Dr. Magyar – having obtained his University Doctoral degree in Political Economy and MA in History and Sociology at the Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest – started his career as a researcher (1977-1990) at different research institutes.
Between 1979 and 1990 he was a human right activist of the anti-communist opposition movement. Since its foundation in 1988 until 2009 he was one of the leaders of the Hungarian Liberal Party (Alliance of Free Democrats). Between 1988 and 1990 he took part in architecting the new democracy and negotiating about the peaceful transition as the delegate of the Alliance of Free Democrats. He was a member of the Hungarian Parliament (1990-2010). As a Minister of Education (1996-1998; 2002-2006) he initiated and carried out reforms in public and higher education.
He was Vice President of the National Development Council (2006-2008) and Secretary of State for Development Policy related to EU funds (2007-2008).Since 2010 he is a senior researcher of the Financial Research Institute at Budapest. Since 2010 he has been engaged by Unicef, Open Society Foundation and European Roma Right Center in different missions as a consultant to enhance education reforms in some countries of East Europe (Republic of Moldova, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Romania, Czech Republic). In the years of 2011-2014 he took part in different missions as an NDI (US) expert in supporting democratic transition and election observer in Libya and Tunisia. Since 2013 he has edited and published – renewing the descriptive language – several books on post-communist regimes. Between October 2018 and June 2019 he was a senior research fellow of the Institute for Advanced Study, CEU, Budapest.