Albina Berisha serves as the Small and Micro Enterprise (SME) Officer at the Community Development Fund (CDF). Her responsibilities include promoting the SME component to municipalities, communities and other stakeholders; determining the eligibility of enterprises for receiving grants in accordance with guidelines set by World Bank; evaluating the suitability of pre-selected beneficiaries for grant awards; managing the proper allocation of grants and resources to selected enterprises; and coordinating SME activities from project design to implementation. Prior to this position, Ms. Berisha worked for Management and Development Associates (MDA) as Business Development Manager. She holds an MBA in International Management from the Monterey Institute of International Studies in Monterey, California, and B.S. in Management and Public Policy from American University in Kosovo. While in Washington, DC Ms. Berisha seeks to learn more on how to combat black market economies through raising awareness amongst citizens in collecting fiscal coupons. Also, she would like to develop an environment of citizen--responsible administration and where businesses are held accountable.
Arijeta Pajaziti-Qerimi is currently working as SCADA Developer at the System Operator Department in KOSTT j.s.c (Electricity Transmission System and Market Operator of the Republic of Kosovo). Ms. Pajaziti-Qerimi provides support and maintenance for the SCADA Control system at the National Control Center. At this facility, she maintains the Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) system to insure uninterrupted power transmission and system operation; designs, develops, documents and implements changes to the SCADA system to support the National Dispatch Center’s operations and engineering projects; builds SCADA databases to acquire data from Remote Terminal Units (RTU); and works with Control Center personnel to design and implement graphic displays to support electricity system operation. Ms. Pajaziti-Qerimi is responsible for writing and preparing technical specifications regarding SCADA requirements for incoming Projects and implementation supervision. Prior to this position, Ms. Pajaziti-Qerimi worked for Kosovo Energy Corporation as a telecommunication engineer, internet administrator and IT system developer for more than seven years. Ms. Pajaziti-Qerimi holds a five year advanced studies degree in Electrical Engineering from Prishtina University. Her Hope Fellowship project will focus on renewable energy and its integration in existing energy systems of Kosovo. Ms. Pajaziti-Qerimi will aim to learn how to integrate all sources of energy in Kosovo electrical power grid at the National Dispatch Center.
Dhurata Prokshi is the Head of the Regional Office at Caritas in Prishtina, Kosovo. Ms. Prokshi is responsible for drafting projects, field work, organizing seminars and workshops, communicating with donors and partners, assisting the General Director in meetings, as well as representing and promoting the organization. Prior to this position, Ms. Prokshi worked as an English Teacher in “Aziz Sylejmani” public school in Mitrovica, Kosovo. Ms. Prokshi is currently a M.A. candidate in Sociology at the University of Prishtina, where her study’s concentrations include: Theories of Sociology and Methodology; Sociology of Development; Sociology of Religious and Ethnic Identity; Art and Society; Methodology of Research; Epistemology of Science and Social Stratification. Ms. Prokshi holds a B.A. in Sociology from the University of Prishtina. Ms. Prokshi is passionate in gender equality, and her project is focused on creating job opportunities for women by establishing a co-operative patisserie business for them.
Eglantina Hoxha Kastrati works as Stakeholders and Events Manager for the Kosovo Energy Corporation (KEK) in Prishtina, Kosovo. Ms. Kastrati supervises KEK’s key stakeholder relationships by serving as main contact liaison, organizing meetings, and conferences. Furthermore, Ms. Kastrati writes KEK’s operational briefings and communications for their key stakeholders. Previously, Ms. Kastrati was the Representative of the Legal Department of KEK; Executive Assistant to the Deputy Managing Director of KEK’s Joint Stock Company (JSC) and served as the Executive Director of Corporate Services. In 2008, Ms. Kastrati received her B.A. in Law from the University of Prishtina. While in Washington, DC Ms. Kastrati wants to focus on customer care, and her project aims to restructure the Customer Care Service Department within KEK.
