Katalin Bogyay

Katalin Bogyay is the State Secretary for International Affairs of the Hungarian Ministry of Education and Culture.


Katalin Bogyay was born in Székesfehérvár, Hungary. Bogyay read Economics at the Corvinus University of Budapest (formerly the Karl Marx University of Economic Sciences), and holds a postgraduate diploma in Journalism.

Professional career

Following the fall of communism, in 1990 she became the first Hungarian television personality to be awarded a Know How Scholarship to study media in democracy at the BBC.

In 1994, with another scholarship from the British Government, she received a Masters in Communications from the University of Westminster and in 1995 she studied Counseling at the Westminster Pastoral Foundation.

Bogyay started her career as a theatre and music critic, later becoming a presenter, producer and senior editor of Music and the Arts at the Hungarian National Television (Magyar Televízió or MTV). After hosting many concert galas and interviewing celebrities from all over the world, she hosted her own show, 'Katalin Bogyay and her Guests.'

She went on to become an international broadcaster and documentary film-maker, working throughout the 1990s as an independent producer based in London notably for European Business News, BBC Radio, Global Vision Network, MTV, Danube TV. In 1999 she led the UNESCO Communication Campaign for the World Conference on Science.

Bogyay has also written and published four books: Dajka (1989), In Memoriam Pilinszky (1990), My Meetings in the World (1996), which covers some of the global figures she has interviewed, and The Voice of Freedom (2006), which features interviews concerning the 1956 revolution.

Political career

In 1999 she became a diplomat and began working for the Hungarian Ministry for Culture. As Director General she opened the Hungarian Cultural Centre in 1999 in the heart of London's Covent Garden. The Centre was uniquely and recognisably successful in putting Hungary on the cultural map of the United Kingdom.

To mark Hungary's entrance into the EU in 2004, Bogyay masterminded Magyar Magic, a seventeen-month-long festival celebrating Hungarian talent throughout Britain under the dual patronage of Her Majesty the Queen and the President of the Republic of Hungary.

She gave a platform to over two thousand Hungarian and British artists in a cross cultural bridge-building exercise and organised more than five hundred events with more than 300 British partner organizations. The audience for these in Britain alone topped one million!

In 2006 she took up the post of State Secretary for International Affairs at the Hungarian Ministry of Education and Culture. At her farewell in 2006 in St James' Palace HRH The Prince of Wales said, "Hungary is lucky to have you back and London will miss you a lot!"

In the course of her multifaceted activities she has become convinced that her bridge-building philosophy and approach can be extended to other key countries as well as to the fields of science and education, which today are becoming increasingly interlinked with culture.

In 2007 Bogyay was selected by the London School of Economics and the Financial Times as one of the Top 50 thinkers in Europe. In her invited editorial she wrote about the new European cultural space.

In 2007 she is representing Eastern, Central and Southern Europe as one of the deputy chairpersons of the Cultural Committee at the UNESCO's General Conference.

Her educational interests include the Liszt Academy Network, which she co-founded and launched at Kensington Palace with the support of HRH Prince Charles in 2001.


Her husband is a lawyer in Budapest and her son is reading History & Politics at Durham University in the UK.

Awards and recognition

In 2005 she was awarded the Knight's Cross Order of Merit of the Republic of Hungary for her outstanding contributions to international culture. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (RSA), a member of the prestigious Athenaeum Club in London. She is also an Honorary Fellow of the Imago- International Multi-Lingual Psychotherapy Centre in London.

External links

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