On October 9, 2015, AFoCR Directors met with a panel of experts on NGOs and Civil Society. Klára Gajdůšková acted as Moderator while Jakub Klepal, Šimon Pánek, and Paul Rusesabagina were panelists.
Moderator Klára Gajdůškováis Head of the Social Banking Unit at Česká spořitelna. She is the Chairwoman of the Administrative Board of the foundation Nadace Česká spořitelny. She has worked in communications and as a reporter for news agencies like ČTK and Reuters since 1993. Following the privatization of CS (Czech Savings Bank) Gajdůšková was hired to be the spokesperson and head of communications for the bank. While at university, Gajdůšková studied English, Political Science, Adult Education and Psychology. Since summer 2015, she serves as Head of Česká spořitelna's newly created Social Banking Unit.
Panelist Jakub Klepal is Executive Director of Forum 2000, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the ASsociation for Democracy Assistance and Human Rights. Klepal is also a representative for DEMAS in the European Human Rights and Democracy Network (HRDN) and the Founding Curator of the Prague Hub of Global Shapers of the World Economic Forum (WEF). Klepal has been working with the Forum 2000 Foundation since 2004. Previously, he worked as an analyst with the Research Centre of the Association for International Affairs where he later served as a Member of the Supervisory Board (2007-2013). He has also worked as a journalist. Klepal was a research scholar at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México and a Fulbright Scholar at the Monterey Institute of International Studies in the USA. He is a graduate of the Faculty of Social Sciences at Charles University and a graduate of the Joseph M. Latz Graduate School of Business at the University of Pittsburgh.
Panelist Šimon Pánek is Director of People in Need. During the student protests in early November 1989, Pánek was elected to the presidium of the Student Coordination Center. He also became a member of the Civic forum and an envoy of a special team of Havel's that was charged with negotiating the formation of a new domocratic government. In 1990, he was co-opted to the Federal Assembly for the Civic forum but he did not accept the offer. He refused the mandate even after in June 1990, he was elected to the Assembly by preferential votes from a back position on the candidates list. He states that he had other plans and didn't want to go into politics at that time. He was one of the founders of the private information agency Epicentrum where he worked. He further co-founded the Lidové noviny foundation, which later became the NGO People in Need. He worked in the Office of the President of the Republic and was engaged in film production. Today, he is the director of the largest Czech humanitarian, development and human-rights non-governmental organization called People in Need.
Panelist Paul Rusesabagina is a Rwandan Humanitarian. Mr. Rusesabagina worked as a hotel manager in Rwanda and while there, hid and protected 1,268 Hutu and Tutsi refugees during the Rwandad Genocide. None of those refugees were hurt or killed during the attacks. He was the Assistant Manager of the Sabena-oened Hotel des Mille Collines after he was the Manager of the Hotel des Diplomates, both in Rwanda's capital of Kigali. During the genocide, he used his influence and connections as temporary Manager of the Hotel des Mille Collines to shelter Tutsis from being slaughtered by the rampaging militia. Mr. Rusesabagina's efforts were the basis of the Academy Award nominated film Hotel Rwanda (2004). He currently lives in Brussels, Belgium with his wife, four children, and two adopted nieces. Rusesabagina founded the Hotel Rwanda Rusesabagina Foundation to fight for global human rights.