Summer Academy for Strengthening Democracy in

the Euro-Med region (2015)


  Prof. Dr. Ahmed Driss, Director of the Tunisian School of Politics

Prof. Dr. Ahmed Driss is Director of the “Tunisian School of Politics”. Since 2005 he is President-Director of the "Centre of Mediterranean and international Studies" (CEMI). Since 2000 Mr. Dris is a member of the governing council of the "Académie internationale de droit constitutionnel". Mr. Dris has PhD in Law and Political Sciences. In 1998 he became Professor of Law at University El Manar, Tunis. From 1999 to 2004 he was a coordinator of the Programmes at the "Association des Etudes Internationales".

   Ms. Albena Komitova, President, Center for Dispute Resolution

Ms. Albena Komitova is President of the Center for Dispute Resolution – Bulgaria. She is an attorney at law at the Sofia Bar Association, a specialist in Commercial and Civil law, mediator and mediation trainer, co-founder and former Chairperson of the Professional Association of Mediators in Bulgaria. She has 8 years experience as a mediator of viraity of cases. She has participated as Expert in many projects on promotion of the meditation: Project manager of the project establishing Court-Referral Mediation Program at the biggest Bulgarian Court - “Get Ready to Settle - Sofia Regional Court  ADR Program”; expert assistance in the establishment of the Settlement Centre of the Sofia Regional Court in 2010; Project manager of the project “Mediation and the Judiciary – a Successful Blend for Improved Access to Justice and Court Services”;  organization of mediation trainings and seminars for lawyers and judges, etc.;  Development of a manual and trainings on cross border dispute resolution for legal professionals and mediators of the project “European network of mediators for cross border dispute resolution” funded by the European Commission. In recent years, actively conducts specialized training for dispute resolution - certification of mediators, judges and lawyers. She graduated the Bulgarian School of Politics "Alumni", Class 2012.

  Ms. Amina Bouayach, General Secretary of FIDH

Ms. Amina Bouayach is the first female president of an organization for human rights in Morocco. Elected treasurer of the Moroccan Organization of Human Rights during its first congress in 1988, she has initiated, among other things, the organization of national campaigns for the movement of families of political prisoners. She also participated in the development of topics on public sensitive issues such as deprivation of liberty for political reasons, enforced disappearances and torture. She is from that category of women who transformed the image of Moroccan women. In 1992 she graduated in "Economy" at the University "Mohammed V" in Rabat and worked in the opposition press. In 2006 he was elected head of the Moroccan Organization for Human Rights, working in particular to eliminate the death penalty and against impunity in Morocco. In 2011 she became a member of the Consultative Commission on Constitutional Reform. Ms. Buayash was also the initiator of a number of activities for the protection and dissemination of human rights through new information technologies. She created two web sites: WARAKATI, dedicated to the rights of Moroccan women and - for civil monitoring of elections in November 2011. In 2009 she was a coordinator of a group of human rights NGOs for the national campaign for ratification of the International Convention on enforced disappearances. In 2010 she was the coordinator of a national group of twenty Moroccan NGOs demanding ratification of the Protocol to the Convention on Torture, and later coordinated the publication of a relevant document for the creation of a national mechanism to prevent torture.

   Mr. Boyko Vasilev, PhD, TV journalist

Mr. Boyko Vassilev graduated Journalism and Mass Communications at Sofia University "St. Kliment Ohridski". He specialized in Heidelberg and Hamburg. Since 2001 he has a PhD in Sociology from Sofia University "St. Kliment Ohridski ". From 2000 he is a host and producer of the current affairs program "Panorama" at the Bulgarian National TV 1. Member of the Board of the Institute for Regional and International Studies and vice president of the "St. St. Cyril and Methodius" Foundation. Boyko Vassilev is an International reporter and political commentator. He mainly broadcasts developments on the Balkans: the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina, strikes against Yugoslavia, the events in Kosovo, Belgrade, Macedonia, Croatia. Author of documentaries. Winner of numerous national and international journalism awards.

