A conversation with 1947 Club member Pawel Chudzicki

April 28, 2011  |  DONOR SPOTLIGHT

Pawel ChudzickiWashington-based attorney Pawel Chudzicki learned about IWP through his friend Marek Chodakiewicz, IWP's Professor of History and Kościuszko Professor of Polish Studies.  When he first moved to DC, Mr. Chudzicki lived near the Institute's Sixteenth Street campus and began attending events at the Institute from time to time.  He says he has found that, "The Institute's attraction is its intellectual excellence and diversity of academic fields.  It is a fabulous place for continuing education.  Even as a visitor I have the opportunity to attend events and discussions, and interact with the professors, administrators, and students."

Like many of our students and alums, Mr. Chudzicki has made his career in the field of international affairs.  He first began to experience life abroad when he attended boarding school in England, and began to learn about international affairs from his roommate's father, a long time partner with a distinguished career at a global law firm.  This gentleman served as a role model, mentor, and benefactor for Mr. Chudzicki to continue to pursue his education at Yale. There, he truly began to be drawn to this field, and realized that he could use his Polish background combined with his experience in England and his college and law school education in the U.S. to assist clients engaged in international business between the U.S. and Poland.  

Meanwhile, Poland was experiencing a transformation towards a free society, and, after attending law school, Mr. Chudzicki worked at a U.S. law firm that had significant operations in Central Europe.  After he joined K&L Gates, his current firm, he helped open its Warsaw office.  His work focuses on cross border transactions, and the media and aviation sectors.  

In his work, he has found that American legal principles are often accepted around the world as the basis for business transactions, even though the business is conducted in foreign jurisdictions.  With its high ethical standards embodied in its laws, the US offers an exemplary model to the business world.  At IWP, students also learn about the uniqueness of the American legal framework and its implications for the conduct of foreign affairs and intelligence work.  Mr. Chudzicki comments, "The IWP education is very applicable to many forms of international work.  A lot of people who come to school here choose government careers, but the values, strategic thinking, and tools of analysis they are taught are also extremely valuable in the context of a law firm or a global business enterprise."  

He chooses to support student scholarships at the Institute through the 1947 Club for two reasons - first, because in the course of his education he has benefited from the generosity of his benefactors and feels obliged to reciprocate that generosity.  The second reason that he gives for scholarships is "out of respect and tribute for these young men and women who are training here to serve our country on the domestic and foreign fronts."

In addition to his support for scholarships, Mr. Chudzicki was willing to share some advice with our students - "Be extremely assertive in looking for a job, especially in this economic climate.  Be patient, aim at what you want to do, and persevere.  It's hard to give that advice, especially to young people burdened with educational loans, but I do think that in the US, there are so many opportunities to achieve personal goals - it's an enormous country with a lot of beautiful places to build a rewarding career combined with a happy family life."