We are happy to welcome one of our long-time lecturers, Visiting Professor Dr. Vita Matīss, in the “Global approaches to diplomacy” course for our Law&Diplomacy bachelor programme students, which started 31 August.
Here is the link to the RGSL Chat Chamber Episode #5, with our students’ interview of Dr. Vita Matīss.
Vita Matiss received her first degrees in the United States, and then moved to Switzerland, where she received her Ph.d (Doctorat ès Sciences Politiques) from the University of Geneva and The Graduate Institute of International Studies in 1987. In Switzerland she worked as a publication director and taught at the American University in Leysin.
Shortly before Latvia regained independence, Vita Matiss was instrumental in preparing the dossier that would result in the Latvian government receiving compensation from the Swiss government for pre-war diplomatic property owned by Latvia in Geneva.
Along with independence came an invitation to create and lead a foundation funded by George Soros in Latvia. From 1992 – 1996, Vita Matiss was the Founding Executive Director of the Soros Foundation – Latvia, a leading NGO and standard bearer for reform in Latvia during the 1990’s. During her tenure as director of the Soros Foundation, education was the primary area of activity of the foundation, leading to the creation of two new institutions of higher education in Latvia: The Stockholm School of Economics in Riga and The Riga Graduate School of Law.
Her publications attest to the breadth and depth of her interests as a historian, essayist, cultural critic and independent political commentator. Vita Matiss has been a trailblazer in the field of Public Diplomacy in Latvia, creating and teaching one of the first academic courses in Public Diplomacy in Latvia in 2011.