Born as Michaela Malacova in 1971 in Brno, Czech Republic (then Czechoslovakia), Michaela Bakala graduated from the Film and TV School of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague (FAMU), majoring in film and TV production. Later she completed the Tuck Executive Program at Dartmouth College.
After graduating, she managed PR for a major industrial company before becoming head of the press department of the Civic Democratic Party (ODS), one of the prominent democratic political parties in the Czech Republic of the post-1989 era. Michaela later established her own public relations agency and the beauty pageant Česká Miss [Miss Czech] that she had led for ten years.
She also co-founded BM Management, a company that oversees the business activities of Michaela and Zdenek Bakala in the Czech Republic. Her position in boards of several of the companies, such as media house Economia and Luxury Brand Management, has helped her set their strategic direction.
In 2010, Michaela took part in the development of a unique administrative and communal complex, the Forum Karlin. The unit includes a multi-purpose hall and the modern newsroom of the Economia media house. Involved from its conception, Michaela contributed to the shape and name of the complex and established the hall operator.
Currently, Michaela mainly focuses on leading the philanthropic activities of the family, most notably as Chair of the Boards of Trustees of the Bakala Foundation in the Czech Republic and the Fondation Zdenek et Michaela Bakala in Switzerland. With a particular focus on education, the two foundations operate scholarship programs that have enabled scores of talented students to study in their chosen fields at leading universities worldwide.
Michaela and her husband Zdenek became involved in establishing a Central European branch of the US-based Aspen Institute. With an emphasis on identifying, educating, and supporting emerging future leaders, Aspen Institute Central Europe has created a regional forum for wide-ranging discussions focused on seeking solutions to social, economic, and ethical problems across the political spectrum.
Michaela serves as a member of the Supervisory Board of the Aspen Institute Central Europe and is also a member of the Board of Trustees of the Václav Havel Library, an institution devoted to the legacy of President Václav Havel.
Michaela strives to encourage Czech women to believe in their capacities so they can find their path to success. This desire spurred her to become a proud patron of the Top Czech Women project, which recognizes prominent women serving in public and private spheres of the Czech Republic.
Most important to Michaela is raising her four children together with her husband. She firmly believes that relationships between men and women must be built on partnerships rather than differences and competition, feeling that the foundations forming one’s relationship to the opposite sex are laid within the family.