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Branka Andjelkovic, MC/MPA '10 - Serbia
Born in Belgrade, Andjelkovic enrolled in the Mason Fellows/Mid-Career Master in Public Administration program in July 2010. She holds a MA in International Relations and European Studies from the Central European University. Before HKS, she was a visiting scholar at the Center for European and Eurasian Studies, UCLA, where she also worked on the 2010 UNDP Human Development Report for Europe. Until 2008, Andjelkovic was head of the Poverty Reduction and Economic Development department in UNDP Serbia. As a UN expert, she advised the Serbian government in various areas, including the Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper, employment activation programs for disadvantaged populations, and civil society participation in public policy formulation. Additionally, she worked closely with the government on the development of the Social Innovation Fund in Serbia, among other projects.
Meltem Aran, MPA/ID '04 - Turkey
Born in Istanbul, Aran graduated magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Brown University, where she completed a BA in Economics and International Relations in May 2000. Prior to coming to Harvard, she worked as an economist for the Industrial Development Bank in Turkey. In June 2004, she earned a Master in Public Administration and International Development from the Harvard Kennedy School. After graduating from Harvard, Aran moved to Jakarta, Indonesia to work for the Poverty Reduction and Economic Management Department at the World Bank. Her work focused on poverty issues, specifically relating to the effect of public spending on the poor and the impact of poverty alleviation programs in health, education and social protection. She is currently completing her doctoral degree in Economics at the University of Oxford and continues to be involved in various research projects with the World Bank relating to poverty, inequality and overall distributional impact of social policies. Her current research focuses primarily on gender, women’s empowerment, children’s outcomes in low opportunity settings and impact of inclusive social policies on children in developing countries. She is co-author of the book entitled “Life Chances in Turkey: Expanding Opportunities for the Next Generation.
Yll Bajraktari, MPP '09 - Kosovo
Born in Prishtina, Bajraktari graduated from the Master in Public Policy program. He holds a BA from the Elliot School of International Affairs, George Washington University. Before coming to HKS, Bajraktari worked at the U.S. Institute of Peace (USIP), where he played a lead role in establishing th Center of Innovation on Media and Conflict. He also organized and published about USIP’s Post-Conflict Peace and Stability Operations, particularly concerning issues of governance, elections, the role of women, natural resources, and civilian military relations in non-permissive environments. Prior to USIP, Bajraktari served as the founder of The Forum, a prominent non-governmental organization in post-war Kosovo. He served as executive director until 2002, directing the implementation of numerous projects in the fields of advocacy, political accountability, and ethnic reconciliation.
Kosta Barjaba, MC/MPA '05 - Albania
Barjaba is a native of Saranda, Albania. He earned a BA in Political Science (1984), a Ph.D. in Sociology (1989), and a Law degree (2000) from the University of Tirana. Barjaba also received his professorship in 1999 from the University of Shkodra-Albania. In June 2005, he graduated from the Harvard Kennedy School’s Mason Fellows program with a Mid-Career Master in Public Administration. After graduating from Harvard, Barjaba worked first as adviser to the Minister of Finance, then as the president of the newly-founded University of Durres in Albania, and then as chief of staff to Albania’s Minister of Labor. With local Harvard alumni, Barjaba founded the Harvard Club of Albania in September 2005, and is currently serving his first term as the president of the Club. Barjaba has also been appointed as the dean of the School of Political Sciences at the newly founded Mediterranean University of Albania (MUA). He also serves as an instructor at MUA in sociology and strategic management.
Kujtese Bejtullahu-Michalopoulos, MPA/ID '06 - Kosovo
A native of Pristina, Bejtullahu-Michalopoulos graduated from Stanford University with a BA in International Relations and a secondary degree in Economics in 2004. During her undergraduate studies, she founded the World Refugee Academy - an initiative to help refugee youth access opportunities for tertiary education - and led a team of Stanford students to a refugee camp in Botswana to conduct educational work. She also served as a media officer for the 2003-2006 World Economic Forum in Davos, interned for the Office of the Prime Minister of Kosovo and the Greek Ministry of Finance and Economy, and worked as a consultant for the International Finance Corporation. After earning her Master in Public Administration and International Development from the Harvard Kennedy School in June 2006, she worked with Deutsche Bank's leveraged finance team in London and JP Morgan Asset Management in Geneva. Bejtullahu-Michalopoulos is now enrolled in PhD studies in International Studies (Political Science) at the Graduate Institute in Geneva with a focus in political philosophy and the history of political thought.
