After a 15-year membership and 8 years serving as the HCLU’s Executive Director, Balázs Dénes will step down as the head of the organization and will continue his career as the Director of the Open Society Institute’s new European Civil Liberties Project.
The changes in leadership will also bring organizational changes: as a full-time President, Gábor Attila Tóth will be responsible for the professional work of the organization, while András Darányi will be responsible for daily operations, including communications, fundraising and managing work flow.
During the past years, the HCLU has grown into a large-scale organization running multiple adjacent programs. As the organization developed, it became clear that its professional work has to be separated from its everyday operations. Despite its success, it is important for the organization to be able to renew itself, while maintaining its continuity. The Executive Committee, which is the strategic decision-making body of the organization, will remain unchanged – with the exception of the President – and will guarantee its continuity.
’Our task is not easy in these perilous times, but there is reason for hope, as our programs are based on the solid principles of freedom, equality and human dignity. We co-operate with serious partners and we can count on our many supporters’ – said Gábor Attila Tóth.
Gábor Attila Tóth is Associate Professor at the University of Debrecen, Faculty of Law. In 2010, he was a DAAD Research Fellow at the Humboldt University, Berlin. Between 2000 and 2010 he served as Adviser (from 2007 as Senior Adviser) to the Constitutional Court of Hungary. He was co-founder and program director of the Hungarian Civil Liberties Union between 1994 and 1999. Previously, he was awarded a research fellowship from the Invisible College, Budapest and a scholarship from Helsinki Committee, Warsaw. He has published several books, articles, and edited volumes on matters of constitutionalism and human rights, both in English and Hungarian.
’The HCLU’s old slogan is: Freedom cannot protect itself! Now, that we see daily how vitally true this sentence is, it will be an honor to fight for freedom full-time with this excellent team’ - said András Darányi.
András Darányi is a lawyer, a communications expert and a civil activist. He did not start his civic activities at the HCLU. As an activist, he played a significant role in developing and operating communications platforms for Milla. He was the head of communications at Kitchen Budapest’s innovative lab, editor-in-chief of Pesti Est, and as such took part in the first ever Hungarian social media research. András was also a co-founder and the first Executive Director of the Holocaust Memorial Center in Budapest.