Team Members
and biography... AtoZ ordered

ANJA ŽIVKOVIĆ
Language Associate


Anja Živković is a graduated philologist. She studied the Albanian language, literature and culture at Faculty of Philology in Belgrade, and Greek was her second language. In 2016 she joined the “Red Info Portal” Red Cross Belgrade as a student-volunteer, translator for Albanian language.

She is an activist and has participated in Peacebuilding training “Mir – Paqe – Mir 2016”, as well as in several Youth Exchanges with participants from different countries from the Balkans. She focuses her work to contribute towards breaking down the prejudices among the people of the Balkans and promotes collaboration among all.


ASTRIT ISTREFI
Executive Director

astrit@thebalkanforum.org

+386 (0)49 427 222


18 + years’ experience in civil society sector focusing on conflict prevention, peacebuilding and development related issues in fragile and conflict-affected contexts, leading strategic development and management/oversight of complex programs, budgets, and teams in the Western Balkans, Central Asia, Caucasus, Afghanistan, UK and USA. This includes working with Care International, Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and Forum for Civic Initiatives (FIQ) in Pristina; International Organisation for Migration (IOM) in Kabul and Washington DC; and Saferworld in London.

His senior management experience in local and international organisations involves strategic and operations management (and leading strategic planning and review processes); developing and strengthening human resource, finance, fundraising and governance policies and systems; leading and coordinating research and advocacy; and partnerships, networking and coalition building.  

Issue areas include democratization, civil society development, elections, conflict resolution, community security, inclusive political processes, security and small arms, linking community-level peace and security with national and international policies and frameworks.

As a Board member to several NGOs since 2000, he has contributed to their organisational development and to enhancing their governance and accountability. 


BOJANA LALATOVIC
Associate

Bojana.lalatovic@gmail.com 

+38267170699


Bojana is passionate and has an inspiring knowledge in Politics and European Integration processes. Currently, she is working as a Trainee in the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Montenegro, Operational Communication Center in Podgorica. While previously she has worked in the NGO sector working in the area of EU integration and raising awareness for EU process and perspective for the Balkan region what is more she has also volunteered for the Red Cross Offices in Niksic.  

She has finished her BA in Political Science from the University of Montenegro in Podgorica and holds a Master’s Degree of Law in European Integration from the University of Belgrade in Serbia.  

Bojana has participated in the ERASMUS + mobility programme at the University Roma Tre, Rome in Italy. She speaks four languages, Montenegrin/Serbian, English, Russian and Italian.  


FJOLLA KALLABA
Associate

fjollakallaba@hotmail.com

+38345978305


Fjolla Kallaba has an extensive experience in communication and translation. Throughout her career, she has worked as an English Teacher, Translator and Communication Officer. Fjolla has worked in different local organization and institutions in the country. Her experience, working for Kosovo 2.0 and KosovaLive has enhanced her understanding of the importance that the media has in shaping the public perception.

Fjolla holds a Master’s degree in English Professional Translation and Interpretation from the University of Prishtina, and a Bachelor’s degree in European Integration from ISPE College.

She has participated at the Journalism Ethics School organized by Press Council of Kosovo in 2016. The aim of this program was to promote mechanisms that protect the freedom of the press and encourages professional media reporting. 


JOVICA JANKOVIKJ
Associate

jovicajankovic16@gmail.com

+38978289809


Jovica is a young activist from Macedonia, who is passionate about youth policy, and environmental protection. Jovica, is the co-founder of the NGO Bezgrubrija, and is a member and activist for two NGOs, Youth Educational Forum(YEF) and YouthCan.

His passion about being involved in the community has been expressed though his participation in numerous activities organized within Macedonia and the Balkan Region. Some of the event he has participated include: The debate tournament EcoContest, EcoPatrol–NGO Zero Waste, Regional Youth Forum in NoviSad, and the 11th Euro–AtlanticCamp(REACT)etc.

