Edith K. Lauer
Edith Lauer is one of the Founders, former President, Chairman, and presently Chair Emerita of the Hungarian American Coalition (HAC). Born in Budapest, Hungary, she escaped with her family following the 1956 Hungarian Revolution, and eventually settled in Maryland. As President of HAC, she represented the Hungarian American community at several key White House discussions with President Clinton and administration officials on NATO expansion from 1994 to 1997. She also organized conferences in Budapest, Debrecen, and Miskolc to educate Hungarians on the advantages and responsibilities of NATO membership before their national referendum on accession. During her tenure at the Hungarian American Coalition she was instrumental in establishing many Coalition projects in the United States, Hungary, Slovakia, and Romania. These include Washington conferences, internships, scholarships in U.S. universities for Hungarian students, American visits for Hungarian officials, literary awards for Hungarian writers in Slovakia, sponsorship programs for Hungarian students and schools in Romania and Carpatho-Ukraine, training workshops in Slovakia, among many others. She has been a tireless advocate for the human rights of Hungarian minorities who live outside Hungary. She has also maintained a good working relationship with American ambassadors in the region, with leaders in Hungary and in the historic Hungarian communities, as well as Washington decision-makers. She serves on the board of several Hungarian and American non-profit organizations, and is the recipient of many awards, including the Medal of Merit from the President of Hungary and the Order of Merit of the Republic of Hungary. She is also the co-author of two books: 56 Stories and The First 20 Years.