Human Rights Organization Visits Webster

Oct. 16, 2013

ST. LOUIS - The founders of the Lantos Foundation for Human Rights and Justice - Annette Lantos and her daughter Katrina Lantos Swett - will discuss the rise of anti-Semitism, human rights abuses, and share personal reflections of the Holocaust at 7 p.m. Nov. 21 in rooms 252/263 in the East Academic Building at Webster University.

The event, titled “Lantos Legacy: History, Humanity and Hope,” is hosted by Webster University Trustees Marilyn Fox and Ambassador George Herbert Walker III. It is free and open to the public.

The Lantos Foundation is named after former Congressman Tom Lantos, the only Holocaust survivor to be elected to the United States Congress. During his nearly three decades in the House of Representatives, Tom Lantos rose to become chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. He also founded the Congressional Human Rights Caucus and co-chaired it for over two decades.

“Webster University hosts speakers whose experiences and perspectives enlarge our insights,” said Elizabeth “Beth” J. Stroble, president of Webster University. “Because Tom Lantos had a significant impact on U. S. foreign policy, we anticipate learning more about his legacy and the ongoing work of the Lantos Foundation.”

“It is essential that we understand and appreciate history to create a better future,” said Webster University Provost, Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Julian Schuster. “This event will give us a rare opportunity to hear two people who have been witnesses to several of the most significant events of our time.”

Annette Lantos is the Chairman of the Lantos Foundation for Human Rights and Justice. As a Hungarian Holocaust survivor, worked tirelessly alongside her husband for nearly three decades. She helped establish and served as the director of the bi-partisan Congressional Human Rights Caucus, now named the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission, within the U.S. Congress. She also played a pivotal role in the creation of the Lantos-HIA (Humanity in Action) Congressional Fellows program and has spearheaded numerous efforts to help human rights victims, including those persecuted for religious and political reasons.

Annette Lantos is the founder of the International Free Wallenberg Committee, established in 1977 to raise awareness of Raoul Wallenberg's humanitarian mission in Hungary during World War II. She is a member of the The International Advisory Board of the Memorial Museum of Holocaust Child Victims and of the European Training Centre. She supports many organizations worldwide such as the North American Conference of Ethiopian Jewry, Children International, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Habitat for Humanity, Adopt-A-Student, and organizations for the homeless. She has also been instrumental in fighting for animal rights and co-founded the Congressional Friends of Animals Caucus.

Katrina Lantos Swett, Ph.D., established the Lantos Foundation for Human Rights and Justice in 2008 and serves as its president. Swett teaches human rights and American foreign policy at Tufts University. Her varied professional experiences include working as deputy counsel to the Criminal Justice Sub-Committee of the Senate Judiciary Committee for then Senator Joe Biden, and as a consultant to businesses, charitable foundations, and political campaigns.

Lantos Swett co-hosted the highly regarded political talk show ”Beyond Politics” for many years on WMUR TV, New Hampshire's only network affiliated television station, and interviewed state, national, and international figures, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Vice President Al Gore, First Lady Hillary Clinton, and George Stephanopoulos.

In April of 2012, she was appointed by Senator Harry Reid to serve as a Commissioner for the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom. In June of 2012 she was elected to serve as Chair until June of 2013 when she was elected Vice Chair. From 2003-2006, Swett served as the director of the graduate program in Public Policy at New England College, and served on the college's Board of Trustees until 2013. She is also a board member of The Committee for Human Rights in North Korea, the International Advisory Board of UN Watch, the Tom Lantos Institute in Budapest, the Hungarian Initiatives Foundation, and the Advisory Board of the Warren B. Rudman Center for Justice, Leadership, and Public Policy.

For more information on the Lantos Foundation, visit

With its home campus in St. Louis, Webster University ( is the only Tier 1, private, non-profit U.S.-based university providing a network of international residential campuses and a robust online learning program. Founded in 1915, Webster University's campus network today includes metropolitan, military and corporate locations around the world, as well as traditional campuses in Asia, Europe, North America, and Africa. The university is committed to delivering high-quality learning experiences that transform students for global citizenship and individual excellence.