Award for Global Engagement

2006 Recipient

Zbigniew Bochniarz

Dr. Zbigniew Bochniarz, has worked throughout his career to increase the exchange of ideas, faculty, interns, curricula, and students across cultures, borders, and oceans.

A former retired senior fellow at the Humphrey Institute Bochniarz's interests center on sustainable development of economies in transition. As director for the Humphrey Institute’s Center for Nations in Transition for 12 years, he helped countries in Central and Eastern Europe move from a command to a market economy. He designed and administered training programs for entrepreneurs, managers of large state enterprises, academics, and environmental NGOs. Under his leadership, the Humphrey Institute and other faculty at the University developed and delivered four multi-year education projects that trained more than 42,000 participants.

During Bochniarz's career at the Humphrey Institute, he has built valuable networks of scholars, policy makers, students, businesses, and NGOs throughout Central and Eastern Europe and tied them to Europe and the United States. He has facilitated the exchange of information between colleagues in Europe and at the University, resulting in the implementation of new joint master’s degree programs and partnerships.

Bochniarz has taught at the Technical University of Cluj-Napoca in Romania, teaching thousands of students about best environmental practices in business, government, and everyday life. He helped bring America closer to Romania, assisting with a difficult transition from communism to a democratic society.

His institution building has gone beyond academia to building new economic, political, and non-governmental institutions. Bochniarz has been called "a master at building effective collaborative networks in many different cultures with many different languages.”

Born in Poland, Bochniarz holds a doctorate in economics from the Warsaw School of Economics, where he was an associate professor. Since 1999, he has been an honorary professor at the University of Warmia and Mazury in Poland, and holds an honorary doctorate from the University of Miskolc in Hungary.

Bochniarz is the author and/or editor of more than 80 publications, including 15 books. He is a founding member of independent environmental think tanks in Budapest, Prague, Sofia, Warsaw, and Katowice, and leads a multi-year training project on business management curriculum reform and academic capacity building in Ukraine.

As an international scholar he continues to work on collaborative and interdisciplinary research focused on the transformation process in Central and Eastern European. He is currently working on an executive program on the microeconomics of competitiveness for the State of Minnesota.