President Atifete Jahjaga was born on the 20th of April 1975 in Rashkoc , Gjakova Mrs. Jahjaga was Deputy General Director of the Police of Kosovo from february 2009 until her election as President of the Republic of Kosovo, on April 7, 2011. Since the establishment of the Kosovo Police in early 2000, initially she served as a policeman, progressing at a regional level and that of the General Headquarters. Atifete Jahjaga is the first woman President of the Republic of Kosovo, elected by the Parliament of Kosovo on April 7, 2011. President Jahjaga is the youngest female world leader to be elected, born on 20 April 1975, in Rashkoc , Gjakova. She is also the first female head of state in modern Balkans. Since March 2012 President Jahjaga is member of the Council of Women World Leaders (CWWL). Mrs. Jahjaga had been the Deputy General Director of the Police of Kosovo from February 2009. She had served as a police officer since the establishment of the Kosovo Police in early 2000, progressing to responsibilities at a regional level and then to General Headquarters. Early in her career, President Jahjaga served in different positions in the implementation of law and order, among others in the professional standards unit, human resources department, personnel and training department, administration of the Kosovo Police and border police. She completed her studies at the Faculty of Law of the University of Prishtina, in 2000. In 2006–2007, she attended a postgraduate certification program in Police Management and Penal Law at the University of Leicester in the United Kingdom, Postgraduate Certification in Crime Science at the University of Virginia in the United States in 2007. President Jahjaga has also attended professional and research programs at the European Centre for Security Studies 'George C. Marshall' Germany, at the National Academy of the FBI in the USA and at the Department of Justice in the USA. In addition to her native Albanian, President Jahjaga also speaks Serbian and English. She is married to Mr. Astrit Kuci and lives in Prishtina.
Teuta Sahatqija is an engineer by profession and she graduated at the top of her class. Throughout her career, Teuta has demonstrated leadership qualities, initially as an engineer and manager, as a director and founder of a telecommunication company and recently as a leader in politics. Additionally Teuta is a founder of Regional Women's Lobby and founder of KUSA (Kosovo–United States Alumni). She has addressed and participated in a variety of international conferences on different issues including the economy, empowerment of women, international relations, security, safety, reconciliation, and democratization. She has addressed the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, the Rose Roth Seminar, an Economic Forum in Krynice, Rome, international conferences organized by the IDEA Institute in Accra-Ghana, various UNDP conferences in Istanbul and Prishtina, among other places, as well OSCE conference Budva and Prishtina, the International Leaders Forum in Charlotte, North Carolina, FES in Budva, CIG, PER, International conference for women rights in Erbil–Iraq, I–Know politics conference in Amman–Jordan, RWL and UNWOMEN conferences in Prishtina, Skopje, Vienna, Zagreb and many others. Mrs. Teuta Sahatqija, originally from Prizren, is married and the mother of four.
Mr. Hope has more than 20 years of experience working on international development programs with USAID, most recently serving as Deputy Mission Director for Afghanistan. From 2008–2013, he was the Deputy Mission Director for USAID/Kenya. From 2007–2008, he headed the Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) Office at USAID/Afghanistan, responsible for promoting civil–military cooperation with US and NATO military partners. Earlier, he served at USAID/Indonesia from 2001–2007, where he led a Presidential initiative to improve basic education, and also worked on tsunami recovery. Before joining USAID's Foreign Service in 2000, Mr. Hope worked as a Program Officer at USAID/Bosnia from 1995–1999 supporting implementation of the Dayton Peace Accords; and at USAID/Poland from 1994–1995 supporting Poland's transition to democracy and economic reform process. Mr. Hope was born in New York, grew up in Boston, and currently calls Austin, Texas home. He received a Bachelor's degree in history from American University and a Master's degree in Russian and East European studies from Yale University. He speaks Polish. He has a daughter, Katherine.
Alexander Chavarría is the resident Senior Director for NDI in Kosovo. He previously served as the resident director in Liberia and the director for the citizen participation program of the Legislative Assembly of El Salvador. He has served as an international consultant on issues of democracy and governance for the IADB, International Budget Program, Parliamentarians for Habitat Group and OAS. Mr. Chavarría co–founded, assisted and later served as an advisor for the Legislative Development Program (PRODEL) for the Legislative Assembly of Costa Rica. He has also served as international consultant in legislative modernization programs in Guatemala and as legislative advisor for the House of Representatives of the Texas Legislature. Mr. Chavarría has also been an international observer for the OAS during the 2004 El Salvador presidential elections. A Costa Rica native, Mr. Chavarría holds a master's degree in business administration from the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, a master's in political science from Texas State University, and is a graduate of the 'licenciatura' program of University of Costa Rica, Political Science School.
