background image

Jiří Jelínek

Our scholarship holder 2014 – 2015


Columbia University

Field of study

Humanitární činnost a řešení násilných konfliktů


I was born and raised in Prague, though I would also often go to spend my vacations in South Bohemia, a place that I have been regularly visiting for years. Towards the end of my secondary studies at Gymnazium Jana Keplera in Prague, I decided to pursue my further education abroad and applied to schools primarily in the US. Eventually – also thanks to the excellent academic preparation I received at my gymnazium – I was accepted to Harvard University, where I majored in Government and Ethnic Studies. During my junior year, I studied for one semester in South Africa and I also received a prestigious award for commitment to diversity and public service. I graduated cum laude.

Harvard to me meant way more than just academics, though. I pursued a variety of other activities and found a lot of pleasure in participating in a society of international students and organizing an annual preorientation program for new international students; in leading a group of volunteers working with the elderly; in helping to organize a model UN; or in creating and co-directing a Czech and Slovak society. During my summer vacations, I tried to broaden my horizons and dedicate my time to activities and projects which I enjoy and which contribute to my personal and professional development. Thus, I taught in Ghana, worked in Haiti for the former prime minister, interned at an organization directed by former US president Jimmy Carter, engaged in conflict resolution in Nigeria, and biked from the Czech Republic to Italy.

These various experiences furthered my passion and dedication to spend my professional career serving the public good with a particular focus on conflict resolution. For this reason,  I decided to enroll in a special two-year dual Master’s degree at Columbia University in the US and Sciences Po in France focused on International Security and Conflict Resolution (Columbia) and Humanitarian Action and Human Rights (Sciences Po). However, I would not be able to pursue these studies without the generous support of The Kellner Family Foundation - support that I am deeply grateful for.


Gymnazium Jana Keplera, graduated in 2013


Harvard University, Bachelor of Arts in Government and Ethnic Studies, US, graduated in 2013
Two-year dual Master’s degree at Columbia University, USA, International Security and Conflict Resolution and Sciences Po, FRA, Humanitarian Action and Human Rights, started in 2013



To have a wonderful family and to use my education for personal growth and public service


travelling, rollerblading and ice skating, Africa, Haiti, volunteering, learning about others