Christopher Ball, director of the Central European Institute and Istvan Szechenyi Chair in International Economics at Quinnipiac University, will be inaugurated as Honorary Consul of Hungary for the state of Connecticut on Thursday, Sept. 19.
Ball’s selection is in recognition of his two-decade association with Hungary.
“It’s exciting,” Ball said. “I’ve been working with Hungary and the region for 20 years. Hopefully, it will be another 20 years.”
The inauguration ceremony will be attended by Gyorgy Szapary, Hungarian Ambassador to the United States, and is scheduled for 5 p.m. in the School of Law’s Grand Courtroom. A reception will follow in the Mancheski Executive Seminar Room in the Lender School of Business Center on the university’s Mount Carmel Campus.
As honorary consul, Ball will be responsible for supporting Hungarians in the United States as well as the Hungarian community in Connecticut, facilitating political and business collaboration between Hungary and the United States and introducing Hungarian culture and history to Americans.
“I would not have been able to do all of this without the support of Quinnipiac,” Ball said. “I think Quinnipiac really understands niches and niche markets. We’re good at specializing. Our medical school has a special focus – primary care – and there is nothing else offered quite like the programs we have with Hungary and that we’re building with Central Europe. Quinnipiac promotes internationalization and diversification. This is a perfect fit.”
The aim of the Central European Institute is to build bridges between the United States and the nations of Central Europe by fostering relationships in academics, business and culture.
“The honorary consul’s main task is to further linkages between the U.S.,” Ball said. “This fits perfectly into the CEI’s mission. Being officially recognized as an honorary consul by the U.S. State Department really helps put the CEI and Quinnipiac in general on the diplomatic map in the United States and worldwide which is where, I believe, we should be.”
Ball started as an assistant professor in economics at Quinnipiac in 2003. He earned his bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Alabama in Huntsville and his doctorate in macroeconomics and industrial organization from Texas A & M University.
Ball moved to Budapest in 1994 and worked in foreign policy as a project consultant and later as director for the Hungarian Atlantic Council. He focused on arranging conferences and seminars and acting as an information source in Hungary on NATO and other integration-related issues.
“I just sort of fell in love with the whole region and people. I felt at home there from the beginning,” said Ball, who also lectured at Eötvös Loránd University in Budapest.
Ball met his wife, Emese, in Hungary. They have two children, Julianna and Matthew.