The UNYP External Advisory Board convenes semi-annually to provide advice, ideas and guidance to UNYP’s President and senior management. The board will be reviewing UNYP’s standing in the Czech as well as international academic environment and it will be assessing, discussing and recommending opportunities to improve the quality of education at UNYP on an ongoing basis to be realized through better offered education programs, improved program delivery quality and program content with more relevance to the needs of the society and to the sectors of the economy the UNYP graduates support. The board is comprised of 9 distinguished members coming from public life, business and academia, each selected and invited to serve based upon their wide expertise and background which can be of great value to the planning and implementation of UNYP’s future growth, success and impact to the communities and constituencies it serves.
The UNYP External Business Advisory Board members are:
Chief State Secretary
Jindřich Fryč graduated from the Faculty of Education at Charles University in Prague. After the university studies, he linked his professional career with the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports, where he successively worked as Director of the Department for Youth and Director General of the Section for International Relations and European Affairs. From 2012 to 2014, he held the position of Deputy Minister for Education, and in 2015 he was appointed Secretary General at this Ministry. His long-term professional focus involves the field of education with an overlap into international relations. He is a recipient of the French Order of the Academic Palms for services in education, science and culture at the rank of Officer and a recipient of the Grand Cross of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany. He currently holds the position of Chief State Secretary at the Ministry of the Interior. He intends to make use of the experience and knowledge he has gained during his professional career also in the field of state administration as a whole, with the aim of increasing its efficiency and improving the status and perception of civil servants in society.
Former Czech Prime Minister
Jan Fischer is former Prime Minister of the Czech Republic and former Vice-President of the EBRD. He currently is a consultant to the President of the Czech Statistical Office and professor at the University of Economics, Prague. After graduating from the Faculty of National Economy at the University of Economics, Prague and obtaining a PhD in the field of economic statistics at the same institution, he joined the Federal Statistical Office as a researcher at the Research Institute for Social and Economic Information. Fischer headed various teams processing the results of several elections in the country and was in charge of relations with Eurostat. In the years that followed, he also acted as the vice-president and later as the president (2003-2009) of the Czech Statistical Office. Delving into more entrepreneurial waters, he served as the director of production at marketing research company Taylor Nelson Sofres Factum and director for strategic projects at private energy company CE Group. In 2001 he was part of an International Monetary Fund mission that assessed and devised plans for a statistical service for East Timor, which had only recently gained its independence at the time. From September 2010 to November 2012, he was a Vice-President of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). During that time, he also served as the head of the joint research centres of the Faculty of Informatics and Statistics and the University of Economics, Prague. Entering the political sphere, Fischer served as the Prime Minister of the Czech Republic from April 2009 to July 2010 and was thus the head of the country’s government during the Czech Presidency of the European Council. He was also the Vice-Prime Minister and Minister of Finance in later years. Besides his principal activities, Fischer is also a member of various councils and boards such as the Board of Trustees of the University of Economics, Prague, the Czech Statistical Council etc.
Alumnus of UNYP; Director at KKR London
Tomas Kubica is a Director at KKR in London, focusing on private equity investments in TMT across Europe. He started his career at McKinsey & Co in Prague and Goldman Sachs International in London. Tomas is a proud alumnus of UNYP, holds an MBA degree from INSEAD, and is a CFA and CAIA Charterholder.
Former Dean of SUNY New Paltz University
Dr. Hadi Salavitabar earned his Ph.D. from the State University of New York at Binghamton in 1982. Dr. Salavitabar held faculty and administrative positions at the State University of New York at New Paltz, The College of Saint Rose, and the University At Albany – State University of New York. His research articles and books were published by internationally known publishers. He has served on a large number of national & international boards and currently serving on the Board of Trustees of Ulster Savings Bank, Board of Directors of Mohonk Mountain House, and Business Advisory Board of the University of New York in Prague. Dr. Salavitabar has received many awards most notably the State University of New York Chancellor’s award and alumni award, and was inducted into the SUNY New Paltz School of Business Hall of Fame in May 2013.