  H.E. Daniel Mitov, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Bulgaria

Mr. Daniel Mitov is Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Bulgaria. He graduated from Sofia University "St. Kliment Ohridski", specializing in Political Science. He has participated in the international exchange programmes of Marshall Memorial Fund (German Marshall Fund of the US), and the “Programme des personnalites d’avenir” of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He specialized in Political skills at the Center for Continuing Education at New Bulgarian University. In 2002, Mr. Mitov worked at the Political Academy for Central and Southeast Europe as part of the Bulgarian School of Politics team and Razum magazine. In 2006, he became Executive Director of the Democracy foundation, and then Vice President of Democrats for Strong Bulgaria (DSB) party. He has participated in the establishment of Bulgaria for the Citizens political party. Since the autumn of 2010, he worked for the US National Democratic Institute (NDI) in Iraq, where he was Program Manager of the Political party development program. As an official NDI representative, he has also worked in Brussels, Libya, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ukraine, Yemen, Tunisia and others.   

   Ambassador Delphine Borione, Deputy Secretary General of the Union for the Mediterranean

Ambassador Delphine Borione is a French diplomat who has held numerous high-level positions in multilateral, economic, cultural and educational fields. Ms. Borione was appointed Deputy Secretary General in the Secretariat of the Union for the Mediterranean in 2013, in charge of Social and Civil Affairs.
After studying at the French National School of Public Administration, Delphine Borione worked on environmental, development and global issues in the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Office of the President of the French Republic. She also joined the World Food Programme (WFP) and the United Nations Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK). She was involved on cultural affairs as Cultural Counsellor in the Embassy of France in Italy and then Director for Cultural Policy and French Language in the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs. She has also been Ambassador of France in Kosovo.

   Ms. Desislava Baneva, Moderator of small group work

Ms. Desislava Baneva has than 5 years working experience as Internal Training Consultant in international companies and more than 3 years experience as People Development Coach and Consultant. She designs and delivers social skills training programs and specializes in coaching for personal development and leadership. Ms. Baneva works with groups and individuals from the business, NGOs, youth, community and political organisations.
She has Bachelor's degree in International Relations at the University of National and World Economy. Ms Desislava Baneva is a Certified Coach in two programs: Arts and Science of Coaching at Erickson College, Canada and Intunity Coaches, Bulgaria. She is a Group dynamics training expert - Top Consult center of Development. She has a specialization in PTTLLS - Preparing to Teach in the Lifelong Learning Sector - Castle College, Nottingham.

  Mr. Hristo Ivanov, Minister of Justice of the Republic of Bulgaria

Mr. Hristo Ivanov is the Minister of Justice. He holds an MA in Law from the Sofia University "St. Kliment Ohridski". He completed specializations at the Fulbright/Hubert Humphrey Fellowship Program, the Washington College of Law in the spheres of law, national security, and court appointment procedures in the US. In the period 1996-2002, he was project coordinator in the sphere of judiciary and judicial reform within the American Bar Association's Rule of Law Initiative. From 2002 to 2006, he was independent consultant on projects of international institutions, international technical assistance programs and private customers related to evaluating legislation and consolidation of the rule of law. He has been Program Director of the Bulgarian Institute for Legal Initiatives since 2006, where he heads projects in the sphere of judicial reform, prevention of corruption and consolidation of the rule of law.

   Mr. Hristo Hristov, Programme Coordinator EU-CoE Joint Programme “Towards Strengthened Democratic Governance in the Southern Mediterranean”, Council of Europe

Mr. Hristo Hristov works at the Council of Europe Strasbourg as the Coordinator of the EU-CoE joint programme "Towards Strenghtened Democratic Governance in the Southern Mediterrranean". His previous experience relates to the management of large scale programmes towards the EU Neighbourhood area at the European Commission, DG Devco in the field of media development, media regulation and communications. His professional interests range from corporate communication to human rights and support to democratic governance processes.

