Sándor K̦öles is the President at the Carpathian Foundation working in the territory of the Carpathian Region, which includes the bordering areas of Hungary, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, and Ukraine. His work focuses on promoting cross-border and interethnic cooperation, strengthening civil society groups, promote social innovation and facilitate democratic transitions. The main beneficiaries include peripheral and territorially marginilized groups.
Prior to working for the Carpathian Foundation, Mr Koles was the 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.
Mr. K̦oles 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. K̦les founded the Village Development Association in order to animate local communities in developing their own local institutions.
Mr. K̦les 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.