Donika Kadaj , Bujupi was born in Sarajevo in 1979. When she was five years old, she and her family turned back to Kosovo, where her father came from. Donika differed from others since her early ages, because of her ambition, and strong interpersonal and communication skills. In 2005, Donika obtained a BA degree in journalism and communications in Pristina. In 2007 she was awarded Master of Arts degree in journalism and communication at Kosovo Institute of Journalism and Communication (KIJAC) in Pristina. Her main publication is: 'Media ethics in post conflict countries. Sample of Kosovo 2000 , 2003'. Donika has attended a lot of training seminars in and out of Kosovo, including Summer University for Democracy (Strasbourg); Institute of Political Studies (PIPS, EU); Training on interpersonal skills. Donika Kadaj,Bujupi is member of the Parliament of Kosovo since 2007. She is affiliated at the Alliance for the Future of Kosovo (AAK). Until 2010 she was member of committee of education, youth, culture and sport. From 2010 she is member of committee for Foreign Affairs. Donika has two children, and she lives with them and her husband in Prishtina.
Lirje Kajtazi is from Gjilan and is member of the Assembly of Kosovo. Currently is head of the Committee on Human Rights, Gender Equality, Missing People and Petitions. She is head of the Women Forum of LDK. She studied Biology at Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences in Prishtina. She was Director of Department for Culture, Youth and Sport at the Municipality of Gjilan. She was member of the Municipal Assembly during 2001–2003. She was also deputy Minister at the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport of the Government of Kosovo during 2008–2010.
Member of Association and also holds the position of Executive Director of the organization. Graduated from the University of Pristina , Law Faculty (1977). Over the years 1979 to 1990 worked as a Lawyer at the Kosovo Assembly. There was vice. President of the Board of the Centre for Human Rights at the Faculty of Law of the University during (2001–2005). She has been also part of many working groups in drafting legislation: the design of "Law against Domestic Violence" (2008–2009), "Family Law" (2003–2004), "Rules Against Domestic Violence" (2001– 2002).
Isa Mustafa, born on 15 May 1951 in Prapashtice, Municipality of Prishtina; married to Qevsere Mustafa; has a daughter, Aferdite and two sons, Arben and Besnik. He lives in Prishtina since 1956. Mr. Mustafa finished doctoral studies in economic sciences; he is a regular professor at the University of Prishtina and a regular member of the Kosovo Academy for Science and Arts. Mr. Mustafa served as a Mayor of Prishtina for two mandates, during the period 2008 , 2013, whilst during the period 2006 , 2008 he was a senior adviser for economy to the President of Kosovo. After the war he worked as a professor at the University of Prishtina, he was a deputy president of the Development Research Institute Riinvest, member of the University of Prishtina Board, member of the Central Bank Board and a member of the American University Board. He published a large number of scientific and professional papers in the country and in international magazines in the field of financial management, microeconomics, leadership in economy, fiscal policies and sectorial development policies. In 1990 he was prosecuted by the Serbian authorities and in exile he was the Minister for Economy and Finance in the Government of the Republic of Kosovo, which operated in western states up to the liberation of the country in 1999. In the role of the Finance Minister he organized a system to finance education and plural institutions of Kosovo, headed by President Dr. Ibrahim Rugova, which were resisting the Serbian authorities. Before this period, Mr. Mustafa worked as a lecturer at the Faculty of Economy in the University of Prishtina, for four years he managed the Executive Council of the Municipality of Prishtina and for approximately three years he was the Director of the Kosovo Development Institute. In November 2010 he was elected for the President of the Democratic League of Kosovo. In this capacity he provided special contribution to the reform and membership of the LDK to the family of European People's Part, the EPP. On 9 December 2014 he was elected for the Prime Minister of the Republic of Kosovo, based on the governing coalition between the Democratic Party of Kosovo , PDK and the Democratic League of Kosovo – LDK.
Mr. Andrew Russell has been appointed as UN Development Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in Kosovo and assumed his duties on 15 October. He replaced Ms. Osnat Lubrani who served in Kosovo for the previous four years. Mr. Russell is a leadership and management expert with over two decades of experience in the United Nations. He brings in–depth knowledge of UN programme and operations both at Headquarters and in the field. Andrew has worked in several Latin American countries as well as in Cyprus. He designed and oversaw implementation of programmes dealing with the promotion of social dialogue, civic engagement and civil society participation in national development processes, as well as territorial–based approaches to integrated local development. He holds specialized expertise in crisis prevention and recovery and all of his field experiences have been in the context of managing programmes in support of the transition from conflict to peace and development and promoting multi–stakeholder dialogue in ethnically or politically divided contexts. Andrew Russell is recognized as a role model for leadership and effective change management within UNDP. For over two decades he has served in international cooperation managerial positions of increasing responsibility, most recently as the Coordinator of the Management Consulting Team with UNDP's Bureau of Management. He holds a Masters of International Affairs from Columbia University and he also taught development and peace building studies at the undergraduate and graduate level as an adjunct lecturer at Haverford College and Columbia University.
