Minister of Foreign Affairs of Poland Witold Waszczykowski signed a decision on March 29, 2017 on the establishment of the Consulate of the Republic of Poland in Akron, Ohio, and on April 3, 2017 appointed Maria Szonert Binienda as the Honorary Consul of Poland in Akron.
As the Honorary Consul, Maria Szonert Binienda will serve to promote the development of friendly relations and economic, cultural and scientific cooperation between the Republic of Poland and the United States of America. She will also be responsible for Polish citizens staying in her consular district by helping them and protecting their rights as well as representing the rights and interests of the Republic of Poland.
Maria Szonert Binienda represents the American Polonia in the Advisory Council to the Marshal of the Senate of the Republic of Poland. As an attorney by profession, she is the founder of several Polish American organizations and holds leadership positions in many of them. Recently, she served as Vice President for Polish Affairs of the Polish American Congress.
Attorney Szonert Binienda represented some families of the Smolensk crash victims in the United States. As a legal expert, she testified on the investigation into the Smolensk crash before the European Parliament on March 28, 2012, http://smolenskcrash.eu/download. She is also the author of 2012 Smolensk Crash Status Report and 2014 Smolensk Maze – Status Report. Her articles on the Smolensk crash appear in Polish and English languages.She is a contributing writer for the main English language website on the Smolensk crash „Smolensk Crash News Digest” www.smolenskcrashnews.com.
A law graduate of the of the University of Warsaw and Rutgers University and MBA graduate of the University of Akron, Ms. Szonert Binienda publishes extensively, drawing upon her post-graduate journalism training from the University of Warsaw and extensive experience in international affairs. She publishes in the American, Polish and Polish-American press, focusing on historical and legal issues, as well as foreign affairs.
She is the author of many English language publications on Poland, including World War II through Polish Eyes (EEM Columbia University Press 2002), Null and Void; Poland: Case Study on Comparative Imperialism (University Press of America 2008), Was Katyn a Genocide?, 44 Case W. Res. J. Int’l L. 633 (2012), co-authored with Michael Scharf Katyn: Justice Delayed or Justice Denied – Report of the Cleveland Experts’ Meeting, 44 Case W. Res. J. Int’l L. 535 (2012), served as editor of ‚Katyn: State-Sponsored Extermination; Collection of Essays,’ (Libra Institute 2012),and published extensively on current events in Poland, for example: Media vs. Democracy: The case of Poland, (American Thinker, March 5, 2016).
In August 2016 Ms. Szonert-Binienda was recognized for her scholarly contributions with the Professor Honoris Causa Degree by the Jagiellonian College in Toruń, Poland.