Speakers

Belinda Balluku
Minister of Infrastructure and Energy, Albania

Mrs. Belinda Balluku was born in Tirana, on October 9, 1973. She is the mother of two children, Colin and Belen.

Prior to her appointment as Minister of Infrastructure and Energy, Mrs. Balluku held the position of General Director of ALBCONTROL, the National Air Navigation Agency of the Republic of Albania, starting September 2013. Mrs. Balluku holds an honorary degree from IATA (International Air Transport Association) for Air Navigation Services Management. She has also completed with honors the General Diploma of Management, at IATA, Miami, USA. She holds a law degree and in 1999 graduated from the Athens Institute of Technology, in Business Administration. Mrs. Balluku also possesses a number of other qualifications in the fields of Air Safety, Telecommunications, Human Resources, Local Government Management and Management of Social Institutions. During the time fulfilling her duty as the General Director of ALBCONTROL, Belinda Balluku was selected as one of the 12 members of the Board of Air Navigation Agencies (ANSB), at EUROCONTROL. This board represents all stakeholders in air traffic management and their integration into EUROCONTROL 's governing and decisiomaking structures in support of the Single European Sky (SES).

The contribution of Mrs. Balluku in the field of Albanian aviation has been continuously praised by international partners, as she has promoted excellent cooperation with neighboring agencies and the integration of ALBCONTROL in European organizations. This has enabled the realization of major changes at ALBCONTROL aiming at increasing the standards and their approximation with those of the European Community, including the realization of pan-European objectives such as FRA and MLAT. Mrs. Balluku has extensive experience in the field of telecommunications, which started in November 2000, immediately after the privatization of the largest state-owned mobile phone company AMC, today One Telecommunications Albania. Mrs. Balluku has held senior management positions initially as Director of Customer Care where she introduced for the first time in Albania the Call Center service, and then as Marketing Director. During this dynamic period for AMC, Mrs. Balluku has been part of the decision-making board.

In 2004, Mrs. Balluku joined the staff of the Municipality of Tirana, initially as a Public Relations Advisor and later as Director of the Mayor's Cabinet. During this period, she has led the development of communication strategies with the public and the media. She has been an active part of creating the people reception interface and has subsequently successfully managed the coordination between the Mayor and the executive directorates of the Municipality of Tirana. Since 2006, Mrs. Balluku has been a vital part of the Socialist Party of Albania. She has participated in election headquarters, organized important political events and led the Cabinet of the Party Chairman during the period January 2011-January 2012. Social responsibility is an area where Mrs. Balluku has continuously given her contribution by being present through community projects and initiatives.

Houlin Zhao
Secretary General of ITU

Mr. Zhao graduated from Nanjing University of Posts and Telecommunications, and holds an MSc in Telematics from the University of Essex in the United Kingdom.

Mr. Zhao is an information and communication technology (ICT) engineer who has served in a variety of senior management positions at ITU, was re-elected ITU Secretary-General at the 20th Plenipotentiary Conference in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, in November 2018 and began his second, and last, four-year term on 1 January 2019. Prior to first being elected as ITU Secretary-General in 2014, Zhao served eight years as ITU Deputy Secretary-General. In that role, he assisted the ITU Secretary-General, in close cooperation with the other elected officials of the Union, to manage the implementation of the ITU Strategic Plan and the operations of the ITU Secretariat, in particular with a view to increasing the transparency and efficiency of the organization. He also served two elected terms as Director of ITU's Telecommunication Standardization Bureau (TSB), which develops technical standards to ensure worldwide ICT interoperability. Before that, he was a Senior Counsellor with TSB for 12 years.

Before joining ITU, Mr Zhao served as an engineer in the Designing Institute of the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications of China, taking an active role in his country's expert meetings on telecommunication standards and national plans, as well as participating in ITU work as a Chinese delegate. He contributed important articles to a number of prestigious Chinese technical publications, and in 1985 was awarded a prize for his achievements in science and technology within the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications.

Majlinda Bregu
Secretary General of Regional Cooperation Council

Ms. Majlinda Bregu took office as the Secretary General of the Regional Cooperation Council on 1 January 2019. Mrs. Bregu graduated from the Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Tirana and obtained a Master’s degree in Social and Political Science from the same university. In 2005 she was awarded a PhD in Sociology from the University of Urbino, Italy. Mrs. Bregu started her academic career as lecturer of “Research Methods in Social Sciences” and “Academic Writing”. In 1992 she began to collaborate as a part time anchor in the News Department at the Albanian Public Television. Her media experience and full time academic career ended in 2005 when she got involved in politics. For three consecutive legislatures (2005-2017) she was elected a Member of Parliament of Albania, as a Democratic Party member (Centre Right). In July 2005, Mrs. Bregu was elected as the president of the Albanian Parliamentary Delegation to the EU-Albania Stabilization and Association Parliamentary Committee. She was also the chair of the sub-Committee on Gender Equality and Minors. From March 2007 to September 2013, she served as Minister of European Integration and the Government Spokesperson. Majlinda Bregu is the longest-serving Minister of European Integration in Albania. During 2013 – 2017. Mrs. Bregu chaired the European Integration Committee of the Albanian Parliament. From 2015-2017 she also chaired the National Council for European Integration which is the highest consultative body on European Integration. In both duties she encouraged an all-inclusive and far-reaching consensus in the Integration-related reforms and promoted the importance of the membership perspective for the stability of the region. She was an active contributor for the approval by the Parliament of the comprehensive justice reform which is currently perceived as a good-practice example for the Western Balkans and EU neighbourhood countries. Mrs. Bregu initiated several legal initiatives against gender-based and domestic violence, which are currently in force. Majlinda Bregu was born in Tirana on 19 May 1974. Married and mother of two. Fluent in English, Italian, and good in Spanish.

Claudia Dörr-Voß
State Secretary at the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, Germany

Ms. Claudia Dörr-Voß is a qualified lawyer. She began her professional career in the Federal Ministry of Economics in 1989; since then, she has always worked in positions related to the EU and other international issues:

Initially as deputy head of division for EU and OECD relations in the context of the state export credit insurance systems; from 1995-1998 head of section in charge of trade policy, transatlantic relations, relations with Latin America, Asia and Central and Eastern Europe in the economic department of the Permanent Mission of the Federal Republic of Germany to the EU in Brussels, latterly as deputy head of the economic department. From the end of 1998 until March 2001, Ms Dörr-Voß headed the division responsive for trade policy (EU, WTO) in the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology (BMWi) and from April 2001 to February 2006 she was Deputy Director-General responsible for "European policy" in the BMWi/BMWA (Federal Ministry of Economics and Labour). Subsequently, from February 2006, Ms Dörr-Voß was Director-General responsible for European policy in the ministry. Since May 2018, she has served as State Sеcrеtary in the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy.

Ms Dörr-Voß is also a member of the board of trustees of the German Foundation for International Legal Cooperation (IRZ), a member of the board of trustees of the Frankfurt Institute for European Union Law of the European University Viadrina (Frankfurt/Oder), a member of the Board of Trustees of the Institute for European Policy, and a member of the supervisory board of GIZ.

Jeton Shaqiri
Minister of Information Society and Administration, North Macedonia

Mr. Jeton Shaqiri was born on 17.03.1987 in Struga, where he has completed primary and general secondary education.
Jeton Shaqiri assumes the position of Minister of Information Society and Administration on 31st August 2020.
Jeton Shaqiri considers state and public administration the first contact point of citizens with the state, and therefore citizens must be offered a faster and streamlined manner to meet their daily needs and obligations. Only with teamwork, full digitalization of services and cooperation between institutions will we achieve transparent, efficient and modern administration that would serve each citizen and would treat each citizen equally, which, in turn, would also help attain European standards.
In the academic year of 2005/06, he enrolled at the Faculty of Economics under the State University of Tetovo - Skopje, where he graduates in 2008.
In the academic year of 2008/2009 he enrolls at the Faculty of Economics under the International University in Struga, continuing his academic path at post-graduate studies. In 2010, he defends his Master's thesis and is awarded the title Master of Economics (M.Ec.).
In the academic year of 2010/2011, he enrolls in Ph.D. studies at the Faculty of Economics under the University of Tirana, Albania, where he defends his Ph.D. thesis titled “Banking Supervision and Challenges in Implementation of Basel II and Basel III in North Macedonia (analysis based on lessons learned from the 2008-2009 financial crisis).
He begins his experience as lecturer for a set of subjects in Economics at very young age.
Jeton Shaqiri, Ph.D., has participated in numerous symposia, conferences and round tables in the Republic of North Macedonia, Albania, Kosovo*, in cooperation with both domestic and international bodies and organizations.
He demonstrated his managerial skills while sucessfully managing IPE “Proakva” – Struga in the period June 2018 - December 2019 and PE “Vodovod i Kanalizacija”- Struga in the period January - August 2020.