Mimoza Kusari–Lila holds a Master of Business Administration in the United States of America. During this time, she continued studies at the Institute of Economics, University of Colorado and Duquesne University in Pittsburg, where she finished masters in E–Business. Mimoza Kusari–Lila holds an undergraduate degree in economics from the University of Pristina. During her time at Duquesne University as the MBA student, Ms. Kusari , Lila was the founder and the first President of the Duquesne University Business Woman Association. Upon her return to Kosovo in July 2001, Mimoza Kusari–Lila worked for the World Bank and USAID project to support Kosovo businesses. She also worked as project manager at the American University in Kosovo Foundation education plan for Kosovo, as well as in the establishment of the institution. Mimoza Kusari–Lila became part of public service in 2003 when she has been offered the position of spokeswomen and Adviser to Prime Minister of Kosovo, Bajram Rexhepi. In this position Ms. Kusari , Lila served until December 2004. Mimoza Kusari–Lila served as executive director of the American Chamber of Commerce in Kosovo (AmCham), from 2006 to 2009. During her time as the Executive Director of AmCham, the organization was officially accredited by the American Chamber of Commerce in Washington DC and the European Council of American Chambers in Europe (ECCAC). Mimoza Kusari–Lila became active member of Kosovo politics in the elections of 2009, running for the major of Gjakova municipality and nearly won. In February 2010 Mimoza Kusari , Lila was elected as the VP of New Kosovo Alliance Party. In general elections held in December of 2010, Mimoza Kusari , Lila was the most voted female in the Republic of Kosovo. After New Kosovo Alliance joined the Government coalition, Ms. Kusari , Lila was appointed as Deputy Prime Minister for Economy and Minister of Trade and Industry, a position which she had during 2011–2013. In Local Elections of 2013 she was elected as Mayor of Gjakova. Ms. Kusari , Lila is married to Arben Lila and mother of two sons.
Mr. Hasan Preteni began his second five–year term as Director of Anti–Corruption Agency on 23 September 2011. To this position, Mr. Preteni was chosen after receiving an absolute majority of votes of members of the Assembly of Kosovo, thus continuing in the position of the first term from July 2006. With taking over the duty, Mr. Preteni had started from scratch to set up powerful professional capacity and administrative infrastructure of this institution. On 12 February 2007 he made functional the ACA and as the Director of the Agency changed it into a qualitative and professional institution in the fight against corruption. Consistently he has cultivated a healthy spirit of cooperation with the citizens of Kosovo and has earned the trust of the public on the work of the Agency. In order for the Anti–Corruption Agency to become part of various global anti–corruption networks, Mr. Preteni during the time has participated in many international conferences and seminars held throughout the world, as in: Indonesia, France, England, Belgium, Portugal, Greece, Sweden, Georgia, Latvia, Netherlands, etc., where was built capacity for global cooperation in the fight against corruption. All these activities have been focused on building sound foundations to increase global awareness and conscience to fight corruption which in the foreground puts the need of law enforcement as a condition for preventing and combating corruption. As a result of serious efforts and uncompromising fight against corruption Mr. Preteni created a good image in the eyes of the public. He has published in the local press various articles designed to shape the education and mobilization to prevent and fight against corruption in Kosovo. Before taking the duty of the Director of Anti–Corruption Agency, Mr. Preteni served in the Kosovo Protection Corps. He had the rank of the Colonel and was Chief of Staff in Zone IV of the KPC. While he was an officer of the KPC, he had also done important military training. Mr. Preteni was among the first to be mobilized in the extension of the KLA in the region of Shala, and until the demilitarization he was Commander of IIIrd Battalion of Brigade 141 – Operational Zone of Shala. From 1991 until his engagement in KLA in 1998 he volunteered in the humanitarian activities. From 1979 to 1991 he was an army officer in the former Yugoslav Army. Education of Mr. Preteni is related mainly to the military field. In 1991 in Zagreb, Croatia, he finished the college for army officers. In year 1986 he finished the Military School of Foreign Languages in Belgrade. In 1988 he graduated from the Law Faculty of the University of Prishtina, whereas in 1979 he had completed military secondary school in Zagreb. He was born on 10 April 1961, in Mitrovica. He lives in Prishtina together with his wife and four children (three daughters and a son).
