Our team of experts are top professionals in their respective fields of sociology, political marketing and migration. The expertise that they bring as a collective group is unparalleled. Their vision and goals of public policy across numerous disciplines is what has led them to BPI. We love what we do and show positivity and passion in the way we approach our work. We do our very best to stay on the path of possibility in our day-to-day work, tackling challenges in a solutions-focussed way using our collective strengths, resourcefulness and initiative. We are continuously on the lookout for ideas that enable us to innovate and stay ahead of the game, improving the value we offer to our clients in practical, measurable ways.

Dr.  Michal Vašečka

Programme Director

Is sociologist by background. He focuses his interests on issues of ethnicity, race, and migration studies, as well as populism, extremism, social movements, and civil society. As an Associate Professor Michal operates at the Bratislava International School of Liberal Arts (BISLA) since 2015 and at the Pan-European University in Bratislava since 2018. Previously he worked at the Faculty of Social Studies of Masaryk University in Brno (2002-2017) and at the Faculty of Social and Economic Sciences of Comenius University in Bratislava (2006-2009). As a visiting scholar he operated at the New School University in New York (1996-1997), at the University of London (1998), at the Georgetown University In Washington DC (2008-2009), at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor (2015), and he was also a ISGAP Scholar-In-Residence at the Oxford University (2016). Michal Vašečka is a founder and former director (2006-2012) of the Center for the Research of Ethnicity and Culture (CVEK). In 1998-2005 he worked at the Slovak think-tank Institute of Public Affairs (IVO) as a program director on expert analysis of the Slovak transformation process with a focus on national minorities and the state of civil society in Slovakia. He has been a consultant for the World Bank in 2000-2008 and in 2011-2012. Since 2012 Michal Vašečka serves as a representative of the Slovak republic in the European Commission Against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI), human rights body of the Council of Europe. He serves as a vice-chairman of the governmental committee VRAX tackling extremism and racism in Slovakia since 2017. In 2010-2017 Michal Vašečka served as a chairman of the Board of the Fulbright Commission in Slovakia. He is a member of the Advisory Board of the European Centre for Minority Issues in Flensburg since 2010, and president of the Executive Board of the Platform for Improvement of Health Status of Disadvantaged Groups in Bratislava since 2017. Dr. Michal Vašečka is a chairman of the Editorial Board of the Denník N, major daily newspaper in Slovakia since 2016, and a member of the Advisory Board of the Prague-based Aspen Review Central Europe in 2012-2016, since 2016 member of the Editorial Board. In 2018 Michal became a laureate of the Award for special contribution in the field human rights of Minister of Justice of Slovakia.    

Doc. PhDr. Michal Vašečka, Ph.D. (1972) has B.A. (1993), M.A. (1995), PhDr. and Ph.D. (2004) in sociology from Masaryk University in Brno. Michal is operating in the field of political sociology and he focuses his interests on issues of ethnicity, race, and migration studies, as well as populism, extremism, social movements, and civil society. He is author and co-author of more than 150 publications and research reports. 

As a visiting scholar he operated at the New School University in New York (1996-1997) and at the University of London (1998), in 2007 he was a research fellow at the Institute for the Study of Labour Bonn, in 2008-2009 he lectured at the Georgetown University in Washington, DC, in 2015 at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, in 2015 he served as a scholar-in-residence in ISEP Kőszeg, and in 2016 he was a scholar-in-residence in the ISGAP at Oxford University.

Since 2017 he serves as a program director of the Bratislava Policy Institute, progressive Bratislava-based think-tank. Since 2015 he serves as an Associate professor at the Bratislava International School of Liberal Arts (BISLA), prominent Central European liberal arts college. Since 2018 he is also a Head of Department of Media studies at the Paneuropean University in Bratislava. In 2002 – 2017 he operated at the Department of Sociology of the Faculty of Social Studies of Masaryk University in Brno, the Czech Republic; in 2005 – 2011 he was also as a researcher at the Institute for Research in Reproduction and Integration of Society at the Masaryk University.

