Constantine Alexander, who is President Emeritus and original founder of the Balkan Economic Forum, began his investment banking career in California as a Merrill Lynch Financial Consultant and thereafter became Managing Director of H. J. Meyers & Co. Inc., Member of the New York Stock Exchange until 1991 when he returned to his native Europe where he served as a consultant to the Commission of the European Union in Brussels, Belgium. Thereafter, he served as an economic development consultant to members of the European agricultural industry as well as Hellenic Municipalities. His civic activities include community service as Founder and Director of the Council of European-American Chambers of Commerce; President of the Hellenic-American Chamber of Commerce in California; Board of Directors Member of the Los Angeles Axios Foundation; and Co-Founder and Advisory Committee Member of the Los Angeles Rainbow PUSH Coalition. In 2013, he was selected as a member of Vice President Al Gore’s Climate Reality Project Leadership Corps. His articles and photographs have been published in nine countries, and he has been interviewed by television and radio journalists from six countries.
Candice J. Alexander, who is Vice-President Emeritus and original founder of the Balkan Economic Forum, earned her Bachelor of Science (BS) in Business Administration and Master of Business Administration (MBA) degrees at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. Following employment at Xerox corporation while earning her MBA degree and thereafter in the investment division of Pacific Life in Newport Beach, California, she earned her Juris Doctor (JD) degree at Western State University in California which included law school academic credits for the Juris Doctor earned at Cambridge University in England. As an attorney, she practiced business law in California before moving to Europe as a partner in a business consultancy firm based in France that specialised in the establishment of joint venture partnerships, including collaboration between European Union and Eastern European partners with financial institutional support from sources including the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. As part of her wildlife and natural resource conservation interests in Europe, she served as a co-founder of an environmental conservation NGO, a co-founder of and regular volunteer at a wildlife rehabilitation centre, and a contributor to the procurement and implementation of two European Commission LIFE-Nature projects in Greece.
Ksenija Dumičić is Full Professor Tenured, employed at the Department of Statistics, Faculty of Economics and Business, University of Zagreb, where she gained PhD degree. She is teaching survey sampling research, business and economic statistic, forecasting, statistical quality control. In 2