Daiva Venckus was born in California but her family stories about escaping Soviet-occupied Lithuania during World War II inspired her to seek to understand her ancestral heritage in Lithuania. She didn’t have much of a plan on what to do once she arrived in Lithuania, but because she happened to arrive in the middle of a revolution, a path she could not ever have imagined unfolded.
Daiva worked as a press spokesperson (1991-1992), and editor and translator for the Lithuanian Parliament during its struggle to break away from the Soviet Union. She wrote official government press releases, translated and edited documents. She managed daily press briefings. She served as a contact for the foreign press, provided information and gave numerous interviews on the air. She served as a foreign press wrangler during official delegation visits and other government events.
During 1991, the Press Office also served as a hotline for citizens to report Soviet military aggression throughout Lithuania. Daiva documented the information and passed it on to the Lithuanian Defense department and Parliament Security to plan for and asses risks.
During this time Daiva lived in a world where she was a government insider as well as an average person on the streets overcoming the challenges of food shortages, the Moscow-imposed economic blockade, Martial Law and increasing Soviet military threats.
Daiva was awarded the Lithuanian State Medal of January 13 by the Lithuanian President for defending the freedom and independence of Lithuania in 1991.
Ms. Venckus currently guest lectures on the topics of the Soviet Union and Lithuanian Independence to various schools and has presented papers at conferences, including the Yale Baltic & Scandinavian Studies Conference in 2014.
Currently seeking literary representation.