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Lecture with Ambassador Vince Obsitnik

Thu, Jul 22, 2010, 4:30pm - 6:00pm

On Thursday, July 22nd at 4:30 p.m. Ambassador Vince Obsitnik, former U.S. Ambassador to the Slovak Republic, will speak at IWP.  He will discuss, “Slovakia: Past and Future.” The lecture will be followed by a reception. 

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Vincent Obsitnik served as Ambassador to the Slovak Republic from 2007-2009. Prior to this appointment, Ambassador Obsitnik was appointed in 2006 by President George W. Bush to the US Presidential Delegation to the Commemoration of the 65th Anniversary of the Tragedy in Babyn Yar in Ukraine. In 2005, he was appointed by President George W. Bush to the US Presidential Delegation for the Austrian State Treaty Anniversary. In October 2001, he was appointed by President George W. Bush to the US Commission for the Preservation of America’s Heritage Abroad and served as a member of the Commission until July 2006. The purpose of the Commission is to be concerned about the cultural heritage of Americans from Central and Eastern Europe. Ambassador Obsitnik worked to bring international attention to the plight of the 17th and 18th century Greek Catholic wooden churches of Slovakia and, through his leadership, two of the most endangered churches have been restored.

Ambassador Obsitnik has had corporate executive careers with the IBM, Unisys and Litton Corporations. At Unisys Corporation, as President of the Systems Development Division, he led a $600 million business with 3000 employees marketing and developing advanced electronic and computing systems. At Litton Corporation, he was Vice President, International and directed business expansion into the European and Latin American markets. In 27 years at the IBM Corporation, his responsibilities spanned the areas of Marketing, Sales, Manufacturing, Engineering and Program Management. He spent eight years with the IBM World Trade Corporation with manufacturing responsibilities in Europe, Latin America and Asia. In Latin America, he had overall responsibility for the management of manufacturing plants in Brazil, Argentina and Mexico. In Asia, he was responsible for manufacturing logistics of all IBM operations. Following these careers, Ambassador Obsitnik started and became President of International Investments Inc., a consulting company, working in the areas of joint ventures, technology licensing and privatization projects between the US and Central Europe.

Born in 1938 in Moravany, Slovakia, he immigrated with his parents that same year, prior to the occupation of Czechoslovakia by Nazi Germany. His father worked as a coal miner in Pennsylvania after which the family moved to New Jersey where he grew up. Upon graduating from Linden High School, in Linden, NJ, he received an appointment to the US Naval Academy and graduated with the Class of 1959. He then served the next five years as an officer in the US Navy, in destroyers and submarines.

Ambassador Obsitnik graduated from the US Naval Academy in 1959 with honors. He received his MBA in Finance from The American University in Washington, DC. He has also attended the IBM Advanced Management School, Sands Point, Long Island, NY; the IBM International Management School in La Hulpe, Belgium; and the Unisys Executive Program at The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA.

Ambassador Obsitnik is fluent in the Slovak language and has an understanding of Russian. He is a marathon runner and plays tennis and squash. He is married and has four sons and twelve grandchildren.

Bio from the website of the Council of American Ambassadors.