In 2005-2012 Michal Vašečka lectured also at the Faculty of Social and Economic Sciences of the Comenius University Bratislava where he participated on the process of establishing Institute of Public Policy. In 1995 – 1996 he was lecturing on Public Policy Analysis at Bratislava-based Institute for Advanced Studies – Academia Istropolitana. In 2013 – 2015 he lectured also at the Institute for Social and European Studies in Kőszeg. In 1998 – 2005 he lectured at the Institute of Advanced Studies Academia Istropolitana Nova; Center for Independent Journalism, Comenius University Bratislava in 2001-2002; Center for Further Education, Comenius University Bratislava in 2002; at the School for International Training in Prague in 2006 – 2008; and also at the Health Management Academy, Bratislava in 2013 – 2015.

Dr Vasečka has been involved also in various un-formal educational activities, as he is since 2002 one of the main organizer of the Visegrad Summer School (2002-present) at the Willa Decius, Cracow. He organized also Summer School on Ethnicity and Migration – in Komárno (2010) and in Bratislava (2011). He was also involved in the NDI program for Roma Leaders in 2004 – 2011. He is also co-director of the annual academic course “Divided societies” at the Inter-City Centre Dubrovnik (since 2012) and co-director of the annual course “Social Structures and Institutions? The Quest for Social Justice” at the Inter-City Centre Dubrovnik (since 2015).

In 1991 – 1995 he was a researcher and executive director at the Documentation Center for the Research of Slovak Society in Bratislava. From 1995 – 1996 he worked as a researcher at the InfoRoma Foundation and a legal advisor for the UNHCR Bratislava. In 1997 – 1998 he was working at the Open Society Foundation in Bratislava as a program coordinator. In 1999 – 2005 he has worked at the Slovak think-tank Institute of Public Affairs as a researcher and since 2000 as a program director on expert analysis of the Slovak transformation process with a focus on national minorities and the state of civil society in Slovakia.

In 2011 he was also the co-author of the Strategy of the Roma Inclusion 2014 – 2020 of Slovak Republic.

In 2018 he became Laureate of the Award for special contribution to human rights cause of the Minister of Justice of Slovakia.  

Membership in journals and magazines

Chairman of the Editorial Board of the Denník N, major daily newspaper in Slovakia since 2016.

Member of the Advisory Board of the Prague-based Aspen Review Central Europe in 2012-2016, since 2016 member of the Editorial Board.

Member of the Editorial Board of the journal Ekonomický časopis (since 2015).

Member of the Program Commitee of the journal Miscellanea Posttotalitariana Wratislaviensia, Wroclaw (since 2013).

Membership in professional organizations

Initiator of the Scholars at Risk Slovakia, since 2018.

Member of the Executive Board of the Carpathian Foundation in Košice since 2017.

Member of the Executive Board of the Platform for Improvement of Health Status of Disadvantaged Groups in Bratislava (since 2013; in 2017 he has been elected president of its Executive Board).

Member of the Executive Board of the Center for Open Politics in Bratislava (2017-2018).   

Chairman of the Board of Supervisors of the National project Healthy Communities (Zdravé Komunity) in 2015-2016.

Member of the Selection Committee for the program SK08 Cross-border cooperation (CBC01) of the Norwegian and EHP Funds 2009-2014, Bratislava (2014-2017).

Chairman of Executive Board of the League of Human Rights in Brno (2014-2018).

Member of the Executive Board of the Willa Decius Association Cracow (since 2014)

Member of the Board of the Fulbright Commission in Slovakia (2010-2017; chairman of the Board since 2012).

Member of the APVV – Agency for the Research and Development of the Slovak republic Board for social sciences in 2010-2012.

Member of the Board of Trustees of the Zvůle práva – Prague based association (2008-2014).

Member of the Advisory Board of the National Democratic Institute for Programs of Roma Minority Political Inclusion in Slovakia (2005-2012).

Member of the Advisory Committee of Partners for Democratic Change for Roma integration program of the USAID (2003-2006)

Member of the Advisory Board of the Government Plenipotentiary for Roma Communities (2001-2006).

