Jan Nowak-Jeziorański was the founder of the Prize and the College of Eastern Europe. He was born Zdzisław Jeziorański in 1914. “Jan Nowak” was his pseudonym from his time in the resistance movement during the Second World War. When Poland became a part of the communist bloc, Nowak-Jeziorański decided to remain in exile. In 1952 he became the Director of the Polish service of Radio Free Europe, where he served until 1976. After the fall of communism, he was involved in lobbying for Poland’s accession to NATO and later to the European Union. For Jan Nowak-Jeziorański, the day Poland joined NATO was the most meaningful in his life, saying: “I lived to see Poland not only independent but also secure.” He died in 2005 and was buried in Powązki Cemetery in Warsaw.