Roberto Viola
General Director of DG Connect, European Commission

Mr. Roberto Viola holds a Doctor degree in Electronic Engineering (Dr. Eng.) and a Masters in Business Administration (MBA). He is Director-General of DG CONNECT, in the European Commission.

From 1985-1999 he served in various positions as a staff member of the European Space Agency (ESA) in particular, he has been Head of Telecommunication and Broadcasting Satellite Services. He served as Director of Regulation Department and Technical Director in AGCOM from 1999 to 2004, in charge of inter alia, regulation in terrestrial, cable and satellite television, frequency planning, access and interconnection of communication services, cost accounting and tariff in telecommunication and broadcasting services. In 2007 he was Chairman of the European Regulatory Group (ERG) and member of the BEREC Board (Body of European Telecom Regulators). He was Chairman of the European Radio Spectrum Policy group (RSPG) from 2012 to 2013, and Deputy Chairman in 2011 and Chairman in 2010. From 2005 to 2012, he was the Secretary General in charge of managing AGCOM (Italian media and telecom regulator).

Between September 2012 and August 2015 he was Deputy Director-General of DG CONNECT with responsibilities for Electronic Communications Networks and Services Directorate, Cooperation Directorate - International and Inter-institutional relations, Stakeholders cooperation, Coordination Directorate - Growth and Jobs, Innovations and Knowledge Base, Media and Data Directorate.

Nives Sandri
Managing Director, Nokia Affiliates in Croatia and North Macedonia, Zagreb, Supplier of network components

Ms. Nives Sandri, born in 1969 in Zagreb, Croatia. Graduated in 1992, with Master of sciences in field of technical science, electrical engineering, telecommunication and computer science degree at Faculty of Electrical engineering and Computing in Zagreb, Croatia on topic of “Orientation in Telecommunication and computer science”. Having working experience in Telecommunications field since 1992, when started professional career at “Croatian Post and Telecommunications” as Electrical engineer with assignments in maintenance of telecommunication systems with major responsibilities of ensuring quality of work system. In 1995 her professional career continued in Siemens d.d., Croatia in Communications sector, where her professional career gradually developed along with transformation of mentioned Siemens’s Com sector which became currently known as Nokia. Throughout this period, she obtained positions of Account Manager in Sales, Head of Sales in Communication and IT department, Director of Communications and IT Sector, Country Director / Board member of Nokia Affiliate in Croatia and North Macedonia already for 10 years along being Deutsche Telekom Customer Business Team for South Europe in period 2013-2018. In period from 1.1.2018. – 1.1.2020. Nives Sandri has  obtained position of Deutsche Telekom Customer Team Head for Central Europe within Nokia company being responsible for business in Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Montenegro, Romania, Hungary and Austria. With the beginning of year 2020., along with Board member of Nokia Affiliate in Croatia and North Macedonia function, Nives Sandri obtains position of Sales, Strategy Analytics and Ops head for Deutsche Telekom account within Nokia.

Nikola Ljushev
CEO Makedonski Telekom

Mr. Nikola Ljushevis the CEO of Makedonski Telekom. He has extensive experience in the telecommunication industry on top-level management positions in Deutsche Telekom Group and in the Telekom Austria Group. Ljushev was CEO of Vip and Executive Director of one.Vip operator. He joined Deutsche Telekom Group as a CEO of Crnogorski Telekom. Mr. Ljushev holds BSc in Electrical Engineering in the area of electronics and telecommunications and additional education in corporate management from prestigious international schools and universities including the Harvard Business School, INSEAD, University of Chicago, etc. The influential magazine Global Telecom Business –London awarded him as one of the top Forty-Under-Forty executive directors in the telecommunication segment worldwide, twice, in 2010 and 2011.

Natalija Gelvanovska
World Bank digital Balkan Highway

Ms. Natalija Gelvanovska-Garcia is a Senior Digital Development Specialist at the Digital Development Global Practice of the World Bank with near 20 years of experience in Telecom sector. Natalija advises the governments on policies and regulations to foster digital investments, improve competition and strengthen cybersecurity environment in multiple regions. Prior to joining the Bank, Natalija was the Deputy Director at the Regulatory Authority of Lithuania where she was responsible for the design and implementation of the regulatory framework for broadband. Throughout her career in private and public sectors, she was working closely with and within EU and European institutions on design of multiple initiatives and legislative reforms ranging from standardization, digital investment promotion to critical infrastructure protection. Natalija studied Physics and holds Master of Science from Vilnius University. She speaks Lithuanian, Polish, Russia, English and some Spanish..

Peter Veil
Vice President Strategic Finance Europe, Deutsche Telekom

Dr. Peter Veil works as VP Strategic Finance and Portfolio Development in Deutsche Telekom Europe segment. He has extensive management experience in the telecommunication industry and the car industry. Peter holds a PhD on change management, an MBA, and graduated as a Master of Business Engineering. He also serves a lecturer in academics and holds supervisory board seats.

Mihailo Jovanovic
Director of the Office for Information Technologies and eGovernment

Doc. Mihailo Jovanovic, Ph.D graduated and received his Masters Degree at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering in Belgrade as one of the best students in his generation. He has a PhD. in economics and holds a title of Assistant Professor for the scientific field of quantitative methods. He has 20 years of professional experience in Telekom and the Post of Serbia, where he had, for the past 14 years, been a member of the Board of Directors responsible for information technology, electronic communications and development. In the period 2014-2016, as a member and coordinator of the Executive Board of the Post of Serbia, he contributed to the achievement of the best business results in the history of the Post. As of April 2017, he has worked as an eGovernment advisor in the Cabinet of the Prime Minister. Doc. Mihailo Jovanovic, PhD., is a member of the Serbian Chamber of Engineers with the licences for responsible designer and contracting engineer for telecommunication networks and systems. He received the award of the Ministry of Science, Technology and Development of the Government of the Republic of Serbia in 2002 at a public call “for the best young researchers and scientists who, with their engagement, contributed to the development of science and technology, changes in the country, as well as the ongoing reforms; who remained in the country and contributed to its overall rapid development and connection with the world.” He is the author of several books, monographs and thirty expert scientific papers in the field of information and communication technologies, eBusiness and economics, presented at leading domestic and international conferences and in reference journals. In addition to designing, developing and implementing a completely new postal technology and information system and establishing regional postal and logistics centers in Belgrade, Novi Sad and Nis, some of the very successful references of Mihailo Jovanović in the field of eGovernment are: establishment of the first qualified certification bodies for issuing qualified electronic certificates and time stamps in the Republic of Serbia, establishing a central system of electronic registers, “Baby, welcome to the world” project, registration of citizens for free shares and trading in securities, registration of citizens in the process of applying for restitution and technical and technological support to citizens in the process of TV signal digitalization.

Mirlinda Karcanaj
General Director of the National Agency of Information Society (NAIS)

Dr. Mirlinda Karçanaj graduated the Faculty of Natural Sciences, in the Department of Computer Sciences, where she also completed her Master of Science and PhD in Informatics. Since October 2013 she is the General Director of the National Agency of Information Society (NAIS). Her research fields include: digitalization, systems interoperability, centralized online services, concerns and solutions regarding information infrastructure, electronic payment and electronic governance in Albania. Her work has been presented in a number of national and international conferences, as well as Albanian and foreign scientific journals.

