VHLF Staff

paval-niklovaExecutive Director
Pavla Niklova

Pavla Niklova has two decades of experience in executive and managerial positions at prominent arts and cultural organizations in the United States and in the Czech Republic. Her focus is on the conception, preparation and promotion of innovative programs that encourage international collaboration and exchange. In 2010 Pavla Niklova was appointed by the Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs as Cultural Attache to oversee all aspects of the Czech Center New York at the newly-restored, century-old Bohemian National Hall on New York City’s Upper East Side. Over the course of her directorship, she created and implemented a strategic plan that has enabled the Center to become a player within New York City’s rich cultural environment. The Center produced programs in partnership with major U.S. and European cultural and educational institutions.

Her previous positions included the Head of Public Relations and Development at the Jewish Museum in Prague, where she directed an expansive year-long Centennial Festival in 2006, Year of Jewish Culture, which consisted of more than 260 programs and events held in more than 50 cities in the Czech Republic and abroad. Before she worked as Manager of the International Projects at the Archa Theater, and the Assistant Director at the Soros Center for Contemporary Arts, where she created the first artist residency program in the Czech Republic at the Cimelice Castle. Pavla Niklova studied Czech and English at the Philosophical Faculty of the Charles University in Prague.

Project Coordinator
Rachel Kalina

Rachel Kalina is excited and honored to contribute to the mission of the Vaclav Havel Library Foundation. She is a graduate of Johns Hopkins University where she was a Bloomberg Scholar and majored in History of Art. As a descendant of family members who lived through the oppressive Soviet regime in Czechoslovakia, she feels an affinity towards Vaclav Havel’s dissident activism and his promotion of the ideals of freedom and democracy. Rachel is also a great admirer of Vaclav Havel’s plays; she believes strongly in the power of art to disrupt toxic political and social norms.

Intern Project Coordinator
Anita Duskova

Anita Duskova comes from Prague, where she studied at the Johannes Kepler Grammar School. She has a personal connection with Vaclav Havel through her great-grandfather, who had been part of Charta 77 and Havel`s close friend. Living in this dissident heritage inspired her to study Political Science and Philosophy, currently at NYU in Abu Dhabi. Her interest in Politics was ignited by the constantly changing scene of the post Velvet Revolution Czech Republic and more importantly Vaclav Havel in particular. She wants to concentrate on the political development of new states and human rights issues. As such she is excited and honored to be working in the Vaclav Havel Library Foundation to learn and follow Vaclav Havel`s legacy.

Intern Project Coordinator
Carina Goebelbecker

Carina Goebelbecker is currently a senior at Barnard College studying Theatre and English. She is so excited to be one of the interns for the Vaclav Havel Library Foundation. On campus, Carina acts in productions for the Barnard Theatre Department and choreographs musicals for Student Theater. She discovered her admiration for Havel through the Barnard Theater Department’s production of Some Hero, a devised piece about Havel’s life and works. Inspired by Havel’s legacy, she hopes to pursue a career in political theater and human rights.

Volunteer Project Coordinator
Natalie Babjukova

Natalie Babjukova comes from Prague where she attended Gymnazium na Prazacce. She then received a scholarship to study at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut where she double-majored in International and Russian Studies. Her thesis focused on the Prague Spring in Czechoslovakia and events that preceded and followed. She graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in May, 2015 and moved to New York where she first interned at the Council on Foreign Relations, later at the Vaclav Havel Library Foundation, as well as with Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. She now works part-time for our foundation as a Project Coordinator. She is honored to help preserve Vaclav Havel’s memory through the Vaclav Havel Library Foundation. Havel’s dedication and commitment to fight for human rights and democracy in Czechoslovakia/Czech Republic were truly remarkable and deserve to be kept in everyone’s memory.

Volunteer Project Coordinator
Daniel Listwa

Daniel Listwa is a George J. Mitchell Scholar, currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Philosophy and Public Affairs at University College Dublin, Ireland. In the spring of 2015, Daniel graduated summa cum laude from Columbia University, with a Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy, Economics, and Business Management. Deeply committed to the humanities, Daniel believes that art and philosophy have an important role to play in shaping and guiding political discourse. It was this connection that guided his foundation and development of the K1 Project, a center for nuclear studies at Columbia University that uses creative means, such as films, alongside original research to promote an informed public on the topic of nuclear technologies. More recently, Daniel has continued to promote art with political valence, collaborating with organizations such as Voices of a People’s History of the United States and Art for Amnesty to produce performances and individual works aimed at garnering support for human rights. He is proud and honored to be working with the Vaclav Havel Library Foundation to support the legacy of an individual who powerfully embodied his commitment to human rights and did so in a way that seamlessly integrated creativity and intellectual ferocity.

Volunteer Project Coordinator
David Taylor

David Taylor is honored and thrilled by the opportunity to positively contribute to the Vaclav Havel Library Foundation. He spent afternoons reading Havel’s work during his time as a student at NYU, where he studied Economics and Computer Science. The more he learned about Havel’s political contributions and the Velvet Revolution, the more he wanted to be involved with Havel’s legacy and the promotion of democracy.

Intern Project Coordinator

Noah Oliva, a student at Friends Seminary High School in New York City, is grateful and excited by the opportunity to help preserve and maintain Václav Havel’s legacy by interning at the Havel Library Foundation. His Czech father, who, as a high school senior, took part in the Velvet Revolution, sparked his interest in history and politics through Havel’s work. Fascinated by the ability of a single person whose morality, dignity, intelligence and perseverance overcame incredible obstacles, defied a seemingly omnipotent totalitarian regime, and led the Czech people to establish a democratic and free society that they had been denied for generations, Noah is proud to support the on-going efforts of the Havel Foundation. Noah wishes to ensure that Havel’s legacy becomes an inspiration for other oppressed people around the world as they strive for freedom and dignity.

Intern Project Coordinator

Hugh Kane is an intern and current high school student who has an extensive interest in Havel’s work. He first discovered Havel through his political works and since has become enthralled in Havel’s theatre. Hugh is a member of his school’s debate program as well as the creative journal where he is an editor. In his free time Hugh pursues his passions of language and activism. He is fluent in English and Spanish, and is working on his proficiency in a few other languages. As part of a commitment to justice, Hugh has represented his school community at international summits for activism and is currently working on migrant advocacy in his school community. Hugh also enjoys creative writing and has an interest in international relations.