Membership in scientific associations 

Member of the International Sociological Association ISA (since 2006).

Member of the Association for Studies of Nationalities ASN (since 2008).

Member of the European Sociological Association ESA (2005-2015).

Member of the American Association on Advancement of Slavic Studies AAASS (2006-2010).

Member of the International Society for Third Sector Research ISTSR (2000-2004).

Professional experience in public service and organisations

Vice-chairman of the Committee against Racism, Antisemitism, Intolerance, and Xenophobia, under the auspices of the Ministry of Interior of the Slovak republic (since 2018).

Member of the Coordination Board of the Preparation of the Strategy for Human Rights coordinated by the Ministry of Foreign Relations and European Affairs of the Slovak republic, Bratislava (2013 – 2014); 

External advisor to Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak republic in 2012-2013.

Representative of the Slovak republic in the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance, human rights body of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg since 2012 /elected until 2022/.

Member of the Ad hoc group for the preparing the membership of the Slovak republic in the Working Group for International Cooperation in the field of education, preserving a memory on, and research of the holocaust, Bratislava (2005 – 2007); 

Member of the Ad hoc expert group for the review of studies and researches of aliens and their communities in the Czech Republic under the auspices of the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs (2005-2009).

Vice-chairman of the Monitoring Committee of the program JPD NUTS II at the Ministry of Labour, Social affairs and Family of the Slovak republic, Bratislava (2004 – 2005);

Consultant for the World Bank in 2000-2008 and in 2011-2012.

Assistant at the Ministry of Culture of Slovakia (1991 – 1992).

Cooperation with international organizations and research institutions:

 

Hoover Institute (1993-1999);

American Council of Learned Societies (1999-2000);

Open Society Institute (1997-2000);

International Organization for Migration (2000-2001) and (2008-2009);

UNDP (2001-2002);

Humboldt University (2000-2003);

European Center for Minority Issues (2005-2006);

Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit (2006-2007);

Institute for Minority Rights, EURAC Bolzano (2007-2009);

British Council Bratislava (2008-2009);

GHK London (2010; 2012-2013);

Navreme Prague (2011);

Fundamental Rights Agency of the EU (2013-2014);

KPMG Slovakia (2015);

EBRD London (2015);

HCRC Bratislava (2016);

Globsec Bratislava (2017);

ICF Consulting (2017);

University of Liège (2018);  

CEPS Brussels (2018).

Dr.  Viera Žúborová

Executive Director

Is a political scientist by background. She focuses her interests on issues of populism, extremism, social movements, civil society, political communication, marketing, intolerance and hate speech. She worked for 10 years at Trnava University on various positions (vice-dean for research and strategic projects, head of department). She also worked as executive editor of the Slovak Journal of Political Science and as senior research fellow at the think-tank Centre for European and North Atlantic Affairs (CENAA). In 2017 she was scholar-in-residence in the ISGAP at Oxford University and in 2010 visiting PhD scholar at the Université Libre de Bruxelles. Viera has been a regular columnist at the online newspapers Aktuality.sk since 2015. Viera Žúborová is the co-founder of the non-profit organization Trnavská Alternatíva and also the co-founder of the non-profit organization Mladá Archa, where she has been serving as director since 2015. Both non-profit organizations focus on organizing the various educational and creative activities supporting critical thinking of students and youth, including projects focusing on the development of public space and active participation at local levels. From 2018 she is working as expert and member of working group “Civil society” under the Office of Government Representative for Civic Society. Currently she is also participating in the program “School without Hate” as the member of expert team.  As the research fellow she is also involved in the project DEMOS, focusing on populism and its disconnection between how democratic polities operate and how citizens perceive their own aspirations and project COMPACT with aim to raise awareness of the latest technological discoveries among key stakeholders in the context of social media and convergence.  Both these projects are funded under H2020. 