Erëza Vela Berisha is an entrepreneur who served earlier as a development expert, and proven connoisseur of multi-faceted projects and programs in complex and volatile socio-political environments. On her role as an Advisor, she has been engaged in several USAID projects, where she was highly rated as one the most trusted and professional advisors. Among others, she has also served as an Advisor for Government of Kosovo's' Privatization projects – delivering superior results in intricate asset–based transactions involving multiple stakeholders. Two years ago, she has founded her own Public Relations and Communications company, named RED Communications, where she provides services to top ranked companies, and also to several local and international bodies. A recent product of her company is a production of an economic TV Show where she, on the role of the author/executive producer and moderator, addresses in depth the economic issues of the country on the format of research, debate and stories from the field. Erëza has an intimate understanding of coalition building and relationship management, and has worked collaboratively and successfully with multiple stakeholders, political entities, publics, governments, bilateral and multi–lateral agencies and organizations (World Bank, UNDP, USAID, EU, EBRD, IMF, etc.). She is an alumnus of the Week of Women 2013, and Hope Fellowship 2013.
Mr. Holl is a land registration, land administration, and real estate finance attorney with more than 30 years of domestic and international experience. As Hennepin County, Minnesota, Deputy Examiner of Titles, District Court Referee and Legal Advisor to the Registrar of Titles from 1983 to 1994, Mr. Holl presided over cases involving the registration of land titles, boundary disputes, adverse possession, eminent domain, mortgage foreclosure, and other real estate related disputes. Responsibilities also included providing legal advice to the Registrar of Titles in transactions regarding bankruptcy, divorce, probate, trust, and other complex land conveyances. Mr. Holl began consulting regarding land tenure, privatization, and land registration in Moscow in 1993 and specializes in providing broad–based advisory services to governments and the private sector in land policy and legislative development, land tenure and registration, dispute resolution, capacity building, and training support. Mr. Holl holds a Juris Doctor degree cum laude from William Mitchell College of Law, St. Paul, Minnesota, as well as a Masters and Bachelors Degree in Linguistics from the University of Minnesota. He has worked most recently in Kosovo, Afghanistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan and has also worked in Russia, Ukraine, Poland, Egypt, Libya, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Zambia, Ghana, Uganda, Jamaica, The Bahamas, Qatar, and the United States.
Jeta Xharra is a renowned journalist in Kosovo and Balkans, hosting the award–winning current–affairs TV programme,Life in Kosovo. Since 2005, Xharra is the Country Director of BIRN office in Kosovo and the editor–in–chief of Kosovo's most–watched current affairs TV programme, Life in Kosovo.Xharra got into journalism working as a fixer/local producer for BBC News and Channel 4 in 1998 and later became the Manager of the BBC Kosovo Bureau. In 1999 Jeta worked for BBC News in Albania and Macedonia.She graduated with an MA in War Studies from King's College London (2000) and an MA with Distinction in Screenwriting from the London College of Printing (2002).She has published a front–page article in 'The Independent' and other texts in The Economist, Sunday Telegraph and Jane's Intelligence Review. While in the UK, Xharra worked for the Foreign News Planning Desk at the BBC World Service. In 2003 Xharra became the project director for IWPR Kosovo office, where she made most impact with vigilant and challenging moderation of popular current affairs programmes broadcast on the main Kosovo TV channels, RTK and KTV. Under Xharra's supervision, Kosovo was the first office in the IWPR. Balkan project to develop a three–month journalism training programme, which attracted over 200 people for 20 places.'Warless', a play that Xharra wrote in English, was chosen as one of the 10 best plays among 550 that competed in the Young Writers Festival in Royal Court Theatre in London where it had a public reading on December 10 2004.
Arbana Xharra's reporting contributes to the strengthening of Kosovo's nascent democracy. Her early reporting on religious extremism and its impact on society shed light on a serious problem for Kosovo and the region. Ms. Xharra authored a series of investigative reports on extremists operating in Kosovo and uncovered financial and operational links with foreign terrorist organizations among local imams and NGOs. These efforts not only helped society understand the problem, but also bolstered government efforts to address the problem. Reactions to her reporting resulted in public attacks on her reputation and death threats to her and her family. Undeterred, Ms. Xharra continues to report on malfeasance in public institutions, including cases involving high–ranking officials. As editor–in–chief of one of Kosovo's top daily newspapers, Ms. Xharra is galvanizing a new generation of journalists in search of, and dedicated to uncovering, the truth.