Nina Angelovska
Former Minister of Finance in North Macedonia, Forbes 30 Under 20, UNCTAD eTrade for all Advocate & business entrepreneur

Dr. Nina Angelovska the former Minister of Finance of the Republic of North Macedonia, is Co-founder and CEO of the first deal platform and leading e-commerce company in Macedonia, Grouper.mk, launched in 2011 that transformed the e-commerce market. In addition to heading her company, she worked as business development and e-commerce consultant. Her work has been widely recognized and among her awards, she has been recognized by “Forbes 30 Under 30” in Retail and Ecommerce in Europe in 2018. Nina frequently speaks at conferences and events on entrepreneurship, business development, marketing, gamification and e-commerce. She serves as a role model for future generations, motivating and encouraging young people to step out of their comfort zone. As the president of the Macedonian E-commerce Association, Nina chaired the first e-commerce conference in her country in 2018. Angelovska holds a Ph.D. in management and sits on the Board of the European E-commerce Association (EMOTA) and the Economic Chamber of Macedonia.

Emir Žunić
BiH - Representative of Private Sector, IT company: Info Studio

Dr. Emir Žunić is a PhD in Electrical Engineering with over 10 years of experience in the fields of Software Engineering, IT, Data Mining, Business Process Management, Document Management and Optimizations. He currently works as the Head of AI/ML Department at Info Studio d.o.o. Sarajevo. Also, he is the Co-Founder & CIO of edu720 d.o.o. Sarajevo. As an implementer and team leader he successfully realized about 100 enterprise projects and applications. He was also a speaker and lecturer on more than 20 Oracle and other world-wide events and conferences, as well as the speaker at the WeAreDevelopers World Congress in Berlin, 2019. In Academic Area, he has experience working as a Teaching Assistant/Industry Expert at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering, University of Sarajevo. In the past, he also worked as an Industry Expert at Sarajevo School of Science and Technology. He has currently published more than 50 scientific papers at prestigious IEEE/Springer conferences and journals. He is an Editorial Board Member of several scientific conferences and journals.

Kai Martius
Secunet

Dr. Kai Martius headed secunet's High Security / Public Sector division from 2007 to 2015. Previously, he had been responsible for various consulting and product development topics since 1999, the year of his doctorate in electrical engineering at the TU Dresden. Since 2015, Dr. Kai Martius has been CTO of secunet's extended management board. He was appointed to the Executive Board in June 2019. He is responsible for technology/development, product management and certification. Dr. Martius is one of SINA's architects and also has extensive experience in the design, implementation and use of security products for public authorities.

Fabian Bahr

Mr. Fabian Bahr has been heading G+D’s government affairs since 2009, being responsible for public policy and regulatory affairs at national and international level. Mr Bahr has been dealing with regulatory challenges for industry for a long, working for industry in Brussels and Berlin, with a particular focus on trade in emerging markets. He’s chairing several committees in national and international trade associations. Fabian Bahr is trained in political science, and an E.N.A. graduate (Paris, Strasbourg / France).

Odeta Barbullushi
Advisor to the Albanian Prime Minister on EU integration and Regional Cooperation

Ms. Odeta Barbullushi is an Albanian foreign policy expert, academician and former diplomat, who served as Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Chief of Cabinet to the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs from 2015 to 2019. She currently holds the position of Advisor to the Albanian Prime Minister on EU integration and Regional Cooperation

In her current position, Dr Barbullushi is Sherpa of the Prime Minister, responsible for the preparation of EU-Western Balkans summits and high level meetings; she also acts as National Coordinator for the Regional Economic Area (REA) and Berlin process, launched in 2014. She is responsible for the preparation of government-to-government meetings (G2G) with neighboring countries.

During her mandate as Deputy Foreign Minister, Barbullushi was responsible for Albania’s relations with neighboring countries and regional initiatives, as well as OSCE. She directed the working group for the preparation of the Law on the Protection of National Minorities in the Republic of Albania (voted in Parliament in October 2017). From September 2016 to April 2017, Barbullushi was chief negotiator of talks with Greece on unresolved bilateral issues.

As chief of cabinet of the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, Barbullushi oversaw the policy agenda of the MEFA and led preparations for the opening of the negotiations of Albania with the EU. In addition, she acted as chief advisor to the MEFA on Albania’s bilateral relations with the EU member states, and on security issues.

Dr Barbullushi obtained her PhD in Russian and East European Studies from the University of Birmingham, United Kingdom. Her work focuses on statehood issues and state-formation processes in Southeast Europe. She has an MA in Contemporary European Studies from the University of Sussex, and an MA in International Relations and European Studies from Central European University, Budapest.  She acted as Head of Department of Political Science and International Relations (2009-2011) and Deputy Rector for Research and Methodology (2012-2014) at the European University of Tirana.

Dr Barbullushi has extensive experience in inter-state and inter-institutional negotiations as well as in-depth knowledge of the politics, societies and institutions of the Western Balkans. In addition, she has good understanding of the EU institutions and EU member states’ politics and foreign policies.

Vilma Tomço
Director General at National Authority on Electronic Certification and Cyber Security, Albania

Ms. Vilma Tomço completed her studies at the Faculty of Natural Sciences of the University of Tirana during 1984-89. She holds the "Doctor" degree in information systems with the topic "Assessment and implementation of e-Governance in developing countries. Albania Case: Model of Public Services for Citizens". With a 24 years of experience in in the telecommunications sector, holding several positions in designing and developing projects at Department of Development and IT, specializing in leading and implementing projects on internet implementation in the country; in the IT sector; and since 2000 until 2010 as Director of IT department, further as Director of Systems for Albtelecom and Eaglemobile companies. From 2013 to 2017 she has been Director of the European ICT Agenda Department, recalled after Innovation and Good Governance, at Prime Minister's Office contributing to the development of digital and innovation policies, public administration reform, realization of digitalization objectives of the country and improvement of public services for citizens. From 2017 on, she is director general of NAECCS that supervise the law on Cyber Security and government policies on cyber security and trusted services. Since 1998 she is a part-time lecturer at the Faculty of Economics and at several non-public universities.

Simon Uzunov
Energy Community, Deputy Head of Unit

Mr. Simon Uzunovborn in 1957 in Skopje, North Macedonia. Electricity Engineer, graduated at FEIT - Cyril and Methodius University in Skopje. Macedonian nationality (North Macedonia), married, four children. Currently living in Vienna. Since 2007 until today, employed as Electricity Expert and Deputy Head of the Electricity Unit, in the Energy Community Secretariat in Vienna. Engaged on supporting the Energy Community Parties in their efforts to bring their energy legislation and regulatory environment in compliance with the EU acquis on energy and to establish competitive electricity markets, develop policies for building environmentally and climate - friendly energy infrastructures and upgrading the security and sustainability of electricity supplies. Apart from assessment of specific legal and regulatory acts and assistance in drafting, activities include participation in reviews and progress reports on implementation, in capacity building and coordination events, and in establishment of mechanisms for regional cooperation in the electricity sector. In addition to electricity policies, energy security and market liberalization, since 2018 the professional interest extends in the domain of cybersecurity – on building the cybersecurity dimension of the Energy Community and establishment of specific energy-related cybersecurity environment in the Contracting Parties (Western Balkan and Eastern Partnership countries). Between 2000 and 2007 worked in the Ministry of Economy of North Macedonia on implementation of electricity market reforms – on the legislative and regulatory framework, unbundling of network operators, privatization projects and international cooperation. Involved in the establishment of the Energy Community and in representing the Country in the PHLG activities. In the previous three years, main professional interests included planning and maintenance of the national Public Investment Program in the energy sector. Between 1987 and 1997, the professional engagements were in the IT and telecommunications domain - development of software for real-time processes and applications for both state-level and custom designed telex and telephony exchanges.

Timo Bakker
Director Public Safety & Defense – Europe Region NOKIA Nederland b.v., Hoofddorp, The Netherlands

Mr. Timo Bakker has spent his entire career in the communications industry within Alcatel, Alcatel-Lucent and Nokia. He is member of the AFCEA, TCCA and PSCE. Has initiated and supported multiple large scale transformation government projects.