Recep Bildik, MC/MPA '07 - Turkey
Working for the Istanbul Stock Exchange (ISE) since 1992, Bildik played a pivotal role in establishing the ISE’s first computerized trading system, making regulations on market microstructure of equity market, managing market operations, and developing new products. Currently, he is the Director of Business Development and Marketing Department at the ISE. He serves as an active member in professional boards and committees of international academic journals. Currently, Bildik was a board member of Takasbank Inc. as a member of Statutory Auditors’ Board, the sole clearing and settlement bank of Turkey and also the Vice President of Harvard Club of Turkey. He published numerous articles on capital markets in both local and international journals. He also has been teaching at the GraduateSchool of Business, Koc University, Turkey as an Associate Professor of Finance. He was a visiting scholar at the Graduate School of Business, University of Chicago and Finance Department at the DePaul University in 2003-2004 academic years. Bildik also served as a Senior Researcher at the Research Center of the Global Association of Risk Professionals, a leading not-for-profit organization on risk management in U.S previously.
Esen Caglar, MPA/ID '05 - Turkey
Born in Istanbul, Caglar graduated cum laude from Princeton University in 2003 with a BA in Politics and certificates in Political Economy and Near Eastern Studies. Caglar graduated from the Harvard Kennedy School’s Master in Public Administration and International Development program in 2005. During his studies at Harvard, Mr. Caglar spent four months in Ethiopia working as a private sector development consultant for the World Bank. Currently, Caglar works as an economist for the Ankara-based Economic Policy Research Foundation of Turkey (TEPAV) and focuses on industrial policy, clustering and regional economic growth strategies. He is also a part time lecturer at Bilkent University and TOBB Economics and Technology University.
Ecaterina Canter, MC/MPA '10 - Moldova
Born in Chisinau, Canter will enroll in the Mason Fellows/Mid-Career Master in Public Administration program in July 2010. She holds an MA in Politics and Mass Media from the University of Liverpool, and a BA in Journalism and Communications from the State University of Moldova. Before commencing her studies at HKS, she worked as a political specialist at the US Embassy in Chisinau. Other previous positions include spokesperson for the Council of Europe’s Election Observation Mission in Kosovo; and TV Special Correspondent at Moldovan TV Public Broadcasting. Canter also held internship positions in the Council of Europe’s Spokesperson and Press Division, and at the Directorate of Human Rights in Strasbourg.
Mirela-Iulia Cojocaru, MPA '09 - Romania
Born in Pitesti, Romania, Cojocaru enrolled in the two-year Master in Public Administration program in September 2009. She holds a MA in European Public Space from the National School of Political Studies and Public Administration in Bucharest, and a LLB from the University of Bucharest-Law School. Before commencing her studies at HKS, Cojocaru worked as a legal adviser for the Authority for State Assets Recovery (AVAS) at the Department of Legal Assistance and Administration-Privatization (Bucharest). She also served as an attorney at law with the “Nicolae Stanciulescu” law firm in Bucharest.
Manuel Costescu, MPA/ID '05 - Romania
A native of Sibiu, Romania, Costescu graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Brandeis University in 1999 with a BA in Economics, where he completed a thesis focusing on economic growth and military expenditures in Greece. From 1999-2000, Costescu worked as a research analyst for The Brattle Group. He obtained a joint Master in Public Administration and International Development from the Harvard Kennedy School and an MBA from the Sloan School of Management in June 2005. Costescu was selected from among thousands of international graduate students as an American Academy of Achievement awardee in 2005. Currently, he is an engagement manager at McKinsey and Company in New York City.
Richard Danicic, MC/MPA '07 - Serbia
Raised in Belgrade, Danicic received his BA in International Business at Hawaii Pacific University. He became the first executive director of the American Chamber of Commerce in Serbia and Montenegro in January 2002, where he worked to improve the country’s overall business environment for foreign investors and facilitated communication between the private sector and government. Prior to this, he worked in the US financial industry, specializing in futures and future options contracts in the regulated commodity markets. Danicic graduated from the Kennedy School’s Mason Fellows/Mid-Career Master in Public Administration program in June 2007.
Theodore Diasakos, MPA/ID '01 - Greece
Born in Sparta, Greece, Diasakos holds a B.A. in Economics and an M.Phil. in Economic Theory & Econometrics, both from the University of Cambridge (King's College). In 2001, he obtained a Master's Degree in Public Administration and International Development from the John F. Kennedy School of Government. Diasakos graduated with the highest academic achievement, the John E. Thayer award, and was selected as an honoree graduate student at the American Academy of Achievement’s 2000 summit in London. His studies were completed at the University of California at Berkeley with an M.A. in Mathematics (2007), an M.Sc.B.A. in Finance (2007) from the Walter A. Haas School of Business, and a Ph.D. in Economics (2007). He is currently an assistant professor at the Collegio Carlo Alberto in Torino, Italy. Diasakos has also served as a cadet officer in the Greek Army Special Forces, and worked as an economic analyst for PZ Cussons Plc in the U.K.
