It could be said with quite certainty that there are very few people in the world whose work is closely tied to their personality. This is the case of the personality and work of Diogenis D. Valavanidis, man characterized by the power of vision, wide range of versatile activities and strong creative energy.
Hippocrates Valavanidis, Warsaw, 1936
Avram Valavanidis, M.D., Bitola, FYROM, cca 1905
Diogenis Valavanidis with his father Dimitrios, Belgrade 1959
Dimitrios Valavanidis, Warsaw, 1937
George Bush Senior, USA Vice-President, employee in the Political Section of the American Embassy, Diogenis Valavanidis and editor-in-chief for Serbian language at the Voice of America (VOA) in Washington, Belgrade 1982
Diogenis Valavanidis, Bishop of Sumadia academician Sava, Bishop of Budim Danilo, Ambassador�s mother-in-law, Helen Anderson, Zoran Slavnic � employee in the American Embassy, Ambassador David Anderson and the Serbian Patriarch � His Holiness Mr. German, Belgrade 1984
Petros Tatoulis, Deputy Minister of Culture, Prime Minister of the Republic of Greece Kostis Karamanlis, Elena Korka � Head of Directorate for Prehistoric and Classic Antiquities, Diogenis Valavanidis and Krister Kumlin, Chairman of the Swedish Committee, Athens 2005
Diogenis Valavanidis and Dimitris Avramopoulos � Mayor of Athens, Athens� City Assembly 2002
Diogenis Valavanidis and Jules Dassin, famous film director and husband of Melina Mercouri, Formal Reception Hall at the Benaki Museum, Athens 2005
Ecumenical Patriarch Mr. Bartholomew the First and Diogenis Valavanidis, Constantinople, 2004
Diogenis V. Valavanidis, born in 1955 in Belgrade as a son of Dimitrios Valavanidis whose origins can be traced back to the Greek family in Asia Minor. Family Valavanidis was always oriented toward its rich tradition and characterized by creative energy in the field of social, economic and cultural life. Many family members obligated history, especially the work done by Diogenis’s grandfather Avram Valavanidis, M.D. (1866-1913), prominent surgeon, philanthropist and humanist, proven friend of the Serbian people and man who paid high price for his love for the Serbian nation by being exposed to punishments, persecutions and sufferings. Uncle Hippocrates was senior diplomat in the Kingdom of Yugoslavia who served in Vienna, Budapest and Warsaw. As far as this family is concerned, various daily papers in Serbia wrote about its presence on the territory of Serbia. One of the most popular daily papers – Telegraph (dated October 18, 2000) published article entitled “They Came to Stay” or – 'how the history of the family Valavanidis reflects the depth of the Greek-Serbian friendship'.
Aware of his roots and tradition, beaming with love for people while staying loyal to his homeland and fatherland, Diogenis D. Valavanidis grew into a true creator of the bridges of friendship between Serbian and Greek people and achieved excellent results (see: ACTIVITIES). After graduation, he held very responsible positions and proved to be a tolerant man and somebody one can always rely on. Passing through various situations, he showed extraordinary expertise; first as a senior officer in the USA Embassy in Belgrade where he gained significant experience by having the opportunity to meet with many prominent individuals including Jimmy Carter and George Bush Senior, USA presidents, Walter F. Mondale, USA vice-president, Alexander Haig, George Shultz and David Backer, USA Secretaries of State, Lawrence Eagleburger, John Scanlon and David Anderson, USA Ambassadors to Belgrade. At the same time, he nourished close relations with the senior dignitaries in the Serbian Patriarchate, especially with the late Serbian Patriarch Mr. German and the late academician Sava, bishop of the Sumadia Eparchy.
He was a founder and director of the Cultural-Educational centre “Aristotle” in Belgrade and financial and administrative manager in the Belgrade offices of the American and Greek air-way companies “Pan-American” and “Olympic Airways”. In spite of numerous obligations, Diogenis D. Valavanidis worked and is still working hard and tirelessly in cultural and other fields which have significant importance for the preservation of the Hellenism and identity of the Greek people. Special emphasize should be put on his work on the foundation of the Serbian Committee for the Reunification of the Parthenon Sculptures which are presently exhibited in the British Museum in London as well as his efforts to gather and organize activities of the Hellenic community permanently settled on the territory of Serbia(see: ACTIVITIES). These activities offered him opportunity to meet prominent individuals from political, cultural and religious life such is Konstantinos Stephanopoulos and Karolos Papullas, presidents of the Republic of Greece, Kostas Karamanlis, the Greek Prime Minister, Dimitris Avramopoulos, mayor of Athens, David Lammy , British Minister of Culture, Jules Dassin, famous international film director and husband of esteemed Melina Mercouri etc. Meeting with the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomeus the First in the Constantinople Patriarchate, is the crown of present efforts made by Diogenis D. Valavanidis in support of undisturbed activity of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Constantinople which is lately faced with numerous problems concerning its survival and territorial jurisdiction.
Diogenis D. Valavanidis speaks English, Greek and Serbian language and is very successful book author. Until now, he published three books: “The Day of the Return”, “Noble People” and “The Blood of Asia Minor” which, in a specific sense, represent the crown of his activities in cultural and art field (see: LITERARY WORKS). He is a member of the Writers' Association of Serbia.
During 2009 Diogenis D. Valavanidis engaged in the political life of Serbia and became part of the Serbian Progressive Party. Soon, he was appointed as a member of the party’s Council for Foreign Relations as well as the vice-president and spokesman of the Belgrade ’s city Council for Culture. Notable were his lectures and performances, especially during the election campaign in 2011 and 2012 in the great political debate, in support of the candidacy of party leader Aleksandar Vucic, as well as the performances at the Russian House, on the subject of "The Defence of the Serbian national identity – Kosovo’s churches and monasteries." Also well attended and well received were his performances in the reception hall of the central Belgrade’s municipality, Vracar, on the subject of "SPP‘s Cultural Policy" and "Body language in the diplomatic and political communication", as well as the speech he gave at a big public rally in centre of Vracar, under slogan "Vracar for Vucic"
On September 26th 2013 Diogenis D. Valavanidis received one of the highest decorations of the Serbian Orthodox Church - the Order of St. Constantine. It was awarded to him by His Holiness, the Serbian Patriarch Mr. Irinej, in presence of all the members of the Holy Synod of the Serbian Orthodox Church. His Holiness mentioned that - "the Order of St. Constantine is being awarded to Mr. Valavanidis for decades of hard work on preservation and protection of the Serbian heritage, mainly churches and monasteries in Kosovo and Metohija".
The ceremony was completed by performing the national anthem by the choir Mokranjac.