Dr.  Ingrid Borárosová

Research Fellow

Is a political scientist from background. She focuses on the topics of migration, integration, extremism, radicalism and terrorism. During her doctoral studies at the University of Ss. Cyril and Methodius in Trnava she was leading various courses such as migration and migration policy, modern political theories and comparative politics. She was also part of the team organizing various workshops and conferences at the University such as Social sciences from the perspective of young scientific workers in 2016, Political leadership in 2017 and various workshops especially on the topic of migration. She was also active member of Jean Monnet Chair in migration team, where her responsibilities were to assist the senior researchers, lead the workshops and the lectures and promotion of the activities on the project website and on the social media. In 2015 she joined the Centre for European and North Atlantic Affairs as an intern, where she actively participates in organizations most important events such as Summer School for Young Professionals or Conference NATO 2020. She was also part of team of experts on Slovak migration And integration policies in project SME Spolu, which focuses on The Rights of Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons in Ukraine. Currently she is participating as an expert and member of working group “Civil society” under the Office of Government Representative for Civic Society.

Mgr. Michal Kubo 

Research Fellow

Michal is senior manager with more than 10 years of experience with working for disadvantaged groups in Slovakia and Central Europe. He started his professional career in NGO sector during his studies at the Comenius University – in ACEC as a project manager. Later he became Executive Director in Healthy Communities NPI. He actively participated in the development and implementation of the Healthy Community national program aimed at improving the health of the populations in segregated Roma settlements in Slovakia. As the executive director he led the health mediation project (265 people and NPI with the budget 5.6 mil €), carried out by the inhabitants of the Roma settlements themselves. Under his leadership this project achieved all measurable indicators and created the possibility to move this project under the control of the state. Currently he is participating in this project as expert on methodology. His professional experience consists from a wide spectrum of management skills, leadership, problems solving, methodological guidance, priority setting, preparation of expert documents, development of partnership, financial management lecturing, public procurement and others. Michal graduated in 2012 as a Master of Science in the field of social work. Based on his experience he supports the heath mediation program implementation in Czech Republic as an external expert consultant and lecturer. 

BA. Meghan McCulloch

Research Fellow

She graduated from the University of Stirling with BA (Hons) in Criminology and Sociology in 2017. Her thesis focused on barriers to employment for people with convictions. During her time as a student researcher in the Policy and Planning department at the University of Stirling, she assisted on a project investigating how social background and gender influence access to higher education and subject choice. The results of the project were showcased at the Impact for Access conference at the University of Stirling which she attended in 2016. She also represented the department at the Learning for All conference – a networking and sharing event for practitioners involved in widening access to higher and further education. Her other research interests include stigma and discrimination, gender and LGBT issues and sociology of work. 

Alexandra Telepčáková

Intern

Is a student at Bratislava International School of Liberal Arts (BISLA). She also works as editor in chief of BISLA’s student periodical IlPonte, where she is responsible for overseeing, organizing and assessing performance of editorial board. She spent a semester at Lingnan University in Hong Kong as an exchange student (Fall Semester 2018) where she pursuit more psychology-based curriculum as opposed to Political Science major at BISLA. Her minor is in International Relations. She attended Erasmus+ programs focused on Influence and Use of Media (UK, 2016), Youth Employability (IT, 2017) and Active Citizenship (DE, 2017). She is also currently gaining a work-experience as a part time employee at the Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs and Family. 

Paula Svatoňová

Intern

Is currently studying for Master´s in Human Rights and Humanitarian Action at: Sciences Po in PSIA (Paris School of International Affairs) concentrations Global Risks & Europe. During her studies at Bratislava International School of Liberal Arts she took a part in BLASTER Undergraduate Research Conference Conference in Leuphana University Lüneburg in Germany,  BLASTER Liberal Arts Symposium at University of Warwick in United Kingdom and she also took a part in oral history research conducted in South Africa. She also works as editor in chief of BISLA’s student periodical IlPonte, where she is responsible for overseeing, organizing and assessing performance of editorial board. She joined the BPI team in 2018 as an intern and she became an important part of the team dealing with the organizations of various events and discussion and being part of the research in various projects.  Her current research focuses mainly on the Roma issues in relations to the Slovak Municipalities in specific regions in Slovakia. 

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