Thomas Smetanka, Czech Ambassador to Pakistan
Thomas Smetanka expressed his sincerest thanks to his team when his diplomatic tenure in Pakistan came to a close. Their unflagging support had made his time there stressless and productive, he wrote on twitter.
His dedication to gender equality, cultural relations, and diplomacy left an indelible imprint on Czech-Pakistani relations.
Early Life and Education
Smetanka began his publishing industry career at Ballantine Books, being assigned to their L.A. office for an extended period. Later, in 2009 he joined Phoenix Books before transferring his list to Northern California-based Counterpoint Publishing where he has continued working since 2010.
He currently oversees the controversial imprint Soft Skull and acquires many novels. Additionally, he engages in freelance editing.
He is married to Veronica Fedinatz and they share three children together. As an avid traveler and beachgoer, he loves spending time with his family as well as traveling. Passionate about photography and painting as well as music and reading, he writes many articles and books himself.
Smetanka has had an extraordinary diplomatic career. Serving in high profile positions across various countries and helping strengthen bilateral ties between Czech Republic and numerous nations such as Jordan, China, and South Korea;
Smetanka pioneered an initiative called the “Heroines of Pakistan” during his time in Pakistan to recognize and celebrate women’s accomplishments across different fields, while supporting a program which trained rights defenders for Pakistan women.
Smetanka’s tireless work in advocating gender equality and developing cultural and diplomatic ties between Czechia and Pakistan left an imprintful mark on Czech-Pakistani relations. He expressed gratitude towards his dedicated team which made his tenure in Pakistan stress-free and productive, and wished them all success for future endeavors.
Achievement and Honors
Smetanka used his time at the Embassy in Pakistan to build a dedicated team of staff members and foster strong diplomatic ties between countries. When his term in office came to an end, he thanked them all for their unfailing support and dedication throughout it all.
In 2021, he was honored with the Distinguished Faculty Award – given annually to full-time faculty for their quality teaching effectiveness, professional commitment, demonstrated interest in students, innovation and service to the university. Additionally, he led Saint Vincent College’s Safe Reopen Plan initiative and led its Forward Together Advisory Committee towards its successful reopening in fall 2020.
Smetanka has dedicated himself throughout his tenure as ambassador to Pakistan to fostering cultural and diplomatic ties between these two nations. He spearheaded initiatives recognizing Pakistani women as “Heroines of Pakistan,” and funded programs which train and financially assist women’s rights activists within Pakistan.
Smetanka speaks Czech, English, French and Russian fluently; his wife is Czech as well. They reside together in Princeton New Jersey.
David has also been deeply immersed in the arts, both as an actor and director. In 2008 he co-founded the Pittsburgh Contemporary Music Festival; also serving as an artistic adviser to the Board of Directors of Pittsburgh Opera as well as being a member of American Academy in Rome.