Denis Benoit
Senior Economist at the European Investment Bank (EIB)

Mr. Denis Benoit is a Senior Economist at the European Investment Bank (EIB) Projects Directorate where he performs the economic and financial due diligence of Digital Economy transactions.

Benoit conducts debt, quasi-equity and equity transactions with corporates, public entities and funds. He covers sectors including telecom networks (international connectivity, backbones, access), datacenters, eID, cybersecurity, eCommerce, digital transformation, semi-conductors manufacturing, Fintech and High-Tec manufacturing. He also performs the early screening of investments and advises promoters on the preparation and implementation of their projects.

Prior to joining the EIB, Benoit was a Manager with a leading management consulting firm where he advised TMT clients on defining commercial and strategic plans, raising capital or their optimizing operations. Benoit also spent several years working in Strategic Planning for a tier-1 global telecom operator. Benoit holds a Bachelor in Business Administration from the American Business School of Paris and a Master in Science from the International Space University, Strasbourg.

Wolfgang Kopf
SVP Group Public and regulatory affairs Deutsche Telekom AG

Mr. Wolfgang Kopf is Senior Vice President for Group Public and Regulatory Affairs at Deutsche Telekom AG (DT), reporting to the CEO. He is also responsible for Competition Law, Media and Spectrum Policy. Wolfgang joined DT in 1995 where he started in international business development and M&A. Prior to taking over his current position in 2007, he held various senior positions at DT headquarters as well as in T-Mobile. He was responsible for market entry projects in various European countries, the regulatory part of DT’s US-market entry and the sale of DT`s cable networks. In his current role he has been instrumental for a variety of successful projects at DT Group like managing spectrum auctions, DT’s broadband vectoring strategy and the regulatory strategy for T-Mobile’s Sprint Merger.

Wolfgang studied Arts and Law at the Universities of Mainz, Speyer and London specializing in European and International Law. Prior to DT he worked for an international Law Firm and the European Commission. Wolfgang Kopf is a Member of the Supervisory Board of Telekom Deutschland GmbH, the ZDF (second public TV channel) Television Council and the Board of Trustees of the International Charlemagne Prize of Aachen. He is also the Co-editor of two German law journals.

Tim Brauckmüller
Managing Director at atene KOM

Mr. Tim Brauckmüller studied social management and specialized as a social economist with a focus on personnel and organizational development and networking in rural areas. The trained administrative clerk and graduate social economist later founded his own company in the core area of knowledge management and, in addition to various projects, expanded the area of broadband competence in the district of Osterholz and later for the Federal State of Lower Saxony.

In his function as a consultant for the Lower Saxony Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection, he was responsible for coordinating the subordinate authorities in the field of broadband, in this context advising municipalities and districts in the role of funder, as well as for coordinating networks with telecommunications companies and the energy industry.

Today, Tim Brauckmüller is the managing director of atene KOM GmbH, member of the board of directors of the Initiative D21 e.V. and first chairman of the European Institute for Innovation e.V. (development of innovative teaching and learning methods for the promotion of innovations). As a renowned expert for broadband development, Tim Brauckmüller is project manager for the “Broadband Europe” portal that is implemented on behalf of the European Commission as well as the German federal funding programme for broadband development, which was initiated by the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure in 2015.

Ersida Docaj
Senior Banker, EBRD

Ms. Ersida Docaj is a Senior Banker with the EBRD in the Information Communications Technologies Team who works with technology and telecommunication companies in emerging markets. After spending nearly a decade working as a buy-side investor Ersida has accumulated an impressive experience in equity and structured equity investments, junior & mezzanine instruments, LBO, project financing and senior debt financing with focus on CEE, SEE, Turkey and Egypt.

Ersida has lead some of the largest transactions in the technology and telecommunication space including Allegro in Poland, United Group in SEE, Turk Telekom in Turkey and other sizable transactions related to fintech, e-commerce, classifieds, SaaS, automation, communications platform as a Service etc.

In addition to her extensive investment experience, Ersida has a special interest in digital connectivity and digital transformation related to both the private and public sectors and oversees EBRD’s efforts around these topics in the Western Balkans. Ersida Docaj holds a Masters Degree from the University of Oxford – Said Business School.

Arijana Nikolić

Mrs. Arijana Nikolić – Vučinić was born on July 4, 1975 in Podgorica. She graduated at the Faculty of Economics in Podgorica, where she also completed her Postgraduate studies in 2007, and defended her Master’ s thesis entitled:” Creating a Free Trade Zone in Southeast Europe”. She completed a number of specializations in the field of economics.
She starts her professional career at the High School of Electrical Engineering, as a lecturer in Economics and Business Organization (2001). In the same year, she takes over the position of an Adisor for Economic Affairs at the Post Office of Montenegro, and remains in that position until 2004. She continues her career in the Ministry of International Economic Cooperation and European Integration, as an Advisor, in the Department for Cooperation with International Economic Organizations. In December 2006, she transfers to the Ministry of Economy, at the position of Sector Coordinator for Multilateral and Regional Trade Cooperation and Economic Foreign Relations.
From January 2013 to April 2015, she holds the position of the Director General of the Directorate of Labour Market and Employment in the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare and then she starts her work engagement in the Ministry of Education as the Director General of the Directorate for Preschool, Primary and Inclusive Education.

Archilleas Kanaris
CEO, Vodafone Albania

Mr. Achilleas Kanaris is the CEO of Vodafone Albania since January 2018. He is a senior professional with significant commercial expertise in consumer sales (retail, online telesales), consumer marketing and business strategy within the telecoms and technology retail industries. Mr. Achilleas Kanaris joined Vodafone for the first time in 2009 as Retail Trade & Channel Development senior manager in Vodafone Greece. In 2014, Mr. Kanaris was appointed Consumer Business Unit Director where he has successfully positioned Vodafone as a fully converged operator in the Greek market and achieved consumer NPS leadership across consumer segments. Mr. Kanaris holds Degree in Engineering from University of Sussex, Master’s in Engineering from Imperial College London and Master’s in Business Administration from MIT Sloan School of Management.

Alborita Mehana

Ms. Alborita Mehana is a Project Coordinator at MASTER WiZR, based in Norway, a platform that provides the place to organize, present, share and collaborate. She was part of Open Data Kosovo* as a Software Developer / Mentor taught young people how to prepare for the digitalized future. She has also worked in Girls Coding Kosova*, a local NGO promoting STEM for girls.

Before joining Girls Coding Kosova*, Ms. Mehana graduated from the World Bank-financed Women Online Work (WoW) pilot, and soon after she was involved as Project Manager in CodersTrust Company based in Denmark.

 She has been involved in various engineering projects for the past four years. Alborita graduated from the University of Business and Technology in Kosovo* with a specialization in Computer Science and Engineering.

Fjolla Restelica Ahmeti
Head of the Project Implementation Unit (PIU), KODE Project, Ministry of Economy and Environment of Kosovo*

Ms. Fjolla Restelica Ahmeti leads the Kosovo* Digital Economy (KODE) Project, financed by the International Development Association and implemented by the Ministry of Economy and Environment of Kosovo*.

She coordinates all key activities under the Project, with a particular focus on the Digital Inclusion component.

Ms. Restelica Ahmeti, a telecom engineer by training has more than 9 years of technical and policy experience in the telecommunications industry.

Prior to her current position, she had worked for the Ministry as a Senior Officer for electronic infrastructure designing and implementing telecommunications sector policies and programs. She started her career in a private telecom firm -3CIS- as a network engineer providing remote telecommunications network consultancy and integration services for different international vendors.

Mark Vasic
Deutsche Telekom

Mr. Mark Vasic, born 1974, is Head of International Regulatory Affairs at Deutsche Telekom AG since September 2014. After being recruited, in 2001, he has worked for Deutsche Telekom in various management functions. In his current role, he is responsible for regulatory and public affairs in CEE and SEE countries. Mark Vasic is Co-Founder of the “Digital WB6+ Initiative” and different multi-stakeholder initiatives on digitization related topics.

