November 12, 2014
Washington, November 12, 2014 – The Republic of Poland recognized James Dean of The Heritage Foundation Friday, November 7, for his "outstanding contribution to the building of democratic society and democratic institutions” during Independence Day celebrations at the Polish Embassy in Washington, D.C. Dean, who is Manager of International and Diplomatic Programs at the foundation’s Davis Institute for International Studies, was awarded the Officer’s Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland by Ambassador Schnepf on behalf of the President of the Republic of Poland Bronislaw Komorowski.
At The Heritage Foundation, Dean works with officials from allied and partner countries to advance international security cooperation, build international markets and protect sovereignty. Dean regularly confers with dozens of Ambassadors and embassy staff and frequently initiates off-the-record roundtable discussions that bring together Capitol Hill and Embassy Row allies and select partner countries to advance common interests.
Amongst those interests, Dean’s work includes advocating for stronger U.S.-Poland ties and dates back to his time as a staff member in the office of former Senator Hank Brown, (R-Colo.). Brown was an early advocate of Poland’s entry into the North American Treaty Organization (NATO). “Poland joining NATO in 1997 was about securing the freedom to determine their own future,” said Dean. “Preservation of Poland’s sovereignty depended upon it just as much then as it does now.”
Poland depends upon Russia for much of its energy needs, but still backed U.S.-NATO economic sanctions against Russia. “Poland wants to acquire more American products, including natural gas and defense platforms as soon as possible. The United States should get on the ball deliver. We all benefit, said Dean.”
Dean points to the fact that Poland, one of the most pro-American countries in Europe, remains outside the United States’ Visa Waiver Program. Citizens in 38 nations who are part of the Visa Waiver Program are able to visit the United States without a visa for 90 days. In exchange, U.S. citizens enjoy reciprocal visa-free travel. “Having Poland in the Visa Waiver Program would better enable Poles to contribute to the U.S. economy as tourists, while at the same time strengthening our shared security cooperation through an enhanced information exchange.”