Mr. Dale Denda

Dale Denda is a Counselor at the Potomac Foundation, and supports the Foundation’s Northeast European Security Series.

Prior to formally joining the Foundation in 2013, he served as an advisor and nonresident area specialist to Dr. Daniel McDonald, Founder and President. He worked with Dr. McDonald, starting in 1994, collaborating extensively on advancing NATO enlargement.  Coinciding with this effort, Mr. Denda served as Vice President of the Federation of Polish Americans (FPA) and, during his 1995-2000 tenure, directed the national organization’s policy as well as coordinated the activities of its political action unit in Washington. Under the guidance of the FPA Board of Directors, he managed both the public information campaigns and contacts with Members of Congress related to first round NATO enlargement (1995-1998), War Crimes Victims compensation and Ancestry enumeration in the U.S. Census.  By way of FPA’s White House liaison, he planned and directed contact with the Clinton Administration, principally regarding each of these issues. Before the establishment of FPA, Mr. Denda founded the Polish American Committee in 1993, which served as an early impetus to initiating national political action mobilization of the Polish Americans in support of Poland’s NATO membership.

More than a decade earlier, from 1981-1983, Denda served in both administrative and leadership capacities at Friends of Solidarity-Washington (FoS), a Georgetown University based not-for-profit organization dedicated to supporting Poland’s independent political movement. FoS, which was active prior to and during the martial law period in Poland, was affiliated with the Conference of Solidarity Support Organizations,TKK (Temporary Coordinating Committee of NSZZ Solidarność).  His work in this connection was subsequently cited in a wider Polish study on the critical role played by the Polish ‘Diaspora’ in promoting the growth of democracy.

Career Highlights

  • Chairman Ben Gilman (House International Relations Committee) recognized Mr. Denda personally for his role in FPA’s intervention in breaking a 30-month political logjam upon passage of the NATO Enlargement Facilitation Act. The in-tandem July 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 Poland’s candidacy for NATO membership. The President’s subsequent campaign speech (October 1996) led directly the following year to introduction into the U.S. Senate of the treaty enlargement protocol.
  • 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 that there were over 8.9 million Americans of Polish descent.
  • 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.

Work Product 

In his public career in connection with the ‘Polish agenda’, Mr. Denda has authored more than 150 media articles, bulletins, issue briefs of an analytic nature, and academic articles as well as a Federal Court submittal as an expert witness, and Congressional testimony. The notable citations include:

  • 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)
  • Author; Issue Brief – ‘U.S. Helsinki Commission’s Forum on Property Restitution Claims in Poland and other Central/Eastern European Nations’, United States Helsinki Commission (Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe), Washington, D.C. (1996)
  • 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)
  • Author; Historical Brief on a Motion to Intervene: United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit (Eastern District Trial Court – Brooklyn). (2000)
  • Author, Principal Researcher; Memorandum – ‘Zapad 2009 (Wargame West 2009) Module’: Update and comparison with Zapad 1999 of parameters and data metrics from Public Domain sources of military exercises undertaken by the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation in September-October 2009. (Internal document) The Potomac Foundation (2013)

Private Occupation and Education

Mr. Denda has for the past 29 years conducted market and operations research in a variety of fields. He manages a private sector McLean, Virginia-based research firm in the areas of building engineering, heavy construction and land development. He is regularly called to serve as an expert witness, and has written many articles, on related subject matter. He is a Detroit native and earned his B.A. in political science and theory from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

areas of expertise:

NATO, Poland, Congressional Relations, Community Outreach, Human Rights and Democracy, Documenting War Crimes


Mr. Denda earned his B.A. in political science and theory from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.