Donald Blinken, ambassador, philanthropist, and major sustainer of the Vera and Donald Blinken Open Society Archives (OSA), is 95. On this occasion, CEU wishes him a happy birthday and recognizes the vital work and ongoing contributions he and his wife Vera Blinken have made to the CEU community.
In the fall of 2015, OSA was re-named as the Vera and Donald Blinken Open Society Archives in honor of the couple, who provided a major bequest to sustain the institution underscoring their commitment to Hungary and to the institution and its mission to secure a record of collective history, truthfully capturing some of humanity’s brightest and bleakest periods. The Blinkens have been friends and supporters of the OSA since it was established 25 years ago.
Both are deeply connected to Hungary, and the couple’s 2009 book Vera and the Ambassador: Escape and Return chronicles such ties. Ambassador Blinken served as U.S. ambassador to Hungary from 1994-98. He was instrumental during critical post-Soviet years in assisting the privatization of the Hungarian economy, guiding Hungary’s successful participation in the Bosnian peacekeeping process, helping restore Hungarian civil society, and supporting Hungary’s membership in NATO and the EU. He co-founded the investment firm Warburg Pincus, is a CEU trustee emeritus, and chaired the board of trustees of the State University of New York (SUNY) from 1978-90.