Jovica, is a winner of the high school contest hosted by USAID for excellence in outlining a personal vision for Macedonia's future rewarded by US Ambassador to the Republic of Macedonia JessL. Baily.


MARINA QUEINS
Intern



Marina Queins is a student of Politics and Society as well as English Studies at the Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn, Germany, pursuing a double major B.A. She is also working as a student assistant at a consultancy specializing in the fields of environmental and energy technology.

Marina first started to study German Studies and English Studies at the University of Cologne parallel to her secondary education and has since complemented her academic knowledge with practical work at different companies and state institutions as Unicepta Company for Media Analysis, WDR West German Broadcasting Cologne and the Financial Intelligence Unit of the German Customs Investigation Bureau. She has also completed internships at, amongst others, the German Federal Academy for Security Policy and the Geopolitics Branch of the German Bundeswehr.

She is a member of the Youth Atlantic Treaty Association and the Academic Association for Security Studies. Marina is a native German speaker, fluent in English and can converse in French and Turkish at a beginners level.


MIGJEN KRASNIQI
Associate

+38344363014

migjen.kr@gmail.com


Migjen has been involved in civil society since 2012, through working for different civil society organizations and being an advocate for different awareness campaigns.

As such, he has dedicated most of his work to the betterment of the relationship between the counties in the Balkan region where for the last 11 years he has organized events, that aim specifically this issue. 

His work as an advocate for regional issues has started when he first started working for NGOs that had as focus Dealing with the Past and Reconciliation, to then continue with other regional projects that were organized by IPA an EU Project.  In continuation, Migjen has worked for EcoFriend has the leader of the organization and for some time has also worked at the Italian Embassy in Kosovo.  Currently, Migjen continues his passion for advocacy with his own organization called Innovative Center for Social Improvement – ICSI 

Migjen has a Bachelor Degree in European Studies from the Institute of Political and European Studies in Prishtina, Kosovo. In addition, he has also been awarded as the Ambassador of Peace for the Western Balkans from a program which was held in Belgrade in 2017. 

A passion that Migjen has is to travel, and until now he has organized a number of such travels around the world. Soon he will reach the 100thcity that he has visited. 


NITA BICURRI
Project Manager

nita@thebalkanforum.org

+383 (0)49 427 333


Nita Bicurri has an extensive work and academic experience in international development and democratization processes.  Previously she has worked with international organizations such as the National Democratic Institute (NDI), focusing in political party development, strengthening women and youth political participation and worked with local civil society organizations to implement women’s advocacy initiatives.

Nita holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Cornell College in Iowa, a Master’s Degree in Public Administration with focus in International Development Administration and a Certificate of Advancement Studies in Civil Society Organizations from Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Syracuse University in New York.

Nita is also an alumni of Political School of Prishtina Institute of Political Studies (PIPS) and European Integration School of Kosovo Civil Society Foundation (KCSF).


SLAVKO PETLESKI
Language Associate

slavkopetleski@yahoo.com

+389 77 977 311


Slavko Petleski has extensive experience in procedural law, working for different projects implemented by OSCE and USAID. Moreover, he has participated in more than 15 different trainings and conferences organized by different local and international organizations in the Balkan region. 

Slavko, holds a Master’s Degree in Criminal Law from the Faculty of Law “ Iustinan Primus” in Skopje, Macedonia. He has passed the bar exam and currently works in a law office in Macedonia. 

Slavko is fluent in Macedonian, English, Bulgarian and Serbo-Croatian language. Additionally, he has intermediate knowledge of Albanian and Italian. 


TABITHA BAILEY
Associate


Tabitha is a graduate of the masters programme Public International Law and Human Rights at Utrecht University in the Netherlands. She is currently interning in the Analysis and Reporting Cell Section in the Democratization Department of the OSCE, and is passionate about human rights, transitional justice, and the post-conflict recovery process.