Before his positions at Deutsche Telekom, he worked for the Lower Saxony Minister of Economic Affairs, the Protestant Church, and a political foundation. The graduate political scientist researched about political developments of the Western Balkans and founded an IT startup.

Vasko Kronevski
Chief Executive Officer at Nextsense

Mr. Vasko Kronevski, has a B.Sc. Degree in Information Technology, has been developing his expertise in digital transformation and ICT business since 1996. He has been General Manager at several different software development companies, and he is CEO and co-founder of Nextsense. Vasko is responsible for shaping the vision, strategy and directly involved in the digital transformation products strategy.

Vasko’s carrier development encounters more than 25 years of professional experience in driving digital transformation processes for prominent enterprises in telecom and finance industry, as well as governmental institutions across Europe and wider. His expertise in envisioning complex ICT solutions for public or government institutions and agencies, has placed Nextsense as a leading company for e-Parliament and e-Government solutions worldwide. Being at the forefront of technology and innovation, he has been engaged as an expert in a number of EU projects for digital transformation, including implementation of eID and online service delivery platforms. Vasko’s strategic vision and vast experience in driving solutions with digital signing components, combined with his commitment to guide companies through digital transformation process, positioned him as an expert for secure, trusted and fully compliant digital signing solutions.

His vision and dedication to technology driven services has brought Nextsense many international awards, among which Microsoft Partner of the Year. Under his strategic leadership, Nextsense has become a recognizable partner of trust in the SEE region and wider, a company with vision and know-how in generating value for growth for its clients.

Under his leadership Nextsense introduced Digital Signing Suite of products and services and established a distribution and partners network to support the growth and access to new markets.

As a strategist, strong analyst and mediator, Vasko has been a member (past and present) in many distinguished professional bodies: World Information Technology and Service Alliance: Member of Board of WITSA; WITSAGlobal IT Excellence Award 2006 Committee Member; MASIT – Macedonian ICT Chamber of Commerce, Chairman of the Assembly, President of the Board; Vice President; Steering Committee Coordinator; South East Europe ICT Forum, Private sector board – member of the Board; Member of EBA-European Business Association; EE e-Democracy Conference – Chairman of the organizing board, Board of Directors member of Macedonia2025.

Dritan Gucaj
Security Department Manager of OTP Bank Albania

Mr. Dritan Gucaj is the Security Department Manager of OTP Bank Albania. He is currently the Chairman of Information Security Committee for Albanian Association of Banks. He is a security professional with over 15 years of experience in IT field. For the last 8 years he has managed Information Security units for payment and financial institutions in Albania. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Systems from Madonna University in Michigan, a Master in Management of Information Systems from Harvard University and well as professional security certifications such as CISSP and CISA.

Mr. Omer Kuyucu
Chief Commercial Officer at ALBtelecom

Mr. Omer Kuyucu has graduated from Rochester University in Optics and Mechanical Engineering in 1995. He also holds a Management Certificate in Marketing.
With a remarkably rich and diverse career path, Mr. Omer Kuyucu counts his main contribution in telco industry, where he has taken different managerial positions in companies such as: Nortel Networks, Cisco Systems, Oksijen Teknoloji and Vodafone.
Mr.Kuyucu has a long professional experience and a wide expertise in Sales Management, Business Development, Product Management, Purchasing, Strategic Planning, Leadership, Matrix Management, Retail and Online Experience etc.
Since October 2015, Mr. Kuyucu has been contributing as Chief Commercial Officer at ALBtelecom.
He is the father of two daughters.

Pranvera Kastrati
Senior Expert on Economic and Digital Connectivity in Regional Cooperation Council

Ms. Pranvera Kastrati, before joining RCC, she had a vast experience in public policy coordination and implementation in Albania.
She held senior position in the Ministry of Economic Development, Tourism, Trade and Entrepreneurship and contributed to several reforms to improve business environment from 1996-2017.
She joined Regional Cooperation Council in November 2017 and her core focus of expertise relates to the work pertaining to coordination, monitoring and reporting for the implementation of the Multiannual Action Plan for a Regional Economic Area (MAP REA), contributing also in towards the management and overall implementation of MAP REA in the areas of RCC responsibility. In the area of digital integration her core responsibilities relate to design, implementation, coordination and monitoring of RCC’s interventions in area of digital integration, as well as overseeing of the implementation of the operational and implementation plans for the Digital Agenda for Western Balkan.

Mila Carovska
Minister of Science and Education, North Macedonia

Mrs. Mila Carovska was appointed Minister of Education and Science on August 30th, 2020. In the past 8 months she was appointed Deputy President of the Government in charge of economic affairs and coordination of economic sectors on January 4th 2020. Previously, in the period June 1st 2017 - January 3rd 2020, she served as Minister of Labour and Social Policy.
In her professional career she gained experience in the field of social work, including facilitation of drama workshops with children housed in institutions, facilitation of educational workshops, SOS operator and supervisor on consultations for drug users and their families, as well as, a collaborator of drug treatment institutions, social worker in the field, a pre/ post test for HIV/AIDS-advisor and a field researcher.Carovska graduated at the Faculty of Philosophy at the "St. Cyril and Methodius" University in Skopje, at the Institute for Social Work and Social Policy.Mila Carovska - Minister of Labor and Social Policy of the Government of the Republic of Macedonia
Mila Carovska was a Special Advisor in the Cabinet of the Minister of Labor and Social Policy, Frosina Remenski.
As a proven professional in her field of activity, Carovska upgraded her professional career and higher education through the years, on numerous work positions and experiences that involve direct communication with socially vulnerable and threatened categories of citizens. Her managerial participation in dozens of projects in the spheres of social policy encompasses different categories of citizens such as Roma, youth, addicts and covers topics such as domestic violence, sexual rights, education of vulnerable groups, etc.
Due to her rich work experience, Carovska is engaged in twelve domestic and international organizations as an expert in her field.
Being dedicated to social work, Carovska has obtained more than 24 Certificates from domestic and international institutions, as proof of her commitment and dedication to the issues from the social sphere.
Carovska was born in 1984.

Etjen Xhafaj
Deputy Minister- Ministry of Infrastructure and Energy, Albania

Mr. Etjen Xhafaj has completed his high school at Southwestern Academy, CA, USA. He graduated with a Bachelor Degree in International Relations and Diplomacy from Schiller International University, Paris Campus, France, after having studied for two years in Philadelphia, PA, at the Community College of Philadelphia. Xhafaj has completed a Mid-Career Master’s degree in Public Administration at the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.
He started his career as a Program Associate and then Program Officer with the Financial Services Volunteer Corps, a USAID funded project. From 2013, Etjen worked with the Albanian Ministry of Economic Development, Trade and Entrepreneurship, as advisor (Sep. 2013) and then as Chief of Staff .While pursuing his Master’s degree, he worked as a research fellow at the Center for International Development, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. Upon completion of the program Etjen Xhafaj returned to Albania, to work as the Chief of Staff to the Ministry of Finance, until June 2017. Mr. Xhafaj, as a Deputy Minister of Ministry of Infrastructure and Energy, covers the issues of Digital Connectivity Agenda.
Over the years he has been involved in several studies and research projects, working with different institutes and organizations such as NDI, Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, Olof Palme Foundation and has translated several texts, studies and research material from the UN, World Bank, the Institute on Media Research, Agenda Institute and others.

Linda Shomo
Founder & CEO EasyPay

ms. Linda Shomo is the CEO and founder of EasyPay. Linda has a proven executive record and over 27 years of experience in IT Leadership, 20 of which in the financial sector. Prior to EasyPay, Linda held IT management roles in various financial institutions in Albania.
She brought up the idea of EasyPay and as a result founded the company in 2010 and is one of the few women founders and CEOs in the Balkans’ FinTech Sector. Some of Linda’s awards leading role in the digital financial revolution include ‘Woman of the year in ICT, 2014’ awarded by the ICT Awards, ‘Women in FinTech Powerlist 2017’ selected by Innovate Finance, one of the Top 3 Women in the Money Transfer Industry 2018 selected by IMTC, “EY Entrepreneurial Winning Women”, shortlisted in the top 4 for the Fintech/Payments Leader Award by the European Women Payments Network 2019; Apart from running EasyPay, Linda is a board member of the Albanian IT Association and Albanian Consulting Network. Linda is also Vice Chair of the Digital Business Committee at the American Chamber of Commerce in Albania.

