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Using Economic Mechanisms to Achieve Foreign Policy Objectives

Thu, Jun 9, 2016, 4:00pm - 5:30pm

You are cordially invited to a discussion on the topic of

Using Economic Mechanisms to Achieve Foreign Policy Objectives

Francis Skrobiszewski
Former Vice President, Polish-American Enterprise Fund
Former Senior Vice President, Hungarian-American Enterprise Fund

Thursday, June 9
4:00 PM

The Institute of World Politics
1521 16th St. NW
Washington, DC

This lecture is part of a series on Economics and Foreign Policy sponsored by the Charles Koch Foundation.


About the lecture: Dr. Skrobiszewski will compare and contrast what the USG did in support of transformation of post-Soviet Central and Eastern Europe with other rebuilding initiatives, with a focus on the Enterprise Fund model. He will touch on post-WWII Western Europe’s Marshall Plan, and Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan, Haiti and other recent initiatives, with which he has had some direct experience. He will talk about fundamentally what works and what doesn’t as general principles, the need for a strategy that properly defines the problem and the objectives, and the need for understanding tactically how to adapt approaches proven elsewhere to local conditions and realities.

Francis SkrobiszewskiAbout the speaker: Engaged for the past 25 years in transformation initiatives of former Soviet Bloc countries, Skrobiszewski has been actively engaged in development of economic mechanisms to achieve foreign policy objectives. Upon the collapse of Communism in Poland in 1989, President Bush called Skrobiszewski to The White House to discuss strategy for rebuilding the Polish economy and, on the weekend the Berlin Wall fell, to meet Lech Walesa.

Subsequently, Skrobiszewski drafted the business plan for the $240 million Polish-American Enterprise Fund (PAEF) — the first of pioneering direct equity funds capitalized by the US Government to “jump-start” local private sector businesses and to build the institutional foundation for free market economies in “post-Soviet” Central and Eastern Europe. Over the next 15 years, Skrobiszewski served initially as Vice President of PAEF, and later as Senior Vice President of the $60 million Hungarian-American Enterprise Fund (HAEF). Concurrently, he was a director of a Polish Mass Privatization Fund comprised of +500 State-owned enterprises. After conceiving and managing HAEF’s high-tech Venture Capital fund, Skrobiszewski was appointed to the Investment Committee of a $300 million fund-of-funds financing new high-tech VC firms in Poland.

Skrobiszewski was born in Portsmouth, Virginia and raised in a nearby Polish farming community. After studies at University of Vienna, he graduated in Economics from Virginia Polytechnic Institute. During military service, he obtained his Master’s degree from University of Southern California in Systems Management. After international law studies in Paris, he received a Juris Doctorate from University of Virginia School of Law. Skrobiszewski practiced law in San Francisco prior to service during the Reagan Administration at the US Environmental Protection Agency, from which he was seconded to the President’s Council on Management Improvement. Skrobiszewski has spoken widely on the role of financing in stimulating private business development to support reconstruction. He served 5 years on the Board of Afghan-American Chamber of Commerce, and has advised on such funds designed for Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Palestine, Ghana, Cuba and Haiti, as well as for specialized funds in Central Asia, Armenia, Georgia, Serbia, and most recently, Swaziland.