Former Embassy employees and eye-witnesses of the events of November 1989 will discuss how the U.S Embassy viewed those events and their relations with both the dissident community and the then-ruling Communist government.
The participants will include U.S. Ambassador Clifford Bond, who served as Political Counselor in Prague in 1989 and has extensive experience working in Central and Eastern Europe at the end of the Cold War, Robert Kiene, who served as Vice Consul in Prague in 1989, and Michele Bond, who worked as a consular officer at the U.S. Embassy in Prague in 1989.
Several Czechs who played important roles both as dissidents and in Czech government and society after 1989 have also been invited.
Clifford G. Bond is a retired Foreign Service officer who served as U.S. Ambassador to Bosnia and Herzegovina in 2001-2004 and as Special Envoy for Srebrenica in 2007-2008. Presently, Ambassador Bond is serving as the Coordinator for Assistance to Ukraine at the US Embassy in Kyiv. In his State Department career he had a variety of political, economic, and commercial assignments in Washington and at U.S. Embassies in Brussels, Belgrade, Stockholm, Prague and Moscow. From 2004 -2006 he was a member of the faculty of the National Defense University conducting seminars on national security studies. He has also served as the Special Advisor to Congress’ Commission for Security and Cooperation in Europe, also known as the Helsinki Commission. Since retirement until the end of 2011 he was associated with the American University in Bosnia and Herzegovina as its Vice President. He received his undergraduate degree from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service and a graduate degree from the London School of Economics.
Robert Kiene is a graduate of the University of Kansas School of Law in the United States and holds a Master of Laws degree in International and Comparative Law from the University of Brussels, Belgium (Flemish). Licensed in both Kansas and Missouri, he practiced law in a medium-sized firm in Kansas City, Missouri for five years before entering the diplomatic service of the United States. At that time, he represented several well-known United States companies, including Safeway Stores, H.D. Lee, and Chrysler Corporation, as well as the National Collegiate Athletic Association. During his 23-year career as a diplomat, he served in Prague, Brussels, Tbilisi and other capitals, and participated in negotiation of international agreements on commercial aviation, status of U.S. forces and other issues. He is a fluent speaker of Czech, French and English.