Jerzy Koźmiński serves as President and CEO of the Polish-American Freedom Foundation which was established with the double mission: to help consolidate the results of the Polish transformation launched in 1989 and to share the Polish experience with other countries of Central and Eastern Europe.
From 1994 until 2000 he was Ambassador of the Republic of Poland to the United States, nominated by President Lech Wałęsa. During that time his primary efforts were aimed at enlarging NATO and including Poland in it as well as establishing an allied relationship between Poland and the US.
Prior to that nomination he served as Secretary of State in the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and handled, among other things, the modernization program of the Polish foreign service.
From 1989, he held other governmental positions and was involved in activities focused on the systemic transformation of the state and the economy. First, as Director General, then as Undersecretary of State in the Office of the Council of Ministers, he was a close associate of Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Leszek Balcerowicz, the author of Poland’s radical and comprehensive economic reforms.
Between 1992 and 1993, while holding the position of Undersecretary of State, he worked closely with Prime Minister Hanna Suchocka, organizing and directing the Prime Minister’s special advisory teams for socio-political and economic affairs.
In 2004 he was Chairman of the Polish Organizing Committee of the European Economic Summit, held in Warsaw prior to enlargement of the European Union.
In addition to his current involvement in the Polish-American Freedom Foundation, he sits on boards and councils of several other institutions, including the Polish Institute for International Affairs, the Information Society Development Foundation (as Chairman), the Foundation for Quality Education (as Chairman), the Józef Piłsudski Family Foundation, the College of Eastern Europe Foundation named after Jan Nowak-Jeziorański, as well as the Poland-Haiti Foundation. He is a member of the Polish delegation to the Trilateral Commission.
He also serves as Chairman of the EY “Entrepreneur of the Year” Competition’s Jury and is a member of the Jury of the Teresa Torańska Newsweek Award, of the Polish Business Roundtable Awards, of the “Benefactor of the Year” Competition’s Jury, as well as the “Stars of Charity” Competition’ Jury.
In 1998 he received the Andrzej Bączkowski Award for his commitment to the implementation of reform programs of consecutive Polish governments as well as his role in the inclusion of Poland in NATO.
In 2000, in recognition of his foreign service accomplishments, he received from the President of the Republic of Poland the Commander’s Cross with Star of the Order of “Polonia Restituta”. In the same year he was honored with the US Secretary of Defense Medal for Outstanding Public Service for his contribution to the strengthening of Polish-American relations. In 2002, the President of Lithuania presented him with the Great Duke Giedymin’s Order, for his support of Lithuanian efforts to join NATO. In subsequent years he received several other distinctions, including the Jan Nowak Jeziorański Award (2011), the Atlantic Council Freedom Award (given jointly to PAFF and him in 2014), and the Władysław Grabski Award of the Lewiatan Confederation (2016).
An economist by profession, he graduated from the Faculty of Foreign Trade of the Central School of Planning and Statistic in Warsaw (now the Warsaw School of Economics – SGH).
His wife, Irena Koźmińska, serves as Chairperson of the “ABC XXI” Foundation which she established in 1998; the Foundation’s activities include the “All of Poland Reads to Kids” campaign that has been implemented for 15 years.