She completed her Bachelor of Laws undergraduate degree at Northumbria University, Newcastle, and has experience in criminal law, family law, conveyancing, private client and corporate law. In addition, she has undertaken political activism, was a candidate in local elections in the UK, and was the secretary of ‘Northumbria University Debating Society’. She speaks English, can communicate intermediately in Dutch and Italian and is learning basic conversation in Albanian. She moved to Kosovo in June 2018 and is thoroughly enjoying her time there, spending her free time visiting different cities and hiking.


TOMISLAV PERUŠIĆ
Project Associate

tomperusic@gmail.com 

+381641208255


Tomislav is a graduate of the High School of Economics in 2009 in Subotica, Serbia. Moreover, he continued his studies in Economics at the University of Zagreb, Croatia, from 2009 to 2011, while currently, he is studying Albanian Language, Literature and Culture at the University of Belgrade in Serbia. 

Tomislav’s experience in volunteering, working as a translator, correspondent and being an active member of society is enriching. He has worked as a correspondent for a Croatian newspaper in Subotica, Serbia, called “Hrvatska riječ” (Croatian word) since 2009. An activist of an NGO called Žene u crnom (Women in Black) in Belgrade, Serbia, and translator from Serbian to English and vice-versa since 2015.  

In addition, he has participated in numerous seminars for the Albanian language since 2016, as well as Links2 program organized by the Youth Initiative for Human Rights regarding Kosovo - Serbia dialogue, held in 2016 in Prishtina, Kosovo, and Belgrade, Serbia. Took part in Gender Studies Summer School in 2016 in Prishtina, Kosovo. 

Tomislav has knowledge and communicates in a number of languages such as: Serbian, Croatian, English, Albanian, Hungarian, Italian, French, German, Spanish and Portuguese. 


URIM VESELAJ
IT/Media Production Manager

urim@thebalkanforum.org

+386 (0)49 150 458


With a family background of engineers and musicians the first best suitable job was as radio technician/producent. In parallel way also played in a rock band.

After 2004 started own company in audio, video, web production, which had contract with public TV “RTK”.

Worth to mention, price of Rudolf Sopi / Artistic Camera for cameraman of the year 2006.  

From 2008 developed databases for internal/interaktive use solution for business. By 2011 all that infrastructure whent in web-based application.

In 2013, turned back with video production and continued so far.

The slogan of me would be… 3C => creativity, code, coffee...


VALBONA RAIFI
Finance/Admin Officer

+383 44 168 347

valbona@thebf.org


Valbona Raifi has over 10 years of experience in the field of finances and accounting. During these years she has worked with a large number of different companies and organizations in Kosovo. In the finance field, she has ensured that finance systems and regulations of the employers are developed based on best practice and in compliance with  local and international legal frameworks and policies. 

She is a certified accountant from SCAAK (The Accounting and Audit Association in Kosovo) and has a Master’s degree on Finance Management from the University of Southeast Europe in Macedonia. 


VERGULLA SHQEVI

Language Associate

Phone: +355685623246

E-mail: vergoula.s@gmail.com


Vergula is a student in her 3rd and last academic year at the Department of International Relations at the European University of Tirana, specializing in Security-Defense. She was born and raised in Athens but currently lives in Albania where she is pursuing her education. In 2016 she received a certificate of the Albanian Language from the University of Tirana.

Since 2017 she successfully completed the NATO Virtual Academy and represented Albania in a few events such as, the NATO simulation, "Defense and Dialogue in Eastern Europe", organized by the Euro-Atlantic Diplomatic Society in Bucharest, Romania and the 5th Edition of the Youth Mediterranean Dialogue held in Madrid, Spain.

Vergula has completed an internship program in the Albanian Parliament and currently works for the United Nations Youth Association of Albania where she continues to contribute in the promotion of the Human Rights and equality. Her goal is to get specialized in Defense and Diplomacy.


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