IBS PaIR (Political and International Relations) club founder Árpád Csabuda on Mr Snyder's guest lecture
I have always been interested in security policy and intelligence agencies, the way they operate, share information, and most importantly, the decision-making and politics behind it. As of my interest, I visited a lecture where I personally met Mr David Snyder, and besides giving me his contact details, we agreed on a future lecture here at IBS. His straightforward, fun and direct personality assured an excellent presentation and atmosphere, which seems to be proven at our event too. It took a couple of weeks to find the right time for him as he is extremely busy, he also wanted to leave enough time for us to advertise the event properly, but finally managed to find the right time for the event.
Mr Snyder cooperates with the Hungarian Intelligence, Counter Terrorism units, and police authorises in Hungary. During his presentation, he explained the FBI's foreign mission's main aims, the infrastructure and organizational structure behind it. To break the ice, he showed some techniques of self-protection, which brought great laughter in the room. Turning into the day-to-day tasks he holds in Hungary, he mentioned the high-level of security within the country, expressed the great level preparedness and professionalism of the Hungarian authorities he works with, which he founds a great and effective work environment. As an interesting fact he mentioned that TEK (the Hungarian Counter Terrorism Centre) won an international competition in Florida, and that a newly established body called TIBEK is responsible for collecting the information from all the bodies in order to make up a greater view and trends.
Upon finishing his lecture, he gave floor to the questions, which resulted in dozens of hand seeking for place to put their questions. The questions varied from security related issues in Kosovo, through the relations with Russia, the Edward Snowden case, to the more straightforward and less formal ones, like, "how many people did you kill?" or "can you shout that 'FBI you are arrested', as you would do in real life?", to the personal ones like "where was your most dangerous mission?" to " what can you tell your family about your work?". Mr Snyder answered all the questions, some in a diplomatic, others in a personal manner. It seemed that he enjoyed the environment as he stayed an extra hour to the originally agreed time.
Overall, we were extremely happy that we were able to mobilise such a big crowd, more than 100 people, and interest, and that we could invite and host such an exciting lecturer in our student club. We hope to organize similarly fascinating lectures, however we are not able to promise James Bond for our next session.