Staff


BOARD OF DIRECTORS


Artan Hajdari – Chairman of the Board of Directors, former Deputy Minister of Justice

Besnik Mustafaj

Diana Çuli 

Gjergj Sinani 

Marko Bello 

Teuta Starova

Valter Ibrahimi 

 


STAFF


 

Albert Rakipi, PhD, Chairman of the Albanian Institute for International Studies

Rakipi has a PhD in International Relations from Bilkent University. Before assuming this position, he has previously served as deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Albania and a career diplomat. Dr. Rakipi also taught as part time professor at the Tirana University, Faculty of History and Philology and as guest lecturer in other universities in Albania and abroad. He is Co- Founder and Co-President of Albanian Council on Foreign Relations, founder of a monthly magazine Europa (www.europa.com.al) and co-founder and Editorial Page Editor of English language weekly newspaper Tirana Times (www.tiranatimes.com). He is a Board Member of the Diplomatic Academy of Albanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Also member of Director’s Network of International Relations Institutes of EU countries, Member of Editorial Board of the European Perspectives , - Journal on European Perspectives of the Western Balkans, Slovenia. He has received a number of scholarships and awards including Chevening Faculty Fellowship Program LSE, London, NATO Fellowship Program at NATO Defense College, Rome, US State Department International Visitors Program.etc.

 

 

Alba Çela, Executive Director and Head of the European Program at the Albanian Institute for International Studies

Additionally, Alba participates as an independent expert in research, monitoring & evaluation and advocacy projects for several international donors and organizations such as OSFA/ FES/ BIRN etc. Alba Cela holds a B.A in Political Science/ International relations from the American University in Bulgaria (magna cum laude) as well as an M. A in Nationalism Studies from the Central European University (with Distinction) in Budapest. She has been a recipient of the prestigious John Gunn scholarship at the University of Washington and Lee in Virginia. Alba’s main areas of research are: democratization, political parties, national identity and European integration. She has also taught as an associate professor of political science and economics at two private universities in Tirana. Her latest publication is entitled “Ghost political parties and the deformation of democracy: the case of Albania and the region”.

 

 

Ervin Carka, Project Assistant

A graduate from the Faculty of Philology of the University of Tirana, Ervin has worked for the Albanian Institute for International Studies (AIIS) for ten years as a project assistant and logistics manager. His tasks include providing support to the AIIS team during different events including international conferences, roundtables and trainings. Ervin is currently in charge of archiving, on-site data collection and analysis.  

 

 

Amalia Koleka Researcher/Project Coordinator 

Amalia Koleka graduated in Pyschology and Neuroscience at the University of Maastricht in the Netherlands, and posseses a Masters Degree in Conflict Studies and Human Rights from Utrecht University, also in the Netherlands. Amalia's fields of expertise are Identity Politics, Nationalism and Corruption in the Post-Communist Context. For her Master thesis, she conducted an independent research project on national identities in digital social media platforms for, titled "Instagram Nationalism and Greater Albania: a case study of conflict culture". She is also interested in social causes like empowerment of women and structural inclusion of marginalized communities.  

 

 


Library 


Elka Qirjako - Library Manager    Elisa Carka - Events Planner  Vasilika Andrea - Events Planner

 

 


SENIOR ASSOCIATE FELLOWS


Professor Nicholas Pano - Professor Emeritus, Western Illinois University. 

 

Bernd Fischer - Historian. Professor, Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne.

 

Elez Biberaj - Director, Eurasia Division, Voice of America. 

 

Jorgji Qirjako - AIIS Senior Advisor

 

Michael Weichert, University Diploma in Sociology, Free University of Berlin, Germany. 

 

Enika Abazi - Professor of International Relations and Director of Institute of Balkan Studies, European University of Tirana

 

Ervjola Selenica - PhD in International Studies, University of Trento Italy.

 

Albert Doja - Anthropologist, Professor, Institute of Sociology and Anthropology, University of Sciences and Technologies of Lille 1. 

 

Robert Austin - Senior Lecturer and Undergraduate Program Coordinator, Centre for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies, Munl School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto. 

 

Dr. Zemaida Mozali - PhD in European Integration

 

Blendi Kajsiu - Lecturer, New York University of Tirana.  PhD in Ideology and Discourse Analysis from the University of Essex, United Kingdom.

 

 


ASSOCIATED RESEARCHERS

 

Andi Balla - Journalist, author

 

Dorarta Hyseni - Program Officer, National Democratic Institute (NDI) Albania. 

 

Lutfi Dervishi - Freelance media expert

 

Geron Kamberi - Policy and Acvocacy Officer, Oxfam GB. 

 

Alfred Lela -  PhD candidate in European Studies. Editor in Chief, MAPO Magazine. Deputy Editor in Chief, Mapo Newspaper. 

 

Sokol Lleshi -  PhD in political science, Central European University. 

 

Olta Murataj -  Ph.D. candidate at Hacettepe University, Ankara, Turkey

 

Alban Dafa - Researcher on governance and security. 

 

Dr. Eda Gemi - Senior Lecturer of Sociology of Migration and Gender Studies at European University of Tirana

 

Jordan Jorgji - Lecturer of International and European Studies at the Department of Social Studies, Fan S. Noli University, Korçë, Albania, member of Academic Senate. 

 

Megi Llubani -  EVAW Technical Project Analyst at UN Women. 

 

Kristina Lani -  Consultant Albanian Media Institute 

 


SUCCESS STORIES


 

Since its establishment, the Albanian Institute for International Studies has served as a center for excellence and as a starting point for boosting one's career. The following list of former AIIS staff members are a good example of the Institute's aim to enrich the academic and researcher's community in Albania and to encourage excellence in this field. 

 

Adela Halo - Currently PhD in Political Studies at the Queen Mary University, London. Former Lead Researcher for National Integrity System Assessment

 

Aldo Bumçi - Former Deputy Director of the Albanian Institute for International Studies and former Minister of Foreign AffairsCurrently DP MP in the Albanian Assembly. 

 

Blerta Hoxha - Currently Political Adviser at the U.S. Embassy in Tirana. 

 

Dr. Diana Gellci - Anthropology instructor at Wayne County Community College, U.S. 

 

Dorarta Hyseni - Currently works for the European Union Delegation in Albania, Political Section

 

Elda Dakli - Currently working on Market Research at ACCES Employment, Canada

 

Eno Trimçev - Former Executive Director of the Albanian Institute for International Studies. Currently Visiting Lecturer at Leuphana Universitat Luneburg. 

 

Edith Harxhi - Former Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs. Currently Executive Director of the Albanian Policy Center. 

 

Edlira Majko - Currently Program Coordinator for the Roma Initiatives Office, Open Society Foundation, Budapest. 

 

Elena Shomos - Currently MSc Candidate at the London School of Economics and Political Sciences, International Relations. 

 

Enfrid Islami - Currently Qualitative Researcher at IDRA Research and Development. 

 

Klementin Mile - Currently lecturer at the European University of Tirana. 

 

Lublin Dilja - Former Ambassador of Albania to the United States, Former Ambassador of Albania to the United Nations. 

 

Maklen Misha - Former Adviser at the Prime Minister's Office. 

 

Marsida Gjonçaj - Former Political, Press and Public Affairs Officer at the British Embassy in Tirana. 

 

Odeta Barbullushi - Advisor to the Prime Minister of Albania and National Coordinator for Regional Economic Area; Former Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs 

 

Sabina Ymeri - Former Deputy Director at Albanian Institute for International Studies