WASHINGTON, D.C. Three prominent Polish-Americans were honored with Orders of Merit of the Republic of Poland here at the Embassy of Poland on March 19, 2007 during a ceremony presided over by Ambassador Janusz Reiter. Estonia's Ambassador to the U.S. - Juri Luik - was introduced as a prominent guest. The medals were personally bestowed by the hand of Elzbieta Jakubiak, Secretary of State and Chief of the Cabinet of the President of the Republic of Poland. Receiving the Orders of Merit were Aldona Wos - being awarded Commander's Cross, and Mark Brzezinski and Ian Brzezinski - both being awarded the Officer's Cross.
Wos and the Brzezinskis (sons of the Honorable Zbigniew Brzezinski) were all being recognized by the Republic of Poland as outstanding Polish-Americans who have achieved much in the field of international politics and relations, and their meaningful, positive contributions to the welfare and promotion of Poland in many important and critical areas. Their extensive collective and effective efforts includes such examples as serving the U.S. diplomatically and as government officials, the international promotion of democracy and rule of law, championing of Poland/U.S. relations, fostering Poland's entry into NATO, supporting the U.S. visa waiver program for Poland, and advancing the Polish-American/Jewish dialog. As recognized persons of consequence in the American Polonia hierarchy, the esteemed trio is highly regarded as sources of inspirations to Poland.
Doctor and Ambassador Aldona Wos was born in Warsaw, Poland. She earned a medical degree at the Warsaw Medical Academy and completed her internship and residency in internal medicine in America (New York). Her medical experience as a physician includes private practice, clinical care, corporate medicine, teaching and consulting. She served as U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Estonia from 2004-2006, being the first Polish-American to serve in this capacity. Because her father was a survivor of a Nazi-German concentration camp, Wos is very passionate about presenting and preserving full and accurate information about the Polish experience during WW II. President George W. Bush appointed Wos to serve on the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council in 2002 and 2004.
Mark Brzezinski currently practices international law as a partner in the law firm of McGuireWoods in Washington, D.C., where he deals mainly with the many international financial institutions of prominence located there. From 1999 to 2001 he served the Clinton administration as Director of Southeast European Affairs - as well as Russian/Eurasian Affairs - of the National Security Council at the White House. In that capacity, he was White House coordinator for U.S. democracy and rule of law assistance programs for the regions mentioned.
Ian Brzezinski was a Director of International Security Policy at the Council of Advisors to the Parliament of Ukraine, 1993-94. He then served the U.S. Senate for a total of seven years first as a Senior Staff Member and then as a member of the Foreign Relations Committee. In 2001 he was appointed the U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for NATO and European Policy. Currently he is a Principal at Booz Allen Hamilton, a dominant global strategy and technology consulting firm headquartered in McLean, Virginia, with multiple offices on six continents.