Paul Szczesny: 35 years of service for IJAB

After 35 years with IJAB, our colleague Paul Szczesny will be leaving as of 31 December 2015. The wealth of invaluable international experience and knowledge he brought to bear on youth policy cooperation with many different countries gained him much recognition both in Germany and abroad.

BildImage: IJAB/Fotostudio Heupel   Lizenz: INT 3.0 – Namensnennung CC BY 3.0

As officer for Central and Eastern Europe, since he joined IJAB on 1 September 1980 Paul Szczesny has coordinated and accompanied bilateral expert and exchange programmes with at least a dozen countries including Poland, the former Soviet Union, the Russian Federation, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, the Baltic states and for a few years Japan as well. Thanks to his linguistic skills and professional knowledge, he was an appreciated member of high-ranking delegations involving government representatives. Szczesny was instrumental in developing the German-Polish Youth Office (1991) and also had a hand in establishing Stiftung Deutsch-Russischer Jugendaustausch (the foundation for German-Russian youth exchange) in 2006.

“A seasoned staff member to whom international youth work owes a great deal is now retiring after 35 years of service,” said Lothar Harles, Chairman of IJAB, at the Annual Meeting in Bonn on 8 December 2015 as he paid tribute to Paul Szczesny’s hard work and dedication. “His in-depth knowledge and expertise on politics, youth policy structures, culture, language and societies meant he has been an indispensable partner in actively shaping bilateral youth policy cooperation with numerous countries.”

Particularly noteworthy is Szczesny’s commitment to building youth policy structures in Eastern Europe after the collapse of the Soviet Union. He put his far-reaching international experience to good use back home as well, for example in the youth policy initiative Kommune goes International, in which he provided expert advice to numerous German municipalities and assisted them on their way to establishing international youth work at the local level.

“Paul Szczesny has built bridges between peoples and cultures. International youth work has always been very close to his heart,” said Marie-Luise Dreber, Director of IJAB. The Management Board, directors and colleagues at IJAB would like to thank Paul Szczesny for 35 years of dedication to IJAB and wish him all the best for his well-deserved retirement.

Lizenz: INT 3.0 – Namensnennung – nicht kommerziell – keine Bearbeitung CC BY-NC-ND 3.0

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