial-year//
  22. ^ a b "Permanent Mission of Hungary to the United Nations". gov.hu. Retrieved 17 August 2015. 
  23. ^ "Professional biography - United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization". unesco.org. Retrieved 17 August 2015. 
  24. ^ http://www.gla.ac.uk/colleges/socialsciences/news/headline_237635_en.html
  25. ^ http://www.unesco.org/new/en/general-conference-36th/president/diary/2013/
  26. ^ UNESCO. "Magyar UNESCO Bizottság - Bogyay Katalin, Magyarország Unesco nagykövete a Magyar Érdemrenddel kitüntetettek között / Katalin Bogyay, Hungary’s Ambassador to UNESCO was awarded the Commander's Cross of the Order of Merit of Hungary". unesco.hu. Retrieved 17 August 2015. 
  27. ^ http://www.culturaldiplomacy.org/index.php?katalin-bogyay
  28. ^ http://www.ises.hu/news/university-of-pannonia-koszeg-campus---opening-ceremony
  29. ^ http://stewardshipreport.com/international-day-of-happiness-2016-at-the-united-nations/
  30. ^ http://www.uvu.edu/intlaffairs/events/
  31. ^ https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=609492392539502&id=412216028933807
  32. ^ https://www.antikvarium.hu/konyv/bogyay-katalin-dajka-72807
  33. ^ http://moly.hu/konyvek/bogyay-katalin-in-memoriam-pilinszky
  34. ^ http://unicef.shopline.hu/product/home.action?_v=Bogyay_Katalin_Talalkozasaim_a_nagyvilagban&id=2103281922&type=10
  35. ^ http://bookline.hu/product/home.action?_v=Bogyay_Katalin_The_Voice_Freedom_Remembering_the_1956_Revolution&id=2102471003&type=10
  36. ^ http://www.emag.hu/a-magyar-kultura-szolgalataban-bogyay-katalinnal-beszelget-dvorszky-hedvi-214490/pd/D06P6BBBM/
  37. ^ http://www.unesco.org/archives/multimedia/index.php?s=films_details&pg=33&id=3420
  38. ^ https://veol.hu/kultura/elnoksegem-tortenete-bogyay-katalin-konyvbemutatoja-1645004
  39. ^ https://book.douban.com/subject/26974180/
  40. ^ http://www.politics.hu/20170622/hungarys-un-mission-in-new-york-closes-1956-memorial-year/
  41. ^ "Gibson, Dunn & Crucher LLP Lawyers". 

External links[edit]

Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Cultural Counsellor, Director General of the Hungarian Cultural Centre, London
Succeeded by
Ildikó Takács
Preceded by
András Lakatos
Ambassador, Permanent Delegate of Hungary to UNESCO, Paris
Succeeded by
Zoltán Cséfalvay
Preceded by
Davidson Hepburn
President of the UNESCO General Conference
Succeeded by
Hao Ping
Preceded by
Csaba Kőrösi
Ambassador, Permanent Representative of Hungary to the United Nations
Succeeded by