Marina Dimova, MPA/ID '09 - Bulgaria
Dimova holds a BA in Economics and Government, with a concentration in International Studies, from Franklin and Marshall College. She served as a senior analyst on health care and environmental policy at the Boston-based Analysis Group, and a volunteer economic consultant for the Bulgarian-based NGO BankWatch Network. She graduated from the Harvard Kennedy School’s Master in Public Administration in International Development program in June 2009. Dimova is now working as a researcher on the Africa Project of the National Bureau of Economic Research, a private, nonprofit, nonpartisan research organization dedicated to promoting a greater understanding of how the economy works.
Ovidiu Dranga, MC/MPA '04 - Romania
Dranga received a BS in Engineering at the Polytechnic Institute in Bucharest in 1990, and a Master in International Affairs from the Romanian Institute for International Relations in 1993. He has served for fifteen years in the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, where he started his diplomatic career as an attache with the Policy Planning Division in 1991. He also served as director general at the Department for Defense Policy and Euro-Atlantic Integration, Romanian Ministry of National Defense. Dranga obtained a Mid-Career Master in Public Administration from the Harvard Kennedy School in June 2004. Between 2005-2007, Dranga served as political director in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. As of April 2008, he is the ambassador of Romania to Belgium.
Aleksandra Drecun, MC/MPA '10 - Serbia
Born in Belgrade, Serbia, Drecun graduated from the Mason Fellows/Mid-Career Master in Public Administration program in May 2010. She also received a JD from the University of Belgrade-Law School. Prior to HKS, she served as a special adviser to the minister at the Ministry for the National Investment Plan. She has also served as secretary general to the president of the Republic of Serbia, Office of the President (under Boris Tadic); secretary-general, Ministry of Finance and Economy; coordinator of the anti-corruption activities of the Serbian Government; senior representative of the Republic of Serbia to Council of Europe Group of States against Corruption and Stability Pact Anti-Corruption Initiative; and member of the Transition Group established by former prime minister Zoran Djindjic. Currently she serves as Serbia's Director for the Promotion of Science, where among other things, she is overseeing the development of Serbia's first and state of the art, science museum.
Ioanna Dretta, MPA '10 - Greece
A native of Athens, Dretta will enroll in the Mid-Career Master in Public Administration in July 2010. She holds a Diploma in Civil Engineering from the National Technical University of Athens and an MSc in Soil Mechanics from Imperial College, London. Active in public affairs since university, Dretta has served in politics in various capacities. Before coming to HKS, she was deputy director consecutively of the office of Minister of Culture and the Minister of Mercantile Marine. She also worked previously as a political advisor to the Minister of Public Order. Concurrent to her public service, Dretta served as a consultant in a strategic communications firm.
Burak Erdenir, MC/MPA '08 - Turkey
Erdenir holds a BSc degree from Middle East Technical University, Ankara, and an MBA from Georgetown University. He received his PhD in Political Science and Public Administration from Ankara University, and teaches at Bilkent University and Ankara University as a part-time lecturer. He is the author of the book European Identity: From Pan-Nationalism to Post-Nationalism, and has published articles on cultural issues and the relationship between Turkey and the European Union. Erdenir graduated from the Harvard Kennedy School’s Mason Fellows/Mid-Career Master in Public Administration program in June 2008. Erdenir served as senior expert at the European Union Secretariat General of the Turkish Prime Ministry, and was recently promoted to the position of deputy secretary general for EU Affairs of Turkey, which is the second position in command at Turkey’s European Union Secretariat General.
Ioannis Farsaris, MC/MPA '12 - Greece
Ioannis, a graduate of the Hellenic Naval Academy, received an Engineering Degree and Master of Science in Naval/Mechanical Engineering from the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California. Ioannis has a long and distinguished career in the Hellenic Navy, where he most currently served as a department head at the Salamis Naval base. In addition to his numerous leadership roles on ships and in naval headquarters, Ioannis served a technical advisor for the deputy minister of defence.
Sebestyen Gorka, MPA '99 - Hungary
Gorka graduated with double honors in Philosophy and Theology at the University of London’s Heythrop College in 1991. In 1997 he earned an MA in International Relations and Diplomacy from the University of Economic Sciences and Public Administration in Budapest. Gorka served as an analyst for the Hungarian Ministry of Defense and as an international research fellow at the NATO Defense College in Rome, and worked at the RAND Corporation in Washington, D.C. He is a founding member of the Hungarian Policy Institute. Gorka studied in the Master in Public Administration program at the Harvard Kennedy School from 1998-1999. For the last four years, Gorka has taught on the faculty of the Program on Terrorism and Security Studies at the George C. Marshall Center in Germany. He has published numerous articles on post-Cold War security threats and on the challenges of democratization. Gorka is currently senior fellow for special operations at the Joint Special Operations University, which reports to the U.S. Special Operations Command.
