Wendy Luers

Advisory Board Member

Wendy LuersWendy Luers is the founder and President of the Foundation for a Civil Society (formerly the Charter 77 Foundation — New York) and co-founder in 1992 of The Project on Justice in Times of Transition. Established in January 1990, the Foundation had offices in New York, Prague and Bratislava, and an average annual budget of $3,000,000. By mobilizing both human and financial resources, the Foundation supports projects that strengthen the forces of democracy, civil society, the rule of law and a free-market economy in the Czech and Slovak Republic. In total, the Foundation has raised and expended over $11 million in these efforts.

Among its many activities, the Foundation established an Expert Advisors Program to engender reforms in the Czech and Slovak Republics through the placement of long-term, high-level Western advisors with Ministries, mayors, and other policy makers. From 1995-1998, The Democracy Network Program, a $5+ million project sponsored by the United States Agency for International Development, developed and strengthened indigenous, public policy-oriented non-governmental organizations in the Czech and Slovak Republics.

In 1998, FCS established two sustainable, independent NGO successors: Nadace VIA in the Czech Republic and NOS in Slovakia, which are its affiliates today. Concurrently, The Project on Justice became an interfaculty project at Harvard University.

The highly successful Project on Justice in Times of Transition, an inter-faculty project at Harvard University affiliated with the Kennedy School of Government, the Law School and the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs since 1999, assists states emerging from repression or conflict to engage in dialogue across national, ethnic, religious and ideological boundaries with the intention of preventing political, legal and moral legacies of the past from jeopardizing their progress towards democracy and peace. Mrs. Luers serves on the Steering Committee and is a consultant to Harvard University.

Mrs. Luers had a Presidential appointment as a member of the National Council of the Arts, the board of the National Endowment for the Arts, from 1988-1996. She is founder and President of the Friends of Art and Preservation in Embassies and serves on numerous other nonprofit boards: The Independent Journalism Foundation, the Civic Education Project, the Fund for Arts and Culture in East and Central Europe, the Fund for Free Expression, Helsinki Watch, the Olga Havel Foundation and the Vaclav Havel Foundation as well as many others that are particularly concerned with the Czech and Slovak Republics. Today, she is on a Team of External Advisors to the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Slovakia.

In 1993 President Clinton appointed Mrs. Luers as Chair of the White House Fellows New York Regional Selection Panel on which she had served in 1994 and 1995. She was a United States Delegate to the CSCE (now OSCE) Review Conference in Budapest, Hungary in November 1994.