Former Governor of the Czech National Bank
Miroslav Singer ranks amongst the most significant Czech economists. He graduated in Mathematical Methods Applied to Economy at the University of Economics in Prague. In 1995 he received his Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh. Before his appointment to the Bank Board of the Czech National Bank in 2001 he held senior management positions in the group Expandia (finance and industry) and PricewaterhouseCoopers (advising in restructuring). Between 2005 and 2010 he was Vice-Governor and between 2010 and 2016 he was Governor of the Czech National Bank. Since January 2017, he has been the Director of Institutional Relations and Chief Economist at Generali CEE Holding responsible for Austria, CEE & Russia Region, since January 2018 he is also member of the Executive Committee of Generali CEE Holding. He serves as chairman in the Supervisory Boards of Česká pojišťovna, Pojišťovna Generali (CZ), Poisťovňa Generali (SK) and as vice-chairman of the Supervisory Board of Moneta Money Bank. Among other prestigious appraisals he was awarded “Central Banker of the Year in Europe” for 2014 by The Banker – FT group.
Former Dean of UNYP
Originally from the United States, Will has twenty years’ experience working in international education in the Czech Republic. He earned a Bachelor’s degree at Princeton University, a Master’s degree at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and a Doctoral degree at the University of Michigan. He has over fifteen years’ experience with UNYP, having in the past served as Vice President for Academic Affairs and Operations Manager, among other positions. Currently, Will is Center Director in Prague for CIEE: Council On International Educational Exchange.
CEO of GoodCall
Blake Wittman is currently the European Business Director at GoodCall. He has seen the inside of massive Fortune100 global giants as well as 5-person startups, and enjoyed both. He has a more than 20-year career highlighted by a passion for people and purpose. After a short stint in Citibank Blake entered the recruitment arena and began a career focused on quality relationships, strong ethics, and a deep belief in making a positive impact. Well-known executive search firm, SpenglerFox, was started and grown across Central Europe by Mr. Wittman where he personally serviced leading blue-chip financial institutions. His time in Philip Morris International as lead HR Business Partner for Sales & Marketing was extremely valuable, however it was when he helped build the award-winning, venture capital-backed internet startup, Lime&Tonic, which influenced, challenged, and sharpened his view on business and the potential to impact the market. Mr. Wittman is now Director of Europe, and shareholder, of Good Group, which comprises GoodCall, Recruitment Academy, and Datacruit. All three companies have a common goal of waking up the recruitment industry and evolving the human relations market.
Innovation director, Deloitte Czech Republic
Ms. Čermáková graduated from the Faculty of Electrical Engineering at the Czech Technical University with a specialization in biocybernetics.
She focuses on the development of the company’s strategic projects in the field of new technologies and innovations. She also deals with the acceleration and support of startups in their development and growth in the domestic market and abroad. She teaches critical thinking in futurology at the international CEMS program at the University of Economics, and is dedicated to social innovations in the field of education and mentoring. Ms. Čermáková leads the SheXO program, which supports women in leadership positions, the KidsXO program, which educates talented children about the technologies of the future, the 3XO program, which connects seniors from the business field, and last but not least, within Deloitte Czech Republic, she launched and manages an internship program. At Deloitte, she won the Central Europe Regional Impact Award twice, for the program for startups and for the transformation of the company. In 2011, Ms. Čermáková was the first woman to be awarded Manager of the Year.
Chair of the Board and Founding Partner, ESPIRA Investments
Ms. Ferancová Bartoňová has over 20 years’ experience in emerging market finance. Prior to ESPIRA, Andrea was a co-owner of Wood & Company, a leading Central European investment bank, and brokerage. Under Ms. Ferancová Bartoňová’s leadership, Wood & Company’s market share in the Czech Equity market grew from 5% to the market-leading position of 30%, which the firm still holds today. She also pioneered electronic trading access in Prague, Warsaw, Budapest, Vienna, Frankfurt, Istanbul, and Dubai, among others. Andrea was numerous times ranked among TOP 25 businesswomen in the Czech Republic by Hospodářské noviny and Forbes surveys.
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