   Ms. Irina Alexieva, PhD, Director of the Bulgarian School of Politics “Dimitry  Panitza”

Irina Alexieva is Executive Director of the Bulgarian School of Politics “Dimitry Panitza”. She is well known to Bulgarian public as one of the best business journalists in the country, author and host of the weekly economic broadcast of BTV “Business". Previously, Irina managed the Economic Department of Darik Radio and was the author of the "Portfolio" radio broadcast. Ms. Alexieva has a PhD in Public Communications and Information Studies from the Sofia University “Sv. Kliment Ohridski”. Her PhD thesis is on Communication of Climate Change. She also has a Master’s degree in Business Administration from the American University in Bulgaria and a MA in Economics from the University of National and World Economy. Ms. Alexieva has a degree in Strategic Management for Leaders of NGO at Harvard Kennedy School Executive Education. She specialized in journalism in the U.S. and studied the development of civic and political dialogue in Southeast Europe and the former Soviet Union in Norway. During her intensive career as a journalst, Ms. Alexieva interviewed some of the most influential leaders in the global political and economic scene, among them Nobel laureates, heads of global companies and financial institutions. She is the author of several documentaries, including "Chernobyl -20 years later”, dedicated to the anniversary of the largest nuclear reactor accident in the world and “California’s Choice" – on the energy efficiency policy of California. Ms. Alexieva is a Board member of the Bulgarian Civil Society House and a member of the Scientific Committee of the World Forum for Democracy.

   Prof. Ivanka Mavrodieva, Professor in Rhetoric at Sofia University "St. Kliment Ohridski”

Prof. Ivanka Mavrodieva teaches rhetoric, public relations and business communication at Sofia University "St. Kliment Ohridski". She has a Master's in Public Relations and Bulgarian Philology at the Sofia University "St. Kliment Ohridski ". She worked as a parliamentary reporter and editor. She is the author of 80 articles, reports and studies in fields of public relations, political rhetoric, business communication and monographs, including "Oratory of Alexander Stamboliiski" (1992),"Parliamentary eloquence in Bulgaria in the eighteenth, nineteenth and twentieth National Assembly" (2001), "Job Interview" (2002), "European and Atlantic integration of Bulgaria, “Rhetorical aspects" (2004), "Academic Writing" (2005)," How to present successfully?" (2007), "The political rhetoric in Bulgaria: from rallies to Web 2.0 (1989-2012)” (2012), "Rhetoric and Public Relations" (2013). Prof. Mavrodieva is a member of the board of directors of the European Rhetoric Association.

 H.E. Latifa Aharbash, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Morocco in the Republic of Bulgaria and the Republic of Macedonia

H.E. Latifa Aharbash was appointed on March 9, 2013 an extraordinary and plenipotentiary Ambassador of the Kingdom of Morocco in the Republic of Bulgaria and the Republic of Macedonia. She was a member of the Moroccan government from October 2007 to January 2012, occupying the post of State Secretary for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation. Before that, she led the National Radio of Morocco, which she headed after having been Director General of the Higher Institute of Information and Communication in Rabat and a research associate and lecturer in journalism for years. H.E. Latifah AHARBASH exercised also an international consultancy, in particular in the field of continuous training for journalists. From 2005 to 2007 she was elected President of the network "Theophrastus" of the francophone schools of journalism, one of the 14 networks of the University Agency of La Francophonie. H.E. Latifah AHARBASH was also representative in Morocco of the Euro-Maghreb network for professional training in the field of communications, created by the European Commission within the program "Honey Media". She is co-author of two books on the situation of women in Morocco - "Women and Politics" and "Women and Media" issued by the publishing house "Le Fenech", library "Moroccanladies, citizens of tomorrow."