Gentina Jusufi is a Fiscal Policy Senior Analyst at the Department for Economic and Fiscal Policy with the Ministry of Finance. Ms. Jusufi is responsible for analyzing and conducting research on new fiscal policies or changes in current policies; researching the impact of new fiscal policies and changes that will affect budget, as well as economic and social welfare decision-making; following and comparing regional and EU fiscal policies with Kosovo; confirming the legal status of department decisions and track their implementation. Prior to this position, Ms. Jusufi worked as Chief of Staff at the Permanent Secretary’s Office in the Ministry of Economy and Finance. In this capacity, Ms. Jusufi kept continuous contacts with all the Departments of the Ministry to check and support the implementation of their projects. Ms. Jusufi holds an M.A. in General Economics from Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (KUL), and received her B.S. in Business Development and Management, with a minor in Public Policy from the American University of Kosovo. Ms. Jusufi’s Hope Fellowship project is targeted on increasing youth awareness and outreach on issues related to economic development, with the primary focus on educating them about the tax system of Kosovo.
Ilire Rizvanolli Is the owner and manager of her own restaurant “Te Komiteti” in Prishtina. Since 2006, she has been responsible for daily operations, client coordination, food preparation, and managing finances and staff. In addition, Ms. Rizavanolli organizes various events, including the 4th of July celebration for the US Embassy in Prishtina. Additionally, Ms. Rizvanolli has worked in the Interim Credit Unit; at Kosovo’s Business Women’s; and at Kosovo Gender Studies Center. Ms. Rizvanolli received her B.A. in Architecture from the University of Prishtina. Ms. Rizvanolli was certified as an Executive Personal Assistant from Kensington & Chelsea College in London, UK. In London Ms. Rizvanolli worked in Language Line Interpreting Services, where she provided interpreting-over-the-phone services to and from Albanian to English; assisted English high-level personnel in understanding the problems and issues faced by Kosovar Albanian refugees in England; and assisted the completion of the federal regulatory paperwork from Albanian to English. While in Washington, DC, Ms. Rizvanolli aims to strengthen her knowledge on how to support registered unemployed women ages 18-55 by giving them needed skills to find jobs in the food industry. She would like to help them to start up their own micro businesses in food production.
Ilirjana Mejzini currently works as Coordinator of Urban Cooperation at the Ministry of Environment & Spatial Planning, Department of Spatial Planning. Ms. Mejzini’s duties include monitoring and assisting the local level urban development; and coordinating with national-level European Associations and Strategies of Regional Land-Use toward Sustainable Development. Also in her current capacity, Ms. Mejzini leads the inter-ministerial working group drafting and issuing the Urban Permit for important and specific buildings for Kosovo; with conducting environmental impact assessments; and coordinates activities of different Ministry divisions with international organizations that operate in Kosovo. Ms. Mejzini’s prior professional experiences include Architect for the ECT Engineering & Consulting Company for the Department of Justice within the United Nations Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK). Ms. Mejzini holds a M.A. in Spatial Planning & Regional Development from Blekinge Institute of Technology, International Department for Land-use in Sweden. In addition, she holds a B.A. in Architecture from the University of Prishtina. Ms. Mejzini’s project focuses on preserving urban historical sites in Prishtina, Kosovo to increase tourism, and as a result, develop the local economy.
Lejla Sadiku Currently works as Project Manager and Political Adviser for the Norwegian Embassy in Prishtina, where she mainly manages the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ development project portfolio in Kosovo; manages the links between the embassy and state institutions in Kosovo and Albania; and reports on current affairs among other important responsibilities. As of April 2012, Ms. Sadiku will teach classes on Public-Private Partnership and Environment & Society at the European School of Law and Governance in Prishtina this April. Previously, Ms. Sadiku worked as a Researcher at the Romanian Academic Society in Bucharest, Romania; consultant for the World Bank and for the Youth Initiative for Human Rights in Prishtina. In May 2010 she received her M.A. in Public Policy from the Hertie School of Governance in Berlin, Germany. She also holds a B.A. in Business Administration and Political Science from the American University in Blagoevgrad, Bulgaria. While in Washington, DC Ms. Sadiku aims to strengthen her knowledge on measuring socio-economic costs of different energy alternatives. Through her project she will provide hard data via an independent expert study on the socio-economic impact that different alternatives have on affected communities.
