Letter from the Executive Director

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Lehmann LetterThis April marked my second anniversary as the Executive Director of the CEELI Institute. Looking back over the past two years, I am highly gratified by the growth and expansion of the Institute. We continue to blaze new trails; with every new day, we are expanding our programs and curricula, working with new partners, and reaching new audiences. The need for the programs offered by the CEELI Institute is greater than ever, and we continue to try to rise to the new challenges that are being posed to the Rule of Law in this region and beyond.

Last year we were able to conduct over 50 individual programs, both here in Prague at the Villa Grébovka and abroad in Tunisia, Burma, and Croatia. We had a total of over 1,100 participants at these events. A week rarely goes by without some kind of event happening here in Prague, and on our busiest days we may have up to three programs running simultaneously. It is wonderful to see the Villa being fully utilized, pulsing with life and activity.

We have assembled an amazing international team here- we are now up to 14 full and part time employees, augmented by our wonderful interns, and by the catering, security, and cleaning teams that keep the Villa Grébovka running smoothly and efficiently.

We are gratified by the continued and ongoing support from our funders, including the US Department of State and the Czech Foreign Ministry. The recent renewals of many of our existing grants has been a strong vote of confidence in the quality of the programs we deliver. The scope of our funders also continues to expand: in the past year we have been privileged to be able to implement programs on behalf of new partners, including the OSCE, USAID, the National Endowment for Democracy, and the International Bar Association.

If you haven’t recently visited Prague, or haven’t yet checked out our latest Annual Report, it might be time to return! We are changing and growing every day, and we invite you to be a part of our amazing transformation.

Christopher Lehmann
Executive Director

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