   Ms. Margarita Popova, Vice President of the Republic of Bulgaria

Ms. Margarita Popova is Vice-President of the Republic of Bulgaria.  In 1980, she received a master’s degree in Bulgarian Philology, with a minor in German, at Sofia University St. Kliment Ohridski. In 1989, she received a master’s degree in law from Sofia University. From 1990 to 2009, she was a prosecutor, respectively as a junior prosecutor, District Attorney, District Prosecutor's Office Prosecutor and Deputy District Attorney. From 1996 to 2004 she was the administrative head of the District Prosecutor's Office in Sofia. From 2005 to 2009, she was a full-time professor and lecturer at the National Institute of Justice. In 2007, after a competition, she was appointed to the office of prosecutor at the Supreme Cassation Prosecutor's Office, and from 2008 to 2009 managed the department for combating and investigation of crimes against the EU financial system, developed with the support of Western experts and the management of OLAF.  In July 2009, she became Minister of Justice of the Republic of Bulgaria. On January 22 2012, after being elected, she assumed the office of Vice President of Bulgaria. She has attended specialist courses in, respectively, the United States (1998), Hungary (1999) Germany (2001 to 2005), France (2005 to 2006), on pretrial and trial investigations; investigating crimes against intellectual property; organised crime, transnational organised crime and anti-corruption; structures and responsibilities of European judicial and prosecutorial authorities; enforcement of sentences; European co-operation in the field of criminal law; governance and management structures of the judiciary ect.

  Ms. Maryana Georgieva, Moderator of small group work

 Maryana Georgieva holds a Master's in Psychology from the University of Veliko Tarnovo. More than 10 years she works as an expert and trainer in educational programs of organizations such as the Council of Europe, UNDP Development Programme in Bulgaria, Open Society Institute, Human Dynamics-Austria.

   Ms. Sevdalina Alexandrova, Vice-President, Center for Dispute Resolution

Ms. Sevdalina Alexandrova is Vice-President of the Center for Dispute Resolution- Bulgaria. She is a mediator, mediation trainer and expert in development of mediation centers. She participated in the establishment of the first commercial mediation centers in Bulgaria and the biggest Court Settlement Center at the Sofia Regional Court. She has more than 10 years experience in certification trainings for mediators, seminars for judges in mediation and referral, seminars in conflict resolution and negotiation for lawyers, politicians, etc. She was nominated as an ADR Trainer in the CEDR 2012 awards for excellence in ADR. As a mediator, she mainly focuses on family matters, contractual, real estate and commercial disputes. In the past 10 years she was actively involved as a manager and expert in various projects promoting mediation, funded by the EU, USAID and America for Bulgaria Foundation. She is a co-author in the “EU Mediation Law and Practice”, edited by prof. De Palo and M. B. Trevor, Oxford University, 2012.

  Ms. Shana Kaiser, Acting Regional Director, West Asia and North Africa Programme, International IDEA

Ms. Shana Kaiser has been working with the International IDEA since 2008 and is currently the Acting Regional Director for the Institute's West Asia and North Africa Programme. Prior to joining the WANA team in Egypt and later Tunisia she worked with the Electoral Processes team in Stockholm. Her election-related portfolio with the Institute includes among others, direct and participatory democracy, electoral justice, election-related violence and media and elections. She has also has the opportunity to participate in electoral observation missions in Côte d’Ivoire, Kenya and the Ukraine.

  Mr. Yordan Bozhilov, President of Sofia Security Forum and Former Head of Political Cabinet of the Minister of Defense (2010 - 2013)

Mr. Yordan Bozhilov is President of Sofia Security Forum and Manager of Programs "South East Europe" and "Black Sea". Не has earned a Master’s degree in Political science and Law. He has been a long-lasting government official in the Ministry of defense while being in charge of the international activity of the Ministry. In 2008 he was Chair of the International Managing board of RACVIAC - Center for Security Cooperation in Zagreb, Croatia. He has been at the  Head of the political cabinet of the Minister of defense during 2010-2013. Yordan Bozhilov has been invited as a lector to different forums and has publications in the field of security and defense.