Sándor Köles is the Senior Vice-President for Programs and Development with the International Centre for Democratic Transition (ICDT). Based in Hungary and founded in 2005, ICDT's main goal is to pool Hungarian and Central European knowledge and experiences on transition and help countries across the world navigate their own transitions to democracy.
Before joining the ICDT, Mr. Köles had been working with the Carpathian Foundation, first as Country Director for Hungary and, since 1997, as the Executive Director of the Foundation. Mr. Köles has over 20 years of experience in civil society and local development within Central and Eastern Europe. He has worked as a Director of the Department of Training and Community Development at the Hungarian Institute for Culture, Budapest. He obtained expertise in community development and culture as well as regional and rural development issues. In 1989, Mr. Köles founded the Village Development Association in order to animate local communities in developing their own local institutions.
Mr. Köles holds graduate degrees in adult education and sociology (ELTE, Budapest) and served as a visiting professor at the University of Wisconsin in River Falls and Madison, USA, in 1993 and 1994. He is the author of many articles, studies and documentaries on community and regional development.
The ICDT’s mission is to facilitate the smooth and peaceful process of democratic transition based on participatory principles, the political, economic, legal, cultural, and civil societal aspects of transformation, and the socio-cultural context of regions and countries where the process takes place.