An internationally-recognized nongovernmental organization (NGO) leader, Pavol Demeš served from 2000-10 as director of GMF's Bratislava office, where he oversaw GMF's activities in Central and Eastern Europe. He now works in Bratislava as a transatlantic fellow. Before joining GMF, Demeš was executive director of the Slovak Academic Information Agency-Service Center for the Third Sector, a Slovak NGO committed to enhancing civil society. Previously, Demeš led a distinguished political and civic reform career serving his country as foreign policy advisor to the president of Slovakia (1993-97), minister of international relations (1991-92), and director of the department of foreign relations in the ministry of education (1990-1991). In 1999 he was awarded a six-month public policy research fellowship at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington, DC.
Prior to entering the field of public affairs after the Velvet Revolution, Demeš was a biomedical researcher at Comenius University in Bratislava. He is a graduate of Charles University in Prague (1980) and spent a year as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of South Alabama, Mobile, in the United States (1987-88).
He received the EU-U.S. Democracy and Civil Society Award (1998), the USAID Democracy and Governance Award (1999), Royal Dutch decoration Knight of the Order of Orange Nassau (2005), and the Yugoslav Star of First Class (2005). He speaks fluent English in addition to his native Slovak, and has limited proficiency in Russian. He is also an accomplished photographer.