Penelopa Gjurcilova, MC/MPA '07 - FYROM
A native of Skopje, Gjurcilova holds a BA in International Relations and Diplomacy from the American College of Switzerland, a Law degree from the Law School of St. Cyril and Methody University in Skopje, an LLM degree from the University of Connecticut School of Law, and a PhD from the Law Department of the European University Institute in Florence. Since 1995, she served as a counselor at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, including a posting at the Permanent Mission of Macedonia to the United Nations in New York. Prior to this post, Gjurcilova worked as an associate attorney at Peluso, Valentino and Iacobelli in New York. She is also co-founder and Vice-President of the Macedonian Women's Lobby. Gjurcilova graduated from the Kennedy School’s Mason Fellows/Mid-Career Master in Public Administration program in June 2007.
Yonita Grigorova, MPA/ID '03 - Bulgaria
Born in Lovech, Bulgaria, Grigorova received her undergraduate degree from the University for National and World Economy, Sofia, in 1996. She obtained a Master in International Economic Relations from the same university in 1997, followed by a Master in Economics from Boston University in 1999. Grigorova earned a Master in Public Administration and International Development from the Harvard Kennedy School in June 2003. She has served as an economist at the UNDP in Sofia and New York, a macroeconomic analyst at the Agency for Economic Analysis and Forecasting in Sofia, a financial analyst at Global Securities Bulgaria and Prudential Securities in Boston, and a reporter at Kapital. Since graduating from the Harvard Kennedy School, she has worked as a research fellow at Harvard’s Wiener Center for Social Policy, and at the Poverty Reduction and Economic Management Department of the World Bank in Washington, D.C. Until 2007, Grigorova served as regional project manager for Deloitte Central Europe in Bulgaria. Currently she is co-founder and associate of Aqua Arcadia Ltd., a private consulting company based in Sofia, providing customized solutions for public and private clients in three major segments: water, energy, and environmental services.
Anca-Maria Harasim, MC/MPA '99 - Romania
Harasim obtained a Master of Science from Bucharest Polytechnic University in 1983. She served as executive director of the Fulbright Commission and of the Soros Foundation for an Open Society, both based in Bucharest. Harasim earned a Mid-Career Master in Public Administration from the Harvard Kennedy School in 1999. From 2000-2002, she worked for The World Bank in Tirana, Albania, as a consultant on the Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper. She is the president of the Carpathian Foundation, a non-profit that helps NGOs and local governments to promote regional development and to prevent conflicts. Since September 2000, she has served as executive director of the American Chamber of Commerce in Romania.
Vuk Jeremic, MPA/ID '03 - Serbia
Jeremic graduated from Queen’s College in 1998 with a BA in Theoretical and Experimental Physics. He worked as an analyst at Deutsche Bank, Dresdner Kleinwort Benson and AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals in London, and was an advisor to the Federal Minister of Telecommunications of Yugoslavia. An active participant in the OTPOR! Resistance movement of Yugoslav students, he also co-founded the Organization of Serbian Students Abroad. Jeremic obtained a Master in Public Administration and International Development from the Harvard Kennedy School in 2003. After graduation, he served as the Serbian defense minister's special envoy for Euro-Atlantic Affairs at the Ministry of Defense and as the senior advisor to the President of Serbia. In May 2007, he was appointed as the minister of foreign affairs of Serbia.
Kosmas Kaprinis, MPP '10 - Greece
A native of Thessaloniki, Kaprinis graduated from the Master in Public Policy program in May 2010. He also received a BA in Economics and International Relations at Brandeis University, and a LLB from Aristotle University of Thessaloniki-Greece. Kaprinis held internship positions with the European Commission Delegation (Washington, DC), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Greece, and the Athens 2004 Olympic Organizing Committee. In addition, he worked as a research assistant in various projects on Southeastern Europe at the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars, the Fletcher School of Diplomacy and the Brandeis International Center for Ethics. Kaprinis will be matriculating at Oxford University in October 2010 to begin his PhD studies in political science.
Maria Kapsi, MPA '00 - Greece
Kapsi studied political science, international relations and European public administration at Panteion University in Athens. She worked as a consultant on European issues in Brussels, and as an assistant to a Greek member of the European Parliament, where she was involved in European Union programs on energy, environment and industrial issues. She obtained a Master in Public Administration from the Harvard Kennedy School in June 2000. She was part of the Athens 2004 Olympics Organizing Committee, serving as a liaison between Athens 2004 and the City of Athens on policy coordination issues. Kapsi is currently serving as head of Financial & Administrative Services and Human Resources at the Greek Telecommunications and Post Commission.
Angel Kelchev, MPP'09 - Bulgaria
Born in Pazardjik, Bulgaria, Kelchev enrolled in the Master in Public Policy program in September 2009. Concurrently, he will work towards a Master in Business Administration at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. Kelchev holds a BA from Stanford University. Before coming to HKS, he worked as a global technology and M&A analyst with Union Square Advisors LLC. He also served as an analyst in the same field for Lehman Brothers Inc. In addition, Kelchev initiated and lead numerous international projects with the Rotary Club and Rotaract since 2005, including a project to equip a children’s library with computers in Pazardjik; a disabilities awareness campaign in Nepal; and an initiative to eradicate blindness in Bangalore, India, among many other projects.
