It is with great sadness that Potential Plus UK heard today of the death of Franz Mönks, Honorary President of ECHA (the European Council for High Ability).

Over a long and distinguished career, he held professorships and honorary professorships at many universities both in Europe and further afield. From 1988, Franz held the first chair in Psychology and Pedagogy of the Gifted Child in Europe. In 1989 he became vice president of the World Council for Gifted and Talented Children (WCGTC) and in that position he organised the ninth World Congress on Giftedness in The Hague in 1991. In 1992 he resigned from that role to become President of ECHA, founding the globally recognised training, Specialist in Gifted Education. There are now several thousand teachers who have successfully completed this training, primarily across Europe and South America.

Franz was also the recipient of the Kelemen László Award of the Hungarian Association of Psychology (2000); as well as the Lifetime Achievement Awards of the Hungarian Talent Support Organization (2012) and MENSA International (2012).

At ECHA’s 1st Thematic Conference in Croatia in 2019, Franz became the Honorary President of ECHA, a well-deserved honour for his many-decades long service to the organisation.

Over his lifetime and career Franz contributed enormously to the community that supports gifted young people across the world and was always a recognisable and well-respected figure at international gatherings and conferences. He was a lovely, gentle man who had time for everyone and his presence will be sadly missed.