Since October 21, 2016, the ambassador to the United States from Polamd has been Piotr Wilczek, a literary scholar with no previous diplomatic experience. Despite his lack of experience, Wilzcek has already earned praise back home for his spirited defense of Poland’s right-populist government against a critical article in The Washington Post.
Born on April 26, 1962, in Chorzów, Poland, Piotr Wilczek is a literary scholar, intellectual historian, writer, and translator. He earned his degrees in Polish and Modern Literature at the University of Silesia, including an M.A. in Polish and Cultural Studies in 1986, a Ph.D. in the History of Polish Literature in 1992. He also earned a diploma in Neo-Latin Studies at the University of Lodz (Poland) in 1989. Wilzcek did postgraduate work at Oxford University in 1988 and at the Warburg Institute of the University of London in 1996.
Hired by his alma mater, Wilzcek was a professor of Literature at the University of Silesia from 1986 to 2008, where he also served as dean of the Faculty of Languages from 2002 to 2008. His interests include comparative literature, the problems of translation, philology, and intellectual history.
Wilczek is no stranger to the United States. From 1998 to 2001, he taught Polish literature, culture and language as a visiting professor at Rice University in Houston (1998-1999), the University of Illinois (1999-2001), and the University of Chicago (2000-2001). In addition, he conducted research as a visiting scholar at Boston College from 2008 to 2010, and at Cleveland State University in 2012.
In 2008, he joined the University of Warsaw’s new, experimental Artes Liberales program as the first director of Collegium Artes Liberales (College of Liberal Arts and Sciences). Since 2010, he has also been in charge of the Artes Liberales Doctoral Studies Program. At the time of his appointment as ambassador to the United States, he was the head of the university’s Centre for Research on the Reformation and Intellectual Culture in Early Modern Europe.
Wilczek is a member of the American Study Group at the Polish Institute of International Affairs, where experts, journalists, and academics discuss political and cultural developments in the United States and analyze their implications for Poland, Europe, and the trans-Atlantic alliance.
Piotr Wilczek has written or edited 22 published monographs and more than 100 journal articles, both in English and Polish. He belongs to numerous professional groups and associations and is a board member of various international scholarly journals, book series, advisory councils, and academic and educational initiatives. In addition to his native Polish, Wilczek is proficient in English, Latin, Russian, and German. He also serves as Poland’s ambassador to the Bahamas.
Embassy of Poland
2640 16th St. NW
Washington, DC 20009
Phone: (202) 234-3800
Fax: (202) 328-6270