The Hungarian-American Enterprise Scholarship Fund (HAESF) was founded in 2004. Since then, we have helped more than 400 high-achieving and accomplished Hungarians gain professional skills in the United States.

Our Mission

  • To promote free enterprise and business development in Hungary
  • To enhance the potential for personal contribution to Hungarian society by investing in human capital through practical training in the United States
  • To build the framework for long lasting impact in Hungary
  • To strengthen the ties between the United States and Hungary
  • To create positive Central European attitudes towards the United States

Our History

Amid the disintegration of the former USSR, the United States Congress enacted the Support of Eastern European Democracy (SEED) Act, which authorized the creation of “enterprise funds” to assist the development of private market economies in Central and Eastern Europe. Between 1989 and 1994, the U.S. Congress, through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), appropriated a total of $1.3 billion to establish ten new investment funds, known collectively as the Enterprise Funds.

The Hungarian-American Enterprise Fund (HAEF) – the predecessor of HAESF – was one of these funds. It was established in 1989 with a grant of $72.5 million and functioned as a unique, Western-style venture capital fund. HAEF invested in existing and new Hungarian companies and took an active role in assisting them with strategic and financial planning, training, and identifying strategic partners.

In addition to promoting free enterprise in Hungary, HAEF was able to realize financial success from many of its investments, resulting in a substantial pool of capital available at the end of its fifteen-year active investment period. HAEF liquidated its portfolio with the intention of returning half the funds to the U.S. Treasury and creating a scholarship fund with the other half. HAESF, the Hungarian-American Enterprise Scholarship Fund, was thus established as an independent not-for-profit organization – a major legacy fellowship program to further improve the economic development in Hungary by providing accomplished Hungarians with professional training opportunities in the United States.

About CIEE

CIEE: Council on International Educational Exchange is responsible for the administration, management, and program support for the Hungarian-American Enterprise Scholarship Fund.

Founded in 1947, CIEE is the country’s oldest and largest nonprofit study abroad and intercultural exchange organization, delivering the highest-quality programs that increase global understanding and intercultural knowledge. We provide participants with skills, competencies, and experiences that elevate their ability to contribute positively to our global community.

CIEE is designated by the U.S. Department of State as a J-1 visa sponsor of programs such as Intern, Trainee, and Research Scholar.

Board of Directors

Ryan M. Schwarz

Director, Chairman, President & CEO

Ryan M. Schwarz portrait

Ryan M. Schwarz is a Managing Director and Co-Founder of NaviMed Capital, a healthcare-focused private investment firm based in Washington, DC. NaviMed specializes in growth capital investments in healthcare services, digital health and specialty medical products companies.

Prior to co-founding NaviMed, Mr. Schwarz was a Managing Director and Global Partner of The Carlyle Group, focused on North American venture and growth capital opportunities in the healthcare sector. Throughout his 14 year tenure with Carlyle, Mr. Schwarz led the healthcare investing practice in the U.S. Venture and Growth Capital group.

Prior to joining Carlyle, Mr. Schwarz was a Vice President in the health care investment banking group at Robertson Stephens & Co. in San Francisco, and a generalist M&A investment banker with Morgan Stanley & Co. Inc. in New York. Mr. Schwarz holds a J.D. degree from Harvard Law School and an M.B.A. degree from Harvard Business School. He received his A.B. degree from Duke University where he was an Angier B. Duke Scholar. He was honored by President Ronald Reagan in 1985 as a United States Presidential Scholar. Mr. Schwarz is a member of the Boards of Directors of AcuFocus, Inc., AqueSys, Inc. and Proteus Digital Health, Inc. Previous Board memberships include Carefx Corp. (sold to Harris Corp. (HRS)), Fairchild Imaging, Inc. (sold to BAE Systems plc (BA.L)), Liposonix, Inc. (sold to Medicis Pharmaceutical Corp. (MRX)), Endius, Inc. (sold to Zimmer Holdings, Inc. (ZMH)), Heritage Health Systems, Inc. (sold to Universal American Corp. (UAM)), and ConnectiCare Holdings, Inc. (sold to Emblem Health).

Mr. Schwarz also has substantial professional and charitable involvement in Eastern Europe. He currently serves as President of the Hungarian-American Enterprise Scholarship Fund, a Congressionally-chartered charitable foundation. Earlier in his career, he completed internships with the Hungarian-American Enterprise Fund in Budapest and with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development in London. He also serves on the Board of Directors of the George Mason Research Foundation, and was previously on the Board of Directors of the Mid-Atlantic Venture Association. Mr. Schwarz is married with two daughters. He and his family reside in Washington, DC.

Hon. George D. Gould

Chairman Emeritus

Honorable George D. Gould portrait

Mr. Gould was vice chairman of Klingenstein, Fields & Company, an investment management firm since 1989. From 1985 to 1988, he was undersecretary for finance of the Department of the Treasury. At the request of President Regan, Mr. Gould chaired the Working Group on Financial Markets to examine the effect of the October 19, 1987 stock market crash. Prior to that he was a general partner with Wertheim & Co., Inc., and chairman of Madison Resources.

Mr. Gould is a graduate of Andover, Yale, and the Harvard Business School. He was made an honorary Doctor of Laws by New York University.

Mr. Gould was the presiding director and chair of the Board’s Governance Committee and Finance Committee at Freddie Mac. He previously served as chairman of the American Hungarian Enterprise Fund for the U.S. Government in Budapest.

Eriberto R. Scocimara


Eriberto R. Scocimara portrait

We are deeply saddened to report Mr. Scocimara’s passing in November 2021.

From April 1994 through its liquidation in 2011, Mr. Scocimara served as President and Chief Executive Officer of the Hungarian-American Enterprise Fund (HAEF), one of the Enterprise Funds established by the 1989 Support for Eastern European Democracy (SEED) Act of the U.S. government.

Mr. Scocimara was born in Alexandria, Egypt. He received his lic.oec from University of St. Gallen in Switzerland and held an M.B.A from Harvard Business School. He was a dual citizen of the United States and Switzerland and fluent in six languages. He resided in Greenwich, Connecticut and is survived by his  wife, children, and several grandchildren.

HE Mr. András Simonyi


HE Mr. András Simonyi portrait

Mr. Simonyi is Managing Director of the Center for Transatlantic Relations at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) at the Johns Hopkins University.

Between 2002 and 2007 Mr. Simonyi served as the Hungarian Ambassador to the U.S. and NATO. One of his prime goals during that time was to work with the U.S. administration, Congress, and the private sector to advance bilateral relations and E.U.-U.S. relations. Other objectives included working with the U.S. administration and Congress on anti-terrorism and energy security issues.

Previously, he served as deputy chief of mission at the Hungarian Mission to the European Community and NATO in Brussels. He then served as head of the Hungarian NATO Liaison Office in Brussels and played a pivotal role in preparing Hungary’s NATO membership. He served on the NATO Council as first Hungarian permanent representative from 1999 to 2001.

Mr. Simonyi holds a Ph.D. in political science and is a frequent lecturer on security issues, transatlantic relations, and the problems of military reform and NATO enlargement.

Contact Us


Laura Lyons

Director, Exchange Foundations


Council on International
Educational Exchange

300 Fore Street | Portland, Maine 04101 USA