Athena Institute


Senior Staff

Kristóf Domina


Kristóf Domina is a foreign- and security policy expert focusing on issues of non-conventional and emerging threats. While he has been involved with various research projects, lectured at the Westminster (London) and Corvinus Universities (Budapest), he also contributed analysis for the German Marshall Fund of the United States. After starting his career by participating in the establishment of the International Center for Democratic Transition of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Domina took senior positions at leading Hungarian think tanks. He was a Marshall Memorial Fellow of the German Marshall Fund of the United States as well as a Europe Seminarist of the German Ministry of Defense. Mr. Domina holds an MA in International Relations from Corvinus University of Budapest and also studied at the Zrínyi Miklós National Defense University.

Tamás Berecz

Senior analyst

Tamás Berecz is an expert in the field of sociology and criminology. His main fields of research are violent extremism and the activities of subnational armed groups, more specifically terrorist organizations. He authored and coauthored several studies and articles on major domestic extremist incidents and violent extremist groups in Europe. He was also heavily involved in the analysis of anti-terrorist legislation and its conflicts with human rights in the UK and other Western democracies after the Islamist terror wave of the 2000s. He acquired his first class Bachelor of Arts with Honors degree in sociology and criminology in England at the University of Bedfordshire. Afterwards, he obtained a Master of Arts degree with distinction in Budapest at the Central European University in sociology and social anthropology.

Katalin Csiba

Sustainability Program Leader

Katalin Csiba is an expert in the fields of environmental and social sustainability. She received her first degree in biology at the University of Pécs in Hungary and is currently enrolled at Harvard Extension School master's degree program of General Management. Earlier she had worked for several years in the green non-profit sector on international climate campaigns, rural development, and sustainable urban horticulture projects. She gained first-hand experience of Hungarian politics as a spokesperson of the Hungarian green party. Currently she is also working as a policy advisor in the European Parliament. She specializes in current legislative and non-legislative files of the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs.


Prof. Tamás Meszerics

Prof. Meszerics is an Assistant Professor of the Political Science Department of the Central European University since 2002. He earned his Ph. D. and Doctor Universitatis at the Eötvös Loránd University in contemporary history. His area of interest covers normative political theory, theories of democracy, intelligence studies (historical and theoretical), theories of bureaucracy and bureaucratic politics, modern Central European history, experimental economics (behavioral game theory). Prof. Meszerics was a Claude R. Lambe Fellow of the George Mason University, Virginia and also a Fellow of the Institute for International Studies, University of Leeds. He is author of numerous publications on security policy, European security, intelligence studies, democracy and bureaucracy theories.

Ambassador István Gyarmati

Prof. Gyarmati is currently the President and CEO of the Budapest-based International Centre for Democratic Transition (ICDT). Ambassador Gyarmati has been a Foreign Service officer since he graduated from the Budapest University of Economics, Faculty of Diplomacy, in 1974. His postings include member of the Hungarian delegation to the MBFR and IAEA, Head of Delegation to the CFE, CSBM, Opens Skies Negotiations, Head of Security Policy Department; Personal Representative of the CSCE/OSCE Chairman-in-Office in Georgia, Chechnya and the Negotiations on CSBMs in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Chairman of the OSCE Senior Council, Executive Secretary of the Budapest CSCE Summit; Under-Secretary of Defense (1996-99), Chairman of the Missile Technology Control Regime, Chief Adviser of the Foreign Minister on Security Policy, Senior Vice President for Policy and Programs of the EastWest Institute. Amb. Gyarmati holds a Ph.D. in Political Science and is a candidate of Strategic Studies.

The Hon. Zsuzsanna Szelényi

Zsuzsanna Szelényi works as an international development expert in the Balkans, North-Africa and Hungary. For twelve years she worked as the Deputy Executive Director of the European Youth Centre of the Council of Europe in Budapest. Before that she was a Ministerial Commissioner of the Ministry of Culture and Education. Between 1990 and 1994 she was the member of the Hungarian Parliament and the General Assembly of the Council of Europe. She is engaged in several civic roles, amongst them she is the president of the board of trustees of the Active Citizenship Foundation and she is a member of the electoral committee of the German Marshall Fund of the United States Marshall Memorial Fellowship. Besides her degrees in psychology and international relations she pursued post gradual studies at Tufts University (Boston, USA) within the GMAP programme of Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy.

Strategic Advice

Mark A. Potok

Mr. Mark Potok leads one of the most highly regarded non-governmental operations monitoring hate groups and extremism in the world today. In addition to editing the SPLC’s quarterly investigative journal, The Intelligence Report, and its Hatewatch blog, Potok acts as a key SPLC spokesman for issues involving extremism. He has testified before the U.S. Senate, the United Nations High Commission on Human Rights and in other venues. Before joining the SPLC staff in 1997, he spent almost 20 years as an award-winning journalist at newspapers including USA Today, the Dallas Times Herald and The Miami Herald. While at USA Today, he covered the 1993 siege in Waco, the rise of militias, the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing and the trial of Timothy McVeigh. He has appeared on numerous television news programs and is regularly quoted by journalists and scholars in both the United States and abroad. He is a graduate of the University of Chicago.