TRANSFORMING INNOVATIVE CONCEPTS INTO POWERFUL SOLUTIONS
Balkan Green Foundation (BGF) is a regional organization that promotes inclusive and equitable progress in the Western Balkans within the sustainable development domain.
Along with its partner organizations, BGF places a strong focus on advocating for solutions that promote development policies, which are in line with world’s latest developments, global challenges and national agendas for EU integration.
Regional initiatives are undertaken on an ongoing basis to further convey BGF’s commitment towards regional sustainability, ensuring the strengthening and advancement of vital policies affecting key sectors, such as energy, environment, and economy.
BGF has been successfully positioned as a key strategic partner for regional and global institutions, organizations, and communities to promote sustainable development, transform innovative concepts into powerful solutions, and strengthen regional and global partnerships.
Rinora GojaniProgrammes and Operations Manager
Rinora Gojani is the Programmes and Operations Manager at the Balkan Green Foundation. She has an extensive working experience in research, advocacy, capacity building, civic and grassroot level engagement, fundraising, and project management focused on sustainable development, democratization, Western Balkans politics, and EU integration processes. Rinora holds a Master’s Degree in European Politics, with a focus on energy policy, from the University College Dublin. She has a passion for outdoor sports, specifically for cycling, hiking and climbing.
Doruntina Murati GashiFinance Manager
Doruntina Murati Gashi is a Finance Manager for almost four years at BGF. She is responsible for accounting and financial management of the organization. She is also involved in direct financial reporting for multiple donors and managing external audits. Her experiences include bookkeeping, financial reporting, taxation, financial statements and has knowledge of International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS). Doruntina holds a Bachelor's Degree in Bank, Finance and Accounting from the University of Prishtina, Faculty of Economics. During her free time, she enjoys walking in nature, cooking and has a passion for interior design.
Fjolla Qorri is a Reseacher at Balkan Green Foundation. Fjolla holds double Bachelor's degrees in Public Policy and Management from RIT Kosovo and in French Language and Literature from the University of Prishtina.
She has two years of experience in the public sector and has been engaged as a researcher in various national and local electoral campaigns that advocated for greener policies. Fjolla authored and published her thesis on “The psychology behind voting behavior in Kosovo”. Her passions include behavioral science, chess, and learning new languages.
Shkëmb ShalaProject Coordinator
Shkëmb is a Project Coordinator at Balkan Green Foundation. He has more than a decade of experience working in socio-related fields including research, migration returnee facilitation, youth career orientation, critical thinking, media literacy, advocacy and social entrepreneurship. In addition, Shkëmb holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Prishtina.
Shkëmb is fundamentally passionate about learning as he believes that positive community changes are made possible by knowledge and sustaining growth in daily life. He applies this approach to his work and passions, which includes reading, sports, movies and video games.
Lirika RaçaProject Officer
Lirika Raça works in the position of Project Assistant within BGF. She completed internships at the Initiative for Agricultural Development of Kosovo (IADK) and later also at the Kurt Weiss Greenhouses Inc. in Center Moriches, New York. Lirika has also been involved in volunteering work both inside and outside of Kosovo and has attended numerous training in the field of environment, climate change, conflict transformation, ecotourism, nature conservation, and internet governance. Lirika holds an AP and BA double degree in Environmental and Agricultural Management from University College Lillebaelt and International Business College Mitrovica. She is a dedicated environmentalist and enjoys reading, movies, and nature-related sports like hiking, climbing, and cycling.
EGZONA ARUQAJCommunication Officer
Egzona Aruqaj is a Communication Officer at Balkan Green Foundation. She has three years of work experience in the field of Marketing and Non-Governmental Organizations, mostly focused on the improvement of the education system in Kosovo. In addition to that, she has been involved in volunteer work and attended numerous training about critical thinking, media literacy, digital marketing, and the empowerment of marginalized communities. Egzona holds a Bachelor’s degree in the field of Sociology from the University of Prishtina. On the passionate front, she loves meeting new people, the floral world, animals, art and video games.
ALBAN BYTYÇIIT Officer
Alban Bytyqi holds the position of IT Officer at Balkan Green Foundation. He has more than 14 years of experience in the field of Informatics and Technology, specifically in projects covering software developments.
Alban completed his Bachelor's degree in Computer Science at the University of Prishtina, and is CCNA certified by the Cisco Certified Network Associate. From the passion side, he likes cycling and hiking in nature.
ASTRIT ISTREFIChairman of the Board
Astrit Istrefi is the executive director of the Balkan Forum, an organization working to advance cross-border dialogue and create a shared regional vision and agenda for cooperative action in the Balkans, based on economic integration, prosperity, and sustainable peace. Astrit has over 20 years of experience working in conflict prevention, peacebuilding, and development in fragile and conflict-affected contexts, leading the development of strategies and managing complex programs in the Western Balkans, Central Asia, Caucasus, Afghanistan, UK, and US. He has worked with Care International, Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and Forum for Civic Initiatives (FIQ) in Prishtina, Kosovo; International Organisation for Migration (IOM) in Kabul, Afghanistan and Washington DC, USA; and Saferworld in London, UK.
Ariadne PapagapitosBoard Member
Ariadne Papagapitos is Impact Editor at Lighthouse Reports, a public interest journalism organization that leads complex, transnational investigations. Prior to this, she was a consultant to foundations and NGOs working on forced migration, director of the Peacebuilding program at the Rockefeller Brothers Fund and Co-Founder and New Markets Director at Localized, a startup social enterprise focused on closing the skills and employment gap for young people in developing markets.
Dardan SejdiuBoard Member
Dardan Sejdiu is currently engaged as a lecturer in Development Management at the University of London with academic direction from the London School of Economics and Political Science at the Riinvest College in Prishtina.
Dardan has over 10 years of experience as a politician, serving as a Deputy Mayor of Pristina, a member of the parliament and as president of the management board of the Slovenian-Kosovo Pension with a key role in managing this fund for the whole of Kosovo.
He has an MBA from IEDC – Bled School of Management. He holds a BA in Business Administration and Political Science from the American University in Bulgaria. In addition, he is a fellow of the German Marshall Fund of the United States, having been a participant in the Marshall Memorial Fellowship Program. He has also completed a short, specialized course in Communication and Diplomacy in École Nationale D’administration (ENA), in Paris, France.
LEILA BICAKCICBoard Member
Leila Bičakčić is one of the founding members of the organization, which is modelled on US non-profit media agencies. Her remit includes financial and administrative management, donor collaboration, planning, designing and coordinating CIN-implemented projects, and reporting. A special focus of Leila’s work is on finding models of sustainable organization and new business models in the BiH context, the transition from traditional media to new digital models and the convergence of media content. A Sarajevo native, she studied basic physics and economics at the Sarajevo University.
KNUD VÖCKINGBoard Member
Since 2002, Knud Vocking works as campaigner on multilateral development banks for the German NGO Urgewald. He is one of the most distinguished NGO professionals on the World Bank and other financial institutions like the Chinese-led AIIB. In many cases, he has successfully pressured politics to ensure human rights and environmental protection in projects financed by multilateral development banks. Knud is a key coordinator of the European NGO network scrutinizing multilateral financial institutions and well-connected with civil society organizations worldwide.