Sorin Kertesz, MPP '02 - Romania
Born in Oradea, Romania, Kertesz graduated from the Academy of Economic Studies in Bucharest in 2000 with a BA in International Business and Economics. He has also been active as a leader of the international student organization AIESEC. He earned a Master in Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School in 2002. After leaving Harvard, Kertesz worked as a consultant, first to the World Bank in Romania, and later for Accenture, a global management consulting and technology company, in Romania and Greece. He also acted as managing partner for eDemocratie.ro, an e-government and e-democracy think-tank. Kertesz is currently working as a senior consultant for Madison Advisors, an international management consultancy, and pursuing a PhD in Knowledge Economics at the Academy of Economic Studies in Bucharest.
Athanasios Kontogeorgis, MPP '08 - Greece
An attorney, Kontogeorgis holds an LLB degree from the University of Athens Law School and an MsC in European Union and Developing Countries from Panteion University. He has served as president of the Greek-European Youth Association, a social and political analyst for the Institute of Strategic and Development Studies, and communications coordinator for local chapters of the Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK) in Greece. He received a Master in Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School in June 2008.
Tamas Kowalik, MC/MPA '08 - Hungary
Kowalik has over five years of career experience serving in various ministries in Hungary, including positions as professional adviser to the Ministry of Economy and Transport, speechwriter at the Ministry of Environment and Water, and political adviser to the Ministry of Education. He received his BA and MA degrees from the Eotvos Lorand University University of Sciences Faculty of Law, and is currently pursuing a PhD and a law degree from the same university. He graduated from the Harvard Kennedy School’s Mason Fellows/Mid-Career Master in Public Administration program in June 2008. Kowalik is now managing director of the School of Management, Corvinus University of Budapest.
Milen Marinov (Orozoff), MPP '06 - Bulgaria
Marinov graduated with a BS and MS in Business and Management Information Systems from the Marriott School of Business, Brigham Young University. Between August 2001-2003, Marinov worked as a management consultant at Deloitte & Touche’s Boston-based offices, where he focused largely on non-profit and public clients in the healthcare, financial services and technology space. Marinov earned a joint Master in Public Policy degree from the Harvard Kennedy School and an MBA from Columbia University in June 2006. He then served as an associate at Lehman Brothers Investment Banking Division in New York. Marinov has also been actively involved with consulting work for the Bulgarian Health Insurance Fund.
Genti Miho, MC/MPA'12 - Albania
Born and raised in Shkoder, Genti holds a B.A. in Business Administration from the American University in Bulgaria and an M.B.A. from INSEAD (France/Singapore). Genti has a long and accomplished career of service with international organizations. Most recently, he was head of UNICEF’s field offices in the districts of Ituri and Haut-Uele, in the Democratic Republic of Congo and, just prior to this, he managed operations for UNICEF in the Central African Republic. His work experience preceding UNICEF includes being part of the tsunami task force in Sri Lanka and Indonesia with Air Serv International, a humanitarian aviation organization.
Stela Mocan, MPA '08 - Moldova
Mocan served as program officer for the International Republican Institute in Moldova, and is currently a member of the Board of Transparency International’s Moldova Chapter. She holds a degree in history from Moldova State University, and conducted post-graduate studies in political science at the National School of Government and Political Studies in Romania. She graduated from the Harvard Kennedy School’s Mason Fellows/Mid-Career Master in Public Administration program in June 2008. Mocan was recently appointed as an advisor to Prime Minister of Moldova Vlad Filat. Her extensive portfolio covers a broad range of issues, including strategy and policy development; coordination of development assistance; and governance reform, among other areas.
Lucia Padure, MC/MPA '03 - Moldova
Padure received her university degree in Economics from Chisinau National University in 1989, and a Doctorate in Economic Sciences from St. Petersburg State University in 1992. After completing an MA program in Economics from Northeastern University in 1994, she worked with KPMG Barents Group as a public policy consultant for the Moldovan Parliamentary Project. She has held teaching posts at the University of Kansas and the International Institute of Management Moldova, where she became the Vice-Rector in 1998. She earned her Mid-Career Master in Public Administration from the Harvard Kennedy School in 2003. After Harvard, she became a research fellow at the University of Toronto, where she is also working on a doctorate on higher education reforms in Central and Eastern Europe. In 2005, Padure won a two-year Fellowship from the Canadian Social Science and Humanities Research Council. She is currently working for the Ontario Government as a senior policy advisor at the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities, focusing on international higher education reforms, including the Bologna process in Europe.
