Denda I I.jpg



Mr. Denda is a contributing Senior Fellow at the NGWC. He is a 39-year veteran of Central Eastern European policy affairs focusing on Poland.

From 2013 through 2017, Mr. Denda served a policy Counselor at The Potomac Foundation/TPF. He contributed to the Northeast European Security Series, including particularly an early (2013) outline of the Russian ‘Zapad’ (War Simulation West) exercise scenario. His report, briefed some six months before the annexation of Crimea, in turn advanced the relaunch of the Foundation's analysis of the evolution of Russian war fighting doctrine that led directly, under Dr. Peterson's direction, to the formulation of a new generation warfare analytic model. Mr. Denda also introduced TPF to key Polish officials during his tenure. Earlier, he had served as a non-resident advisor at The Potomac Foundation on matters concerning Poland during the first round of NATO enlargement. He worked directly with Foundation founder Dr. Dan McDonald in this capacity from 1994 through 1999.

Mr. Denda's work during the first round of North Atlantic Treaty Organization alliance enlargement coincided with the best example of Polish American political influence in Washington in over a generation. As head of a political action unit in Washington D.C. between 1994 and 1998, he materially contributed to a complex four-year mobilization of American ethnic constituents supporting inclusion of Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic in the alliance. This bipartisan effort was credited with providing the 'political action impetus' in Congress that launched the formal process of amending the North Atlantic (Washington) Treaty to include these countries. Serving as Vice President of the Federation of Polish Americans/FPA, a national organization, his work with key Democratic Party insiders and grassroots community activists took him into the White House circle in 1996 to 'negotiate' President Bill Clinton's pre-election public endorsement of NATO expansion to include Poland.

More than a decade prior, he was active in administrative and leadership positions with Friends of Solidarity/FoS, a non-profit group at Georgetown University. Earlier, he had co-founded the Polish American Students Association - Ann Arbor chapter at the University of Michigan (1980). Mr. Denda hails from the Westside Detroit Polish American (Warren and Michigan Avenues) community.

He is a third generation Polish American.

Some of his career highlights include:

  • Awarded the Polish Armed Forces Medal (Silver class), as a foreigner, for work in integrating Poland's armed forces into NATO and, in particular, with the United States military (2016)

  • Co-author; Testimony - The Polish American Position on Poland’s Candidacy for NATO Membership: Committee on International Relations, United States House of Representatives, Washington, D.C. (1996)

  • Chairman Ben Gilman (House International Relations Committee), in late 1996, credited the Polish American grassroots mobilization, and personally named Mr. Denda as a principal organizer of it, as being critical in breaking a 30-month political logjam in Congress upon passage of the NATO Enlargement Facilitation Act. The in tandem 1996 House-Senate votes established a decisive margin of support in Congress that remained intact through final Senate Treaty ratification in 1998.

  • Mr. Denda led a meeting, including FPA leadership, with National Security Advisor Anthony Lake during which details were ‘negotiated’ concerning President Clinton’s yet to be issued pre-election endorsement of NATO enlargement to include Poland. The President’s subsequent campaign speech (October 1996) led directly to introduction into the U.S. Senate of the Treaty enlargement protocol the following year.

  • Mr. Denda personally initiated contact with Poland’s senior military to start a fact-finding project, as part of a TPF-sponsored ‘Codel’ (November 1998), concerning the viability of establishing a NATO base in Poland coinciding with that country’s accession to the alliance.

  • Author; Issue Brief – ‘U.S. Helsinki Commission's Forum on Property Restitution Claims in Poland and other Central/Eastern European Nations’, Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, Washington, D.C. (1996)

  • Mr. Denda played a prominent role in a very large multi-ethnic (mainly European heritage) grassroots mobilization (1997-99) in connection with Census 2000. At issue was support for keeping in the U.S. Census a question related to one's self-identification of ethnic-national origin. The result found in Census 2000 was there were over 8.9 million Americans of Polish descent.

  • Author; Historical Brief on a Motion to Intervene: United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit (Eastern District Trial Court - Brooklyn). (2000) FPA’s Amicus Curiae Brief in Federal Court was unprecedented in its detailing of war crimes, crimes against humanity, and asset losses suffered by ethnic Poles, including Polish Americans, during Nazi Germany’s occupation of Poland (1939-1945). The international class action suit (common name, Swiss Banks Gold case), which sought to limit the claimant class for forced/slave labor compensation, was challenged by FPA and the Polish American Congress under the ‘Accused Organizations and Individuals in the Nurnberg Trial’ (1946) criteria.

  • Mr. Denda participated in negotiations with the U.S. Government on behalf of Polish American claimants as part of the bi-lateral U.S.-Germany settlement process for forced/slave labor claims against German companies. This included a 2000 meeting at a critical juncture in the discussions which was led by Mr. Denda, in conjunction with American Jewish Committee representatives, with Deputy Treasury Secretary Stu Eizenstat and Ambassador J.D. Bindenagel.

  • Editor, Principal Researcher – “Soviet War Crimes Against Poland During the Second World War and its Aftermath: A Review of the Factual Record and Outstanding Questions,” The Polish Review, Volume 44, Number 2; New York (1999)

  • Denda's 1980-83 involvement in pro-freedom, independence activities on behalf of Poland with the Conference of Solidarity Support Organizations, TKK (Temporary Coordinating Committee of NSZZ Solidarnosc) during the Solidarity/Martial Law period was cited by R. Lewicki in a sizable work documenting post-Second World War diaspora movement, ‘Survey of Assistance to the Country by Independence-Minded Exiles 1935-1990,’ Volume 5 (1995)