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Recap: The STEAR Dialogue - In Conversation with Ambassador Josef Rychtar

On September 30th, STEAR held its second event in The STEAR Dialogue series, in which events focus on more personal, experience-oriented and diverse themes including career development, advice for young people, culture, activism and more. Our very first speaker was Ambassador Josef Rychtar, who is currently serving as the Ambassador of the Czech Republic to the Islamic Republic of Iran. The event was attended by around 30 young professionals and students from all over the world.

Our Cultural Programme Officer Anna Karina Jardin started off the event by briefly introducing STEAR, its activities, and the Dialogue event series; she stressed the importance of strengthening mutual understanding between Europe and Asia, and then gave the floor to Vice President for External Affairs Daniel Tafelski. Daniel outlined the agenda of the event, after which Karina provided a more detailed introduction of Josef Rychtar’s background.

During the first half of the Dialogue, Karina asked several questions prepared in advance about Ambassador Rychtar’s work and the lessons he has learned through his experiences. The topics that were discussed included Amb. Rychtar’s experiences working in a wide range of countries and his endeavours in diplomacy; the difficulties brought on by the COVID-19 crisis and its impact on diplomats’ work; and the way in which his career developed through his personal interests. Additionally, Amb. Rychtar provided advice for young professionals and students who have an interest in a career in diplomacy, especially with regards to the perspectives and skills that would be an asset in such a career path.

We then went into an audience Q&A session, during which audience members got the opportunity to directly ask questions, be it career-related or international relations/diplomacy-related. The questions covered a wide range of topics, ranging from the role of social media to fake news, and from ways in which we can understand today’s complex world to the relations between diplomats. Ambassador Rychtar also discussed the interactions with different actors, such as governments and civil society groups, and the different levels of engagement in diplomacy that this creates, as well as the importance of cultural projects and the involvement of non-governmental groups.

We’d like to kindly thank Ambassador Rychtar again for his attendance and valuable insights – a summary of his professional accomplishments can be found below. If this summary sounded interesting to you, we encourage you to follow us on social media and keep an eye on our website, where we will be posting about exciting future events and opportunities!

About Josef Rychtar

Dr. Josef Rychtar is the current Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Czech Republic to the Islamic Republic of Iran and has been active in this role since March 2020. He joined the Czech diplomatic service after receiving a PhD (1985) in Applied Geophysics awarded by the Charles University in Prague, and studying at the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna (1994). Having worked as Acting Director for the Diplomatic Protocol Department of the Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs, since 1996 he has been Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Czech Republic to Kuwait, Colombia and Ecuador, the Philippines, Palau, Federative States of Micronesia, the Marshall Islands and Nauru, Chile and Bolivia. He has also been appointed Director of the Middle East and North Africa Department (2007-2009), and of the Foreign Policy Planning Department (2018-2020) of the Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

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