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Dimi Panitza / Founder and Honorary Chairman


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John Dimitry Evstatiev Panitza is the founder and honorary chairman of the Bulgarian School of Politics. He was born on 2nd November 1930 in Sofia and died on 28th July 2011 in Paris.

For forty-two years he had worked at the Readers Digest publishing house, USA where he retired in 1994 as a deputy editor-in-chief. In recent years, he started a number of activities as chairman of "Free and Democratic Bulgaria” Foundation - a private and independent foundation, established in 1991, whose objectives are to assist the democratization process of Bulgarian society through pluralism, free press, free market tolerance, educated youth and open dialogue.

Dimi Panitza was among the founders and a long-time member of the Board of the American University in Bulgaria (AUBG). He was also among the founders of Junior Achievement – Bulgaria, Outward Bound – Bulgaria, Children and Youth Alliance, the Institute for Studies of the Resent Past and the Institute for Market Economy – Sofia.  

Dimi Panitza participated in the Advisory Committee of the annual International Civic Courage Price in New York and was a member of the Board of the Balkan Children and Youth Foundation (BCYF). He was a long-time member of the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London, of the English-American Press Association in Paris, of the French Future Forum, of the Institute for Democracy in Eastern Europe and of the International Tripartite Commission.

For his contribution to the establishment of civil society and development of journalism, in 2000 Dimi Panitza was awarded Bulgaria’a highest civil decoration – the order of “Stara Planina”, 1st Class. In 2005 he was also made Knight of the Legion of Honor of the French Republic and was awarded the “Pro Merito” medal of the Council of Europe. He was also a trustee at the King’s College in London.

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