Connections Making

As she approaches the first anniversary of her new role, we meet the Ambassador of Hungary to Singapore, H.E. JUDIT PACH, to find out how the job is going – and to get her thoughtsoneverything f rom memo r ab l e encounters with world leaders to the best vegan food on the island.

How long have you been an ambassador, and how did you get started in the role? I started my first posting as ambassador in January 2015, in Jakarta. Previously, I was working as the Head of the International Communication Office of the Hungarian Prime Minister. In 2014, Hungary started a new foreign policy with a very strong trade and economy focus; the newly chosen Foreign Minister was looking for agile young ambassadors with a business mindset who could boost our bilateral trade relations, especially in Southeast Asia. I wanted to go to Indonesia as a diplomat and he asked me to be the ambassador instead. After finishing my posting in Indonesia, I became ambassador to Singapore, since economic and business diplomacy is even stronger here. Did you always intend to have a political career? No, I never really wanted to go into politics. I studied economics and wanted to go into international business, but immediately after finishing my second university degree, I got an offer to work in the international press department of the President – of course, this was an offer I couldn’t refuse, and since then I’ve stayed in the government. You’re 39 – are there pros and cons of being an ambassador at such a young age? What reaction do you get from people? When I started my career, most people didn’t believe it when I said that I was the ambassador; they assumed I’d used the wrong word and would ask, “What work do you do at the embassy?” In a sense, this is a benefit, because usually people underestimate you as a young woman – so it’s easier to surprise them and to reach the outcomes you want in meetings. In our field of work, it’s important to have a broad network and to be known, so it’s also a benefit to stick out from the crowd and to get noticed (in a positive sense, of course). You can be sure that, in most places, everyone knows that among the elderly gentlemen in dark suits, the little young blonde ambassador is the Hungarian!



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