“The one thing I intend to keep in mind is that my position is there so I can serve the people of Białołęka, not the other way around.”
The Institute of World Politics is happy to announce that our former intern Lukasz Oprawski has been elected as deputy mayor of the district of Białołęka in Warsaw, Poland. “I’ve taken up many new responsibilities, and I’m proud to share my success with you,” he stated in an email. This position was offered to him by the new Białołęka mayor, Jan Mackiewicz. The Councilors who gathered voted unanimously in favor of his appointment. Being involved in the mayorship of a district in Warsaw is the primer needed to launch an ambitious career in Polish politics, and Lukasz is determined to do just that.
Prior to Lukasz’s work at IWP, he was a board member for a Polish company and a district councilor for the Zoliborz district in Warsaw.
While here at IWP, Lukasz showed the same electric energy and commitment to growth. “I never saw a situation where Lukasz was afraid to learn, work hard, or network effectively in Washington D.C.,” said Katie Bridges, his supervisor at the Institute. “He was professional in everything he did, and we were happy to be able to call him a member of our team.”
Lukasz’s work represents the latest chapter in decades of partnership and education IWP has shared with citizens of nations liberated from the Soviet Union, particularly Polish citizens. IWP President Dr. John Lenczowski, former advisor to U.S. President Ronald Reagan on Soviet Affairs, takes this effort very seriously. “It was my lifelong work to expose the injustices of the Soviet Union and defeat it in the Cold War. Now that Soviet communism is gone, my mission has been to defend America and Western civilization and share the ideas of liberty with those who were denied it for so long,” he said.
When Lukasz wasn’t guiding our social media campaigns or welcoming our guests from the U.S. government, he was looking for opportunities to learn beyond the Institute. “I came in on a Monday and heard that Lukasz had traveled to New Hampshire to visit a presidential campaign over the weekend,” said former coworker Kevin Dunne. Lukasz’s visit occurred just as the presidential hopefuls were gearing up for primary elections, one of the high-water marks of American politics. “It was good to see how things are done in the United States,” recalled Lukasz.
When asked about his experience here, he replied: “I’m glad I was able to go there and see how things have developed in America. It is a great way to not only understand the country itself, but it also provides a lot of ideas about what course Poland can take in the future.” After attending many different events around the city, Lukasz was able to get a good impression of politics in Washington.
Lukasz was able to squeeze in a road trip to Miami, Florida before his return flight to Poland. “It was good to see what other places in the United States are like in addition to D.C.,” he said. Lukasz confirmed that the sunshine was great also. “I enjoyed my time in the United States, and I am glad I had the opportunity to work there,” he said.
True to form, Lukasz has hit the ground running in his new role as deputy mayor. “The one thing I intend to keep in mind is that my position is there so I can serve the people of Białołęka, not the other way around,” he stated. “I plan on finding ways to improve our energy sector and promote start-up businesses.” He added that necessary investments in road transportation and in the construction of a new local hospital are also to be prioritized during his tenure.