Robert Opp
Chief Digital Officer of UNDP

Mr. Robert Opp is currently the Chief Digital Officer of UNDP, the United Nations’ global sustainable development organization working across 170 countries globally with more than 17,000 staff. He leads the agency’s digital transformation, an organization-wide effort, to harness the power of new technology to improve the lives of those furthest behind.

Prior to this role, Robert served as Director of the Innovation and Change Management Division within the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) where he established an in-house ‘Zero Hunger’ innovation accelerator and created an award-winning crowdfunding smartphone app, ShareTheMeal which has raised over US$40 million for hunger programmes.
Previously, Robert was a management consultant with The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) based in Singapore where he served a wide range of private sector companies throughout Asia and the Middle East. He has also served in various other capacities in the UN, including Manager of emergency food aid assistance programmes in Angola within a $260 million operation that reached over 1 million internally displaced persons affected by civil war. Robert began his career at Canada’s International Development Research Centre managing projects focused on peacebuilding in post-conflict countries.

Robert holds an M.A. in International Affairs from the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs at Carleton University and a B.A. in History from the University of Alberta, as well as a Diploma in Humanitarian Assistance from the Université de Genève.

Doreen Bogdan-Martin
Director of Telecommunication Development Bureau, ITU

Ms. Doreen Bogdan-Martin holds a Master's degree in International Communications Policy from American University in Washington, DC, post-graduate certification in Strategies for Leadership from the Institute for Management Development in Lausanne, Switzerland, and is certified in Accountability and Ethics by the United Nations Leaders Programme.

Ms. Bogdan-Martin was elected Director of the ITU Telecommunication Development Bureau on the 1st of November 2018. She took office on the 1st of January 2019. She is a strategic leader with 30 years' high-level experience in international and inter-governmental relations and a long history of success in policy and strategy development, analysis and execution.
Prior to her election, Ms Bogdan-Martin oversaw the organization's Membership, Corporate Communications, External Affairs and UN Liaison teams, and was instrumental in establishing the Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development, on which she continues to serve as Executive Director. Prior to joining ITU, Ms Bogdan-Martin was a Telecommunications Policy Specialist in the National Telecommunication and Information Administration (NTIA), US Department of Commerce.
She is an affiliate of the Harvard University Berkman-Klein Center for Internet and Society, and a Generation Unlimited Champion. She serves on a number of advisory bodies, including the Geneva-Tsinghua Initiative, the SDG Lab Advisory Board, and the UN Technology Innovation Labs. She is also an amateur radio operator

Rok Kvaternik
CEO Ernst Klett Publishers, Region Eastern Europe & Baltics

Mr. Rok Kvaternik published his first textbook – in 1988 at the age of 17. Three years later, in 1991, he founded a start-up publishing house which evolved into the biggest textbook publishing house in Slovenia. More than a decade later, his team joined Ernst Klett Verlag, the biggest German Textbook Publisher based in Stuttgart, which is today also the biggest European Textbook Publisher. Klett EE & Baltics currently includes companies spanning from Poznan, Poland, to Athens, Greece. It employs more than 500 people and delivers textbooks in all forms of media for public and private education.
Rok has thus more than 25 years of experience in publishing (including cookbooks). In 2004, his passion to tackle the markets of former Yugoslavia kicked off Klett’s expansion in the Balkans. The company founded subsidiaries in Belgrade, Zagreb and Sarajevo. Today, the group resonates with eight offices and as market leaders in Slovenia, Serbia, Bulgaria and soon, hopefully, Croatia too.

With his innovation and entrepreneurial skills, Rok proves that traditional printed educational publishing can evolve into completely digital or blended products, which serve the needs of the modern teacher. Klett received the Gold Award for the Best Digital Product at the Frankfurt Book Fair in 2014 and is continuing the digital evolution in most of the countries where it is present.

In his private life, Rok Kvaternik is a passionate traveller and admirer of exotic cultures, an art lover (an expert on Plečnik’s architecture), a violinist, a blogger on restaurants, an amateur photographer, a PADI diver- He has two sons and lives between Belgrade, Lufthansa/Air Serbia, Ljubljana and Istria.

Ms Daniela Gašparíková
UNDP Resident Representative in Montenegro

Ms. Daniela Gašparíková was appointed as UNDP Resident Representative for Montenegro in April 2019. She was previously serving as Deputy Resident Representative at UNDP Mongolia (2016- 2019). She also served as RBM, Monitoring and Evaluation Team Leader in UNDP Bangkok Regional Hub (2011-2016) and led UNDP Country Programs’ implementation in five Central European Countries out of UNDP Regional Centre in Bratislava, Slovakia (2005-2010). Before joining UNDP, she worked with the textile services business association in Brussels (2001-2002) and for the Slovak Government (1999-2000). Daniela holds a Postgraduate Diploma in International Relations and Master’s degree in Modern Linguistics, both from Comenius University in Slovakia.

Arta Shehu Zaimi
co-Founder of jCoders Academy and Labbox, Kosovo*

Ms. Arta Shehu Zaimi is the co-Founder of jCoders Academy and Labbox, and with extensive experience in programming and electronics. She pionerred in offering hands on experience to young generations by founding jCoders in 2015. Arta has more than 9 years of experience developing complex systems for bank and enterprise use, and more than 4 years of experience in the field of education. Her work is very well focused in inspiring the culture of innovation and boosting the potential of youngsters by creating learning environments where they can learn, take risks and express themselves. She was presenting the work of Labbox, when won the Golden Medal in the Startup games held in the Western Ballkans Summit in London in 2018 and has numerous honors of success during her working career, one of which is ‘The Most Innovative Employee’ Award from Raiffeisen Bank.

Arta is deeply engaged into the topic of education, as she strongly believes that the quality of our education is a critical aspect in individual and collective success of our generations.

Vesna Crnojević Bengin
co-founder of the BioSense Institute, Serbia

Prof. Vesna Crnojević Bengin is the co-founder of the BioSense Institute – Research and Development Institute for Information Technologies in Biosystems, which focuses on multidisciplinary, game-changing and needs-driven research of advanced ICT technologies and its applications in biosystems, primarily agriculture. She is the coordinator of H2020 project ANTARES, ranked as the first in the most prestigiouc H2020 call Teaming which aims to evolve BioSense Institute into a market-oriented Euroepan Centre of research excellence.

Prof. Bengin is the assistant director for research at BioSense Institute and a full professor at the Department for Physics, University of Novi Sad. She has obtained her PhD in 2006 at the University of Novi Sad in the field of microelectronics, and has lead or participated in 8 FP7, 5 Horizon and many other research projects, authored more than 90 scientific papers and published two books with world-renowned publishers.

She has served as the associate Editor of the International Journal of Electronics, reviewer for leading international scientific journals, and a member of many international bodies such as the General Assembly of the European Microwave Association, and the Implementation Board of the Group on Earth Observations.

Prof. Bengin is the recipient of a number of national and international awards including the special award granted by the European Commission at ‘’Marie Curie Actions for an Innovative Europe: Excellence, mobility and skills for researchers’’.

Elvin Guri
Main shareholder of One Telecommunication sh.a.