Linda Peia, MPA/ID '07 - Romania
Peia is a native of Arad, Romania and graduated cum laude with a BA in Economics and Political Science/International Relations from the American University in Bulgaria. In 2003, she served in the economic section of the Romanian Embassy in Washington, DC, where she worked as a research assistant on foreign investment and institutional reform of small and medium-size enterprises (SMEs). She completed a comparative research study on SME development for the local government in Romania, for which she spent February-May 2005 at the Latin American University of Social Sciences in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Peia also worked as an intern at the Center for Trade Policy Studies of the Cato Institute in Washington D.C., and assisted the WEF Global Institute for Partnership and Governance in the organization of the World Economic Forum in 2005. Peia earned a Master in Public Administration and International Development from the Harvard Kennedy School in June 2007, and now serves as senior intrapreneur at Ashoka.
Kyriakos Pierrakakis, MPP '07 - Greece
Kyriakos Pierrakakis graduated with honors in 2005 with a BSc in Informatics from the Athens University of Economics and Business. His involvement in politics began at an early age. Pierrakakis was one of the youngest delegates in the PASOK (Socialist Party) National Convention in 2001. During the Greek national election campaign of 2004, he served at the party’s campaign headquarters as an aide in media relations and media coverage assessment. After the elections, he continued serving at various party posts in the areas of international relations and conference organization. He earned a Master in Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School in June 2007, with an emphasis in industrial organization, international economics and political economy. In 2009, Pierrakakis completed a master’s program in Technology Policy at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he conducted research on topics related to economics, energy and technology policy. He was recently appointed chairman of the Greek Institute for Youth, a governmental non-profit organization overseen by the Greek Ministry of Education. The role of the institute is to coordinate youth policies on the national level (along with other government agencies) and implement EU youth programs in Greece. The institute’s current programs focus on youth entrepreneurship and civil society initiatives.
Dritan Prifti, MC/MPA '01 - Albania
Prifti studied English literature at the University of Tirana and earned his MBA from the University of New Mexico. He obtained a Mid-Career Master in Public Administration from the Harvard Kennedy School in June 2000. Prifti has worked as chief of staff to the Prime Minister, as general director of the Albanian Elector-Energy Corporation, and as Albania’s minister of energy. In July 2001, Prifti was elected to the Albanian Parliament for a 4-year term from the district of Fieri, and in 2005 was re-elected. He is currently the deputy chair of his party, the Socialist Movement for Integration, and a member of the Parliamentary Commission on Economy, Budget, Trade, and Privatization.
Ussal Sahbaz, MPA/ID '10 - Turkey
A native of Ankara, Turkey, Sahbaz graduated from the Master in Public Administration in International Development program in May 2010. He holds a BS degree from the Middle East Technical University and an MA from Bilkent University, both in economics. Prior to HKS, Sahbaz served as a case officer at the Turkish Competition Authority, an autonomous antitrust enforcement agency. He was involved in the establishment of Economic Policy Research Foundation (TEPAV), an Ankara-based think-tank, where he coordinated design of the initial research agenda and recruitment of the junior staff. Sahbaz also wrote speeches for the chairman of the Turkish Union of Chambers (TOBB). After graduating from HKS, Sahbaz joined the World Bank headquarters in D.C. as a consultant in the South Asia Finance and Private Sector Development division.
George Saravelos, MPA/ID '10 - Greece
Born in Thessaloniki, Saravelos graduated from the Master in Public Administration in International Development program in May 2010. He also graduated with a first class BA degree in economics from Cambridge University. Prior to HKS, he worked as a foreign exchange strategist at Deutsche Bank, where he was responsible for the fundamental analysis of major currency markets. In this role, he advised the bank's largest financial, corporate and public sector clients on risks and opportunities in foreign exchange markets. He also designed and traded currency models as part of the bank's proprietary trading activities. After graduating from HKS, Saravelos re-joined Deutsche Bank as a vice president in the FX strategy department.
Artemis Seaford, MPP' 12 - Greece
Born in Athens, Artemis holds a First Class degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from the University of Oxford. Prior to coming to Harvard, she worked as an intern and then as an analyst for the international consultancy firm Oliver Wyman, where she was primarily involved in the expansion of the organization’s public sector practice. Other experience includes serving as an intern with Search for Common Ground; research volunteer for a United Nations project on human trafficking; and assistant organizer for a conference on Ethics and Politics for the University of Crete.
