Oldřich Černý

Forum 2000 chief dies at 65

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Oldřich Černý, a Havel ally, also led intelligence service in the 90s

Oldřich Černý, the longtime head of the Forum 2000 Foundation and a former top adviser to Václav Havel, died of cancer March 31. He was 65.

“It’s not unexpected, but it’s still a shock,” said Jakub Klepal, deputy executive director at Forum 2000, a nonprofit group co-founded by Havel in 1996.

Before heading Forum 2000 – an organization best known for its annual high-profile conference – and concurrently the Prague Security Studies Institute, Černý was national security adviser to Havel 1990-93 and director of the Foreign Intelligence Service from 1993 to 1998. Before the 1989 Velvet Revolution, he worked as a freelance translator of English-language literature and film, theater producer and editor.

Klepal described Černý as “incredibly charismatic” and “well-connected around the world.”

His death is the second major blow to the leadership of Forum 2000 in recent months, following the loss of Havel in December 2011. The pair had remained close collaborators, even in recent years.

“We are committed to honoring both of them in moving forward,” Klepal said.

No official decision has been made on Černý’s successor at Forum 2000, he added.

Černý is survived by his partner, Helena Kašparová, and two adult children.

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