Maja Handjiska Trendafilova

ReSPA Director

Ms. Handjiska Trendafilova is the Director of ReSPA – the regional intergovernmental organization supporting public administration reforms in Western Balkans (WB). Her professional career of two decades, drawing upon regional and international multilateral experience, has chiefly been dedicated to furthering the EU integration and regional cooperation processes in WB. Heading the Programme Department in RCC, she has earlier been coordinating the Regional Economic Area and Common Regional Market agendas, as endorsed by WB Prime Ministers. Steering intergovernmental regional platforms in numerous policy areas, she has significantly contributed to: deepening regional cooperation; substantial regional mutual learning, know-how and best practice exchange; enhanced institutional capacities, legislative and policy reforms, as well as a number of regional multilateral legal instruments, agreements, and protocols.

She has over a decade-long experience within the national administration, where she led the programming process for the use of EU and bilateral assistance and coordinated the EU-funded cross-border cooperation programmes; followed by a diplomatic service within the Mission to the EU in Brussels.

Further to her political and diplomatic expertise, paired with strong technical and analytical skills, she has also worked on programme development, partnership, and resource mobilization in the area of migration management and counter-trafficking for IOM.