Leonita Shabani Currently serves as Chief of Cabinet and Spokesperson at the Ministry of Economic Development. Her main duties are managing protocol activities; organizing and participating in meetings and activities within the Minister’s Cabinet; establishing communications and information exchange with Kosovo’s foreign diplomatic representatives; representing publicly the Ministry’s policies and strategies. Previously Ms. Shabani worked as Chief of Cabinet at the Ministry of European Integration, and at the President’s Cabinet at the Kosovo Chamber of Commerce. She began her career as the Information Officer at the Euro Info Correspondence Center within the Kosovo Chamber of Commerce. Ms. Shabani holds a B.A. in International Business from Iliria University in Prishtina. She was awarded her MBA in International Economic Relations from South East European University (SEEU) in Tetovo, Macedonia. Currently, Ms. Shabani is studying Law at the University of Prishtina. Ms. Shabani applied to the Hope Fellowship Program with a project aimed at strengthening the role of the public-private dialogue for economic development of Kosovo. Ms. Shabani aims to identify and remove barriers which could then result in private sector growth and discuss the opportunities for domestic and international investments in sectors with high priority.
Leonora Hysenaj currently works as Manager of the Project Implementation Unit at the Kosovo Energy Corporation J.S.C., Network Division. She is responsible for the successful delivery of all capital and new works projects. She is also responsible developing expertise in project management capabilities, feasibility studies, project costing, tender documentation and contract management. Ms. Hysenaj supervises project budget controls to develop medium to long term strategies for her organization’s networks. In the past she worked for UNMIK EU Pillar – Kosovo Trust Agency in the Energy Division. Ms. Hysenaj received her B.S. in Engineering from the University of Prishtina; and her M.S. in Service Management from the Rochester Institute of Technology, through American University in Kosovo. Ms. Hysenaj’s project aims to introduce Computerized Project Management through best practices in the energy sector and integrate administration systems that involve different departments.
Shqipe Neziri currently works as Project Manager/Trainer for the Regional Environmental Center for Central and Eastern Europe. Her main responsibilities include developing and implementing programs and projects, developing capacity building activities, trainings and coaching, managing finance, and providing technical expertise in primary environmental and energy services. Prior to this position, Ms. Neziri was a Coordinator/Team Leader for the World Bank; Expert for various USAID projects, Swiss Agency for International Cooperation, OSCE ; Producer at the Radio Television of Kosovo; and Assistant at Corning Incorporated in New York. Ms. Neziri received her first M.A. in Public Policy with a focus on Energy Policy in the Western Balkans from the Central European University. She also received her second M.A. in Public Administration, from the University of York. Recently, Ms. Neziri pursued her Post-Master studies in Environmental Sciences and Management at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Previously, Ms. Neziri completed her B.S. in Management and Public Policy at the Rochester Institute of Technology through the American University in Kosovo. Ms. Neziri’s project with Hope Fellowship Program is to research how to introduce energy efficiency and the development of renewable energies as an opportunity for Kosovo to diversify its energy supply.
Zana Sulhasi - Zherka is Product Development Coordinator at the Post Telecommunication of Kosovo J.S.C. Her main responsibilities include leading research and development projects for new telecom products. She works with business, financial, and forecasting analysts to introduce new products, modifies and repositions existing products, and introduces products into existing markets. Previously she worked for the Economic Bank as a Loan Officer. Ms. Zherka currently is a M.A. candidate in Banking and Finance at the University of Prishtina. Her B.A. degree in Management and Informatics is also from University of Prishtina. Ms. Zherka is certified as an Accountant and Accountant Technician from the Society of Certified Accountants and Auditors of Kosovo, and from Malta International Training Center in Banking and Finance. Currently, Ms. Zherka is in the process to become a Certified Auditor. Furthermore, she studied Project Management, E-Marketing and Sales Management at the Center for Trainings and Development within PTK. Ms. Zherka’s project aims to research and learn of best practices regarding the privatization process, including addressing employees’ issues and higher prices for customers. Her research goal is to help improve the post-privatization performance of companies in the public sector so they contribute more to the growth and development of the economy.