Mr. Elvin Guri is an investor and entrepreneur with a successful track record in financial services and is presently the founder and CEO of River Styxx Capital, an investment and advisory firm. With a BA cum laude in Applied Economics and History from the American University in Bulgaria (AUBG), he started his career as Auditor at Price Waterhouse in Sofia. Starting from October 1996, he spent more than five years with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), both in London and in Sofia, where he assisted in setting up EBRD´s SME programme in Bulgaria and lending more than EUR 40 million to Bulgarian SMEs.
In 2001, Mr. Guri, together with Ivan Hristanov, co-founded JetFinance International, the largest independent consumer finance lender in SEE, having lent more than 1.5 million loans for around EUR 500 million. Post JetFinance, as an advisor and investor he has been involved in deals in the financial institutions sector (Czech Republic, Ukraine, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Albania, Macedonia), in technology and biotechnology venture funds (Switzerland, Bulgaria), and real estate (USA). He is also an Investment Committee member at LAUNCHub, a seed and accelerator fund established by the JEREMIE programme.
Additionally, Mr. Guri actively supports several educational initiatives in Bulgaria and Albania, including AUBG, Teach for Bulgaria (“Zaedno v Chas”), Junior Achievement and American Research Center Sofia.

Dušan Polović
Director General, Directorate for Electronic Government and Information Security, Ministry of Public Administration, Montenegro

Mr. Dušan Polović was born in 1975, in Podgorica.  He obtained a bachelor’s degree in applied accounting at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering in Podgorica in 2005, where he completed the Study of Applied Computing. At the same faculty in 2012, he completed postgraduate specialist studies. He is currently pursuing a postgraduate master's degree in cyber security.

He started his professional career as a software engineer. From 2003 to 2009 he worked in several software companies on the development of application solutions. He started working in the public administration in the Ministry of Justice in 2009 as a IT specialist, where he worked as the head of the ICT and data security service since 2012, as well as the head of the ICT and data security service from 2013 to 2016. He continued his career in the Agency for the Prevention of Corruption, as the head of the Department of Information Technology, from February 1, 2016. In May 2019, he took over the position of Director General of the Directorate for Electronic Administration and Information Security.

He has participated in numerous international conferences and attended trainings in the field of cyber security, personal data protection, information security, e-government, Open Data, and other topics related to information systems. He is a member of numerous Government interdepartmental teams and working groups in the field of information security, electronic administration, and informatization of the judiciary.

Dritan Mezini
CEO and founder of Duapune.com

Mr. Dritan Mezini is the founder and CEO of DM Consulting Services in Albania and Kosovo*. Ms. Mezini graduated from the University of Tirana in Information Technology and Computer Science. He also holds two Master's degrees - in Business Administration with a focus on Information Systems Management from the University of Western Illinois at Macomb, IL, USA and on Project Management from the Keller Graduate School of Management, DeVry University of Chicago, IL,USA.

With an over 20 years experience, Mr. Mezini brings exceptional expertise in the field of IT Management, Project Management, Communication, HR and Process Analysis in Business. He is an expert involved in various complex global industries and multimillion-dollar business initiatives.

Dritan Mezini is an active member of a large number of professional associations. He also holds the position of Chairman of the Board of the Albanian Information Technology Association (AITA), Head of the Human Resources Committee at the American Chamber of Commerce in Albania (AmCham) and Chairman of the Albanian Fulbright Alumni Association (AFAA).

Slobodan Marković
Digital transformation expert, UNDP Accelerator Lab in Serbia

Mr. Slobodan Marković works as Technical Advisor – Digital Governance in the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Serbia. For 20 years, he has been actively involved in advocating and formulating ICT policies in Serbia. Prior to engagement in UNDP, he worked in the Serbian National Internet Domains Registry (RNIDS) as Advisor for ICT Policy and Internet Community Relations. Between 2014 and 2017, he was a member of the Multistakeholder Advisory Group (MAG), which advises the UN Secretary-General on the Internet Governance Forum (IGF). In the period from 2008 to 2012, he worked in Serbian Ministry of Telecommunications and Information Society, where he advised the Minister on telecommunications liberalization, e-government, and e-business policies. In 2010, he received the “e-Commerce AWARD” for a decade-long contribution to the development of e-business in Serbia.

Lejla Sadiku
Programme innovation specialist, UNDP Regional Bureau for Europe and Central Asia

Ms. Lejla Sadiku holds a master’s degree in public policy from the Hertie School of Governance in Berlin, and has completed her bachelor studies at the American University in Bulgaria in political science and business administration. Ms. Sadiku currently works with UNDP’s Istanbul Regional Hub on open data in Europe and Central Asia. She has worked on use and re-use of open data to increase transparency and improve public services, leading initiatives which aim to bring citizens, including youth, closer to their decision-makers through the use of technology, and engaging young people as agents of change through collaborative design methods.

Prior to UNDP, she has worked with Norwegian development assistance and political affairs, and the World Bank in the area of human development. She has diverse research interests, having published research on the role of civil society in the fight against corruption, implementation of the freedom of information legislation, international efforts in state-building contexts, the state of LGBT rights in Kosovo*, and the importance of women’s empowerment for Kosovo’s* development.

Vladimir Vulic
ReSPA senior eGovernment expert and Co-founder of Digitalizuj.ME

Mr. Vladimir Vulic is a digital transformation strategist. He is a co-founder of Digitalizuj.Me, a non-governmental organization helping citizens and organisations in Montenegro to understand and realize exciting new opportunities for social change and business in the digital environment.

He is the Program Director of Spark.me, one of the most carefully curated tech/business conferences in Southeast Europe. The conference has been organised annually in Montenegro since 2013, by Domain.ME, a private company in charge of operating Montenegro’s national internet domain - .ME.

He has 12 years of experience teaching Strategic Management at the Faculty of Economics Podgorica, University of Montenegro, the leading economics and management education institution in Montenegro

Christoph Ungerer
World Bank Washington

Mr. Christoph Ungerer is a World Bank Economist currently leading key lending and advisory projects to support economic policy in the Western Balkans. He is country economist for the World Bank’s Albania program.

Previously, Christoph worked for the World Bank on fiscal reform in China and Ukraine as well as on financial inclusion in Madagascar and other African countries. Before joining the World Bank, he worked for the Federal Reserve Board on U.S. financial stability and for the European Commission on the Economic Adjustment Program for Greece.

Christoph was a Visiting Scholar at Harvard University. He holds a PhD in Economics from the LSE, and an MPhil in Economics from the University of Cambridge.

Milan Dobrijevic
Ministry of Trade, Tourism and Telecommunications, Serbia

Mr. Milan Dobrijevic was born in Belgrade in 1977. Graduated as Master of Science at Computer Science Department of Electrical Engineering Faculty of University of Belgrade.

From December 2012 to the present day he was Head of Department for Information Society and later Head of Department for Digital Agenda Development in Ministry of Trade, Tourism and Telecommunications, Government of Republic of Serbia. He helps deputy minister coordinate and manage all key information technology related projects in the Ministry. Milan also helps with development of innovative project ideas and promote wide scale digitalization of Serbian administration and society. He successfully managed many projects in the field of e-government, broadband networks, education ICT infrastructure, e-business and e-commerce etc. Milan also participated in different technology and electronic business related legislation preparation and has thorough experience in public administration reform processes.

From July 2012 he holds the position Chairman of the Board of Academic Network of Republic of Serbia – institution that provides information and communication infrastructure for more than 2.000 institutions of education, science and culture in Serbia including practically all government owned schools and faculties.

Before, from June 2011 to December 2012 he was Assistant Director for Information Technologies in Central Registry of Compulsory Social Insurance and project manager on one of the largest IT public administration projects in Serbia that resulted with establishment of Central registry.

Nadica Dujovic
Communications strategist

Ms. Nadica Dujovic, is a Communications strategist with a wealth of experience gained mainly in the Montenegro/Western Balkans conflict and post-conflict contexts (EU-funded projects and programmes, United Nations Development Programme and other UN agencies, USAID's Community Revitalization through Democratic Action program, International Committee of the Red Cross), as well as in the United States, and Europe & CIS including Kyrgyzstan. UNDP/BCPR SURGE Advisor on security awareness for undertaking operations in remote regions, and one of the founders of the South East Europe Public Sector Communication Association (SEECOM).