Jelena Sesar, MC/MPA '09 - Bosnia and Herzegovina
Sesar, a native of Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, graduated from the Mason Fellows/Mid-career Masters in Public Administration program. She holds a BA in Political Science and History from Purdue University and an MA in Southeast European Studies from the Central European University, Budapest, Hungary. She currently serves as a political advisor for security sector issues in the Office of the High Representative (OHR) in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. For eight years, she worked on various state-level institution and capacity building projects in Bosnia, including police reform and the establishment of the state-level police agencies responsible for combating organized crime, international terrorism, and human trafficking. Sesar also worked on the introduction of the first post-war ethnically neutral personal documents (ID cards, passports and driving licenses) for all citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Tolga Sobaci, MPA/ID '03 - Turkey
Sobaci graduated from Ankara University in 1995 with a BA in Economics. He also holds an MBA from the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth, and an MSc in Finance from Boston College. Prior to his studies at Harvard, Sobaci was employed as a junior associate at the World Bank in Washington DC and as an economist at the International Monetary Fund in Ankara. Sobaci obtained a Master in Public Administration and International Development from the Harvard Kennedy School in 2003. After completing his studies at Harvard, Sobaci returned to Turkey and worked as an investment officer for the International Finance Corporation in Istanbul for two years. He is the founder of the Turkish subsidiary of Studio Moderna, the leading Direct Response television company of Europe, where he is currently managing director.
Marian Stas, MC/MPA '99 - Romania
Born in Bariad, Romania, Stas received a Computer Science degree from the Romanian Technical Military Academy in 1985 and a degree in mathematics from the University of Bucharest in 1996. He obtained a Mid-Career Master in Public Administration from the Harvard Kennedy School in 1999. In 2001 he retired as a lieutenant-colonel from the Romanian army and worked at the Human Resources Department of the Romanian Ministry of Defense, where he coordinated the professional reconversion program for downsized military. Stas is now chairman of CODECS Foundation for Leadership, an NGO set up in February 2001. The Foundation's goal is to develop and consolidate the organizational culture of transformational leadership in Romania.
Simonida Subotic, MPP '10 - Montenegro
A native of Montenegro, Subotic graduated from the Master in Public Policy program in May 2010. She also holds a BA from Towson University in political science and economics. Prior to commencing her studies at HKS, Subotic served as a lecturer in the Baltimore Urban Debate League, and a Refugee Program intern with Amnesty International in Washington, D.C. She also worked as a research analyst for the Regional Studies Economic Institute. During the summer 2009 break, Subotic completed an internship with the World Bank's Middle East and North Africa Vice-Presidency in the Social and Economic Development group, where she worked on a case study on Lebanon's human resource management reform. Upon graduating from HKS, Subotic joined the Boston Consulting Group-Middle East offices in Abu Dhabi as an associate consultant.
Peter Szoldan, MPP '01 - Hungary
Szoldan was born in Budapest, where he studied communication and media policy at Jozsef Attila University. He served as a member of the Budapest City Council from 1990-1998. Szoldan obtained a Master in Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School in 2001. He has since worked as an associate for McKinsey & Company, a management consultancy, in New York. Currently he is the president and co-founder of DayTrade.net Zrt., an investment advisor corporation based in Budapest which specializes in ultra-short-term investments in US equities.
Radu Tatucu, MPP'12 - Romania
A native of Arad, Tatucu is also working towards a Master in Business Administration at London Business School. He obtained his BA with high honors in economics from Harvard College in 2005. Prior to HKS, Tatucu worked in various World Bank departments, including East Asia and Pacific; Poverty Reduction and Economic Management; and International Trade and Integration. He also served as a consultant in economics and management for Compass Lexecon – FTI Consulting. Among his many not-for-profit /volunteer endeavors, Tatucu is a founding member and President of Global Romanian Students and Young Professionals Society (GRSPSociety), a global non-profit organization whose mission is to contribute to Romania’s modernization and development through civic involvement and professionalism.
Elka Todorova, MPA '01 - Bulgaria
Todorova holds an MD degree in Psychology from Moscow State University and a PhD in Social Psychology from the Institute of Sociology, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences. She received a Fulbright Fellowship in 1998, which facilitated her studies at the School of Social Work at Salem State College. She earned a DSc from the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences in 2000, and a Mid-Career Master’s in Public Administration from the Harvard Kennedy School in 2001. Prior to Harvard, Todorova founded an NGO on neighborhood social services, and continues to serve as a director and member of the Board. From 1996-2000, she was dean of Faculty of Social Work at Varna Free University. The author of six books, Todorova is now a senior research fellow at the Institute of Sociology, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, and director of the European Social Policy and Social Work Master’s Program at the New Bulgarian University. She also serves as an advisor to the Chairman of the Bulgarian Parliament.
Damir Tokic, MPP '08 - Bosnia and Herzegovina
Tokic holds a BA in political science from St. John’s University, Minnesota. Prior to studying at the Kennedy School, he completed a training program at the Directorate for European Integrations, Council of Ministers of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and an internship at public advocacy firm David Turch and Associates. He also worked as a TV game show host in Sarajevo and as a project manager for the Peace Trails Program, during which he founded and directed the first post-war paragliding school in Bosnia and Herzegovina. He graduated from the Harvard Kennedy School with a Master in Public Policy in June 2008.
