2016 recipient – Senator Anna Maria Anders
for championing Polish-Cultural Exchange
Anna Maria Anders, Secretary of State, Plenipotentiary of the Prime Minister for International Dialogue.
Senator Anna Maria Anders is the daughter of the legendary World War II Commander of the 2 Corps Polish Forces at the Battle of Monte Cassino in Italy and his wife, Irena Renata Anders, a famous Polish singer and actress, also known as Renata Bogdanska. Anna Maria was born in Great Britain, in London and grew up in a Polish household, respecting patriotic traditions. She graduated from Bristol University with an Honors degree in Modern Languages and went on to get an MBA at Boston University in the United States. In 1986 Senator Anders married US Army Colonel Robert Costa with whom she has a son, Robert Wladyslaw Costa who is also an officer in the US Army. After graduating from Bristol University, Anna Maria worked as an account executive at a financial and advertising firm in the City of London. In the late 70’s she moved to Paris, France where she worked for the communications department at UNESCO. In 1980 she joined Rezayat, Paris, a branch office of an international conglomerate in the oil-related industry with joint ventures and investments in the Middle East, Europe, USA and Asia. As the personal assistant to the Chairman of the company, she travelled extensively worldwide. In 1994. Anna Maria Anders moved to the United States with her family and had a successful career in real estate for a number of years. Following the death of her mother in 2010, she followed in her mother’s footsteps and began traveling frequently to Poland, visiting schools especially those carrying the name of her father, General Wladyslaw Anders. She also was a frequent guest at various government and military ceremonies. As a Secretary of State and a Senator, Anna Maria Anders travels all over the world meeting political leaders and promoting Poland’s image. She meets with young Poles thereby sharing her late father’s belief that education is the best tool for Poland’s development. In the United States she meets with Polonia leaders wishing to build a bridge between Poland and America and encouraging Polish people in the US to invest in Poland. She cooperates with Polish American organizations such as the Josef Pilsudski Institute, the Polish American Veterans Association, the Polish American Congress, the Kosciuszko Foundation, the Polish People’s University, Polonia Technica and others.