Goran Pastrovic
Programme Manager at ReSPA

Mr. Goran Pastrovic is currently holding the position of Programme Manager at ReSPA (Regional School of Public Administration). Namely since 2011 he has been intensively involved in managing all the regional activities in the field of e-Government and Quality Management in the Western Balkan countries. His work also focused on e-Government initiatives e.g. one stop shop e-services, e-Participation, Open Data, and OGP (Open Government Partnership). He has been involved in designing and acted as coordinator of ReSPA Seasonal School on Rapid Innovation Lab in 2020, led ReSPA COVID-19 collaborative platform in the WB as well as on behalf of ReSPA team contributed to design of ReSPA – SIGMA OECD PA Awards in the Western Balkans (2020).

Dajna Sorensen
Deputy Minister of Finance and Economy

Mrs. Sorensen holds a Master's degree in Economics from the University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada. She completed her higher studies in Economics at the University of Western Washington in the United States of America. Between 2009 and 2017 she has managed a lot of projects/programs in the field of employment, vocational education and training at the United Nations Development Program (UNDP). She worked at the German Development Cooperation Office (GIZ) in Dhaka, Bangladesh, as an international consultant in the framework of the Program "Promotion of Social Standards, Environment and Production in the Textile Industry" (PROGRES) from 2007 to 2009. Mrs. Sorensen has also been a lecturer within the Department of Economics, at New York University in Tirana (2004-2006). Currently she was nominated by the Ministry of Finance and Economy, in charge in the field of employment and vocational education.

Ivana Šarić
Head of Department for e-Government, Council of Ministers - Secretariat General

Ms. Ivana Šarić Department for e-Government is responsible for development, implementation and maintenance of private Cloud platform of Council of Ministers of B&H. Currently we are providing 36 services for 58 institution of BiH. As service provider for Government institutions in B&H, we are working in close cooperation with Ministry of security and Ministry of communication and transport of B&H in field of cybersecurity. Together with them and other relevant institutions in 2019 (with help of OSCE), we developed Guidelines for a strategic cybersecurity framework in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Regarding cybersecurity in B&H, we are at very beginning of development cybersecurity in B&H. We are still missing legal framework regarding cybersecurity and we are facing with problem of lack of educated people in field of cybersecurity that are working in government institutions. The main challenge is how to deal with cybersecurity treats in time of Pandemic. How to provide a secure environment for working from home and how to maintain business continuity with restricted resources. On the other hand, a big challenge for B&H is how to build secure and successful private-public partnership in field of cybersecurity in B&H.

Muhamet Brajshori
Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Diaspora, Kosovo*

Mr. Muhamet Brajshori is Deputy-Minister of Foreign Affairs and Diaspora, Kosovo*. A career diplomat having served previously as Ambassador to Thailand and ASEAN countries an having held different positions in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as Deputy-Director General and Advisor to Ministers of Foreign Affairs. Before joining the MFA he worked for World Bank, USAID and General Dynamics. He has gained his Master Degree in Political Science at the University of Siegen (Germany) and in History from the University of Uppsala (Sweden). He gained a post-graduate specialization in International Relations from the Staffordshire University (UK). He has spent research semesters at the University of Turku (Finland), Heidelberg (Germany) and Brugge (Belgium). He is fluent in English and German.

Tatjana Matić
State Secretary, Ministry of Trade, Tourism and Telecommunication, Serbia

Ms. Tatjana Matić was born in 1972 in Belgrade. She graduated from the Faculty of Philology, University of Belgrade, as the professor of Serbian Language and Literature. Since May 2014, she appointed as State Secretary of the Ministry of Trade, Tourism and Telecommunications. Since July of the same year, she was appointed as Head of the Working group for the final realization of the project “The transition from analogue to digital broadcasting of terrestrial TV signal”. Since March 2015 registered as a member of a Commission of the Republic of Serbia for the cooperation with United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization – UNESCO in the field of information technology and the information society. Since June 2015 appointed as the Head of the Working group for defining the national broadband network. Engaged in the Coordination Body for the EU Accession Process, Chapters 3 and 10, since September 2015, as president of the negotiating groups – Right of Establishment & Freedom to Provide Services and Information Society and Media. Since January 2016 a member of European Digital Single Market Strategic Group, and since March the coordinator of the Economic Reform Program – ERP 2016-2018. During 2012-2014, she served as State Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign and Internal Trade and Telecommunications. She was in charge of three chapters in Serbia EU integration process – Right of Establishment & Freedom to Provide Services, Competition Policy and Consumer & Health Protection. Performed duties of the President of the Security Product Council and was a member of the Managing Board of the Development Fund of the Republic of Serbia. Since April 2009, she was appointed as Project administrator- World bank project for delivery of improved local services. During 2007 – 2012 she was Secretary of the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy. In addition, also a member of the Joint Committee for preparation of the Strategic Coherence Framework and member of the Project Implementation Unit of the Action Plan for Implementation of State Administration Reform in the Republic of Serbia from 2009 to 2012. From 2005 to 2007, Served as Director of the Coordination Body for municipalities Preševo, Bujanovac and Medveđa, in charge of the management and work coordination of the service.

Jason Ivory
Deputy Head of Mission, British Embassy in Tirana

Mr. Jason Ivory has been Deputy Head of Mission (DHM) to Albania since June 2019.

The Deputy Head of Mission is a senior diplomat and typically a key advisor to the Ambassador or High Commissioner. The Deputy is responsible for the daily management of an overseas Embassy or High Commission. They will represent the UK’s interests in the absence of the Ambassador as Chargé d’Affaires. A senior ranking Deputy may also take the title Minister. Smaller missions may not have a Deputy Head.

Ulrich Nitschke
Member of the Managing Board, AteneKOM GmbH

Dr. Ulrich Nitschke obtained a PhD in International Management at the University of St. Gallen. He worked more than 20 years in several senior positions within the telecommunication industry. Dr. Nitschke was Vice President for national strategy and responsible for the funded infrastructure roll out in rural areas at Deutsche Telekom AG. Today, Dr. Nitschke is a member of the Managing Board at atene KOM GmbH, a project management company responsible among other projects for the “Broadband Europe” portal that is implemented on behalf of the European Commission as well as the German federal funding programme for broadband development, which was initiated by the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure in 2015.

Albana Shkurta
Managing Director for the branch of Lufthansa Industry Solutions, Albania

Ms. Albana Shkurta graduated 1992 from University of Tirana for Finance. She holds a dual Global Executive MBA diploma from University of Minnesota and Wirtschaftsuniversität Wien. Albana Shkurta started her professional career covering various marketing roles for the internationally renowned brand Red Bull. In 2010 she stepped into the position of General Manager at Albanian Distribution and Development the official distributor of many international brands, focusing on its strategic business development. In 2017 she became the Deputy Minister of Finance and Economy of Albania. From December 2019, she is appointed in the role of Managing Director for the branch of Lufthansa Industry Solutions in Albania. Since September 2020, she is a member of the advisory board of the fintech startup Rubicon sha. Her interests include digitalisation, mentoring and coaching, continuous learning.


Prof. Dr. Anila Paparisto
Biologist and professor of invertebrate zoology, University of Tirana, Albania

Prof. Dr. Anila Paparisto has about 25 years of experience in scientific research and projects in the field of Animal Biology and Education and teaching Biological Sciences. During her academic career Prof. Paparisto has been involved in national and international research and science projects in the field of entomology, systematic and biodiversity, invasive species, insects as bio-indicators of river pollution and biological education. Her scientific research results are published in national and international journals (see attached summarized scientific list of publications) Prof. Paparisto has actively contributed as part of the Higher Education Reforming Group and Scientific Research in the Republic of Albania. She is a member of the Albanian Accreditation Board and an expert on the European Union for Reform in Higher Education (HERE, Albania) Prof. Paparisto is a Member of the Albanian Academy of Sciences and Arts and of the Albanian Women's Network in Science. She won the L’Oréal-UNESCO prize For young Women in Science Prof. Paparisto has contributed to the determination of the environmental condition of the 10 main rivers in Albania based on the use macro-invertebrates of bio-indicators and on the compilation of the National List of Invasive Species in Albania. Prof. Paparisto has contributed to the drafting of the National Research, Development and Innovation Strategy in Albania.

* This designation is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with UNSCR 1244 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo declaration of independence