Ana S. Trbovich, MPA '01 - Serbia
Trbovich completed a joint degree program with Tufts University and the Fletcher School in 1998, having triple-majored in Economics, International Relations and French Literature for her BA, and earning a Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy. She obtained a Master in Public Administration from the Harvard Kennedy School in June 2001, and completed her PhD at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy in 2006. From 2002-2006, Trbovich served as Serbia’s assistant minister of international economics, in charge of Serbia’s EU accession process and subsequently, foreign direct investment policy. Trbovich worked on the implementation of the Dayton Peace Accords in the Republic of Srpska in 1997, and is the author of "A Legal Geography of Yugoslavia's Disintegration" (Oxford University Press, 2008). Currently, she is assistant professor and director of the Center for European Integration and Public Administration at the Faculty of Economics, Finance, and Administration (FEFA), Serbia. Additionally, she serves as a policy and workforce development director at the USAID Competitiveness Project in Serbia implemented by Booz Allen Hamilton.
Esra Unluaslan, MPA/ID '12 - Turkey
Born in Bursa, Turkey, Unluaslan holds a BS degree in Economics and Industrial Engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute. Before coming to HKS, she worked as a foreign exchange analyst with Goldman Sachs in New York. She also previously worked as a prime brokerage consultant with Morgan Stanley. Unluaslan is also co-founder and press representative of FINANS Network, a worldwide nonprofit organization for finance and economics professionals with the objective to advance Turkey’s economic development.
Miroslav Vassilev, MPP '07 - Bulgaria
Vassilev holds a BA (summa cum laude) in Politics from the American University in Bulgaria and a MS in Management Research (high distinction) from Keble College, University of Oxford. He was selected as a Goldman Sachs Global Leader in 2001, and later served as project director for the Goldman Sachs Global Leaders Social Entrepreneurship Fund, focusing on women at high risk in post-conflict areas. Miroslav was also involved with the International Red Cross and European Union initiatives focusing on managing ethnic conflicts in the Balkans. In June 2007, he earned a joint Master in Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School and an MBA in Finance from The Wharton School. Vassilev is currently an investment professional with Rockbay Capital Management LP, a special situations hedge fund in New York.
Katarina Veljovic, MPP '02 - Serbia
Born in Belgrade, Serbia, Veljovic obtained a Bachelor in Law from the University of Belgrade in 1996 and an LL.M. from Northwestern University in 1998, graduating with honors from both universities. From 1998-2000, she worked at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development in London as an associate to the general counselor, conducting comparative law research and briefings on legal and policy issues. Veljovic earned a Master’s in Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School in June 2002. After Harvard, Veljovic headed the Treasury Department of the Serbian Ministry of Finance, and soon after was promoted to assistant minister of finance. From 2004-2007, she served as director of investment management at M&A Publikum, a firm managing foreign investments in the Serbian financial sector. She is currently spearheading the World Bank’s corporate governance initiatives in Serbia. In 2008, she earned a PhD at the University of Belgrade, focused on corporate governance and ownership concentration in Serbia.
Nilgun Yankaya, MPA/ID '08 - Turkey
A native of Edirne, Nigun graduated (high honors) with a B.S.E. in Operations Research and Financial Engineering with a certificate in Applied Math from Princeton University in 2002. Before enrolling in graduate studies at Harvard, Nilgun worked as a Financial Analyst at Morgan Stanley's Investment Banking Division in New York and in London. Starting out in the Mergers and Acquisitions department in New York, Nilgun transferred to the London-based Turkish Corporate Finance team in 2004, where she was involved in Turkey's privatization as well as funding decisions, dealing with decision-makers ranging from working teams of the Privatization Administration and Treasury to ministers overseeing these governmental bodies. Her notable transactions include Turk Telekom privatization as well as sale of strategic stake in Garanti Bank to GE. She earned a joint-degree from the Harvard Kennedy School’s Master in Public Administration and International Development program and the Harvard Business School’s MBA program in 2008. Yankaya is now an associate at Cerberus in London, where she sources, evaluates and executes private equity investment opportunities in Europe.
Nicholas Yatromanolakis, MPP '00 - Greece
Yatromanolakis studied political science and international relations at Panteion University in Athens, earning his BA in 1997. Prior to his studies at Harvard, Yatromanolakis worked at the Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy, where he was in charge of the Information and Documentation Department. He obtained a Master in Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School in June 2000. After graduation, he served as associate director at the Kokkalis Program. Between 2002-2004, he worked as corporate social responsibility and communication officer for S&B Industrial Minerals in Athens, Greece. In February 2004, Yatromanolakis began serving as education program manager for Microsoft Hellas, where he was involved in the company’s new “Partners in Learning” initiative, and later became the citizenship, government affairs and public relations manager for the Greek subsidiary. Since January 2008, he has served as corporate affairs and business development director at V+O Communications, a leading strategic communication agency in Southeastern Europe.