The Czech Heritage Museum & Genealogy Center will host a reception for Ambassador Hynek Kmoníček and his wife Ms. Indira Gumarova of Washington, D.C. at 12:30 p.m. on Friday. The public is welcome.
Kmoníček was appointed ambassador from the Czech Republic to the United States on March 16 and presented his credentials to President Donald Trump on April 24.
The ambassador’s Texas itinerary includes Sokol Dallas, the Sokol gym in West, the SPJST home office and the Czech Heritage Museum in Temple and Camp Mabry in Austin.
On Saturday morning, the Texas Czech Heritage and Cultural Center in La Grange will host a public welcome. That evening, he will attend the opening of the Honorary Consulate of the Czech Republic at the Czech Center Museum in Houston, hosted by Honorary Consul and SPJST President Brian Vanicek and his wife, Joan, of Temple.
Since 2013, Ambassador Kmoníček has served as Director of Foreign Affairs in the Office of the President of the Czech Republic. He also served in three posts as ambassador to the United Nations, India (including Bangladesh, Nepal, Maldives and Sri Lanka) and Australia (including New Zealand, Fiji, Solomon Islands, Cook Islands, Samoa, Tonga and Vanuatu). He began his diplomatic career in the Middle East Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and shortly rose to the position of Director General of Asia, Africa and America.
Ambassador Kmoníček was born in Pardubice, then Czechoslovakia. His first calling was as a professional musician and educator. His instruments are classical guitar and lute. After earning degrees in music and pedagogy, he studied the English language and Classical Arabic at Charles University in Prague. He also holds a degree from Hebrew University in Jerusalem, where he studied modern history of the Middle East and medieval Islamic mysticism. His political science graduation paper was titled, “Historical development of Saudi-American relations from the beginning to the JFK era.”
Recently, Ambassador Kmoníček was credited with resolving a diplomatic dispute between Czech President Milos Zeman and the U.S. Ambassador to the Czech Republic, Andrew Shapiro.
In 2015, a Czech entomologist named a newly-discovered beetle after Kmoníček, in gratitude for assisting him when he was ambassador to India.
The ambassador has four children. He enjoys cooking, world music and collecting documentary films. He writes about foreign affairs for the Czech newspaper MF Dnes, as well as for reviews of art, culture and for academic journals worldwide.
Kmoníček replaces Ambassador Petr Gandalovič, who had served since 2011 and often visited the Czech communities in Texas. Ambassador Gandlovič was instrumental in the rebuilding of the Sokol Gym at West, funded in part, from contributions of the citizens in the Czech Republic.