Project Description

Vesna Pusić

Member of Parliament, First Deputy Prime Minister of Croatia (2012-2016), Minister of Foreign and European Affairs (2011-2016), Croatia

Vesna Pusić is a leader with a distinguished national and international career as a politician, scholar and social activist. She excelled in all these fields, often leading the way and opening the door for change and progress. Ms. Pusić has been actively involved in Croatian and international politics for more than two decades; co-founder and long standing leader of Croatian People’s Party – Liberal Democrats, she held the office of First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign and European Affairs, served as Deputy Speaker of Parliament and chaired the Parliamentary Committee on monitoring Croatia’s accession to the EU. She was also elected Vice – President of the European Liberals (ALDE Party) in three terms. At the moment she is serving as Deputy Speaker of Croatian Parliament in her second term. Throughout her political career, in both legislative and executive branches, Ms. Pusić was widely recognised as a leader advocating freedom, human rights, human dignity and democratic political culture based on dialogue and tolerance. During her term as Minister of Foreign and European Affairs she put focus on those values, pushing for and supporting a number of initiatives in the fields of development cooperation, peacebuilding and human rights. In her academic and scientific career Ms. Pusić was elected to Full Professor at the University of Zagreb, teaching Sociology and Political Theory. She led or participated in numerous studies and research projects and is the author of several books and approximately 50 scientific and professional articles. Not limiting her career only to the University of Zagreb, Ms. Pusić lectured at numerous universities including Georgetown University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cornell University and many others. As a social activist Vesna Pusić was a co-founder of the first feminist group in the former Yugoslavia which, in 1979, was a very controversial concept, both politically and socially. The group was the seminal women’s and feminist organisation in Yugoslavia and Croatia for years to come. In 1992 Ms. Pusić co-founded and became director of the Erasmus Guild, a nongovernment, non-partisan think-tank for the culture of democracy. All of the activities of the Erasmus Guild focused on advocating dialogue and finding peaceful solutions for the wars in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, fighting extreme nationalism and providing critical analysis of authoritarian regimes in the region. Widely experienced in politics, academia and social activism, with a life-long commitment to strengthening peace and democracy, and promoting and defending human rights and human dignity, Vesna Pusić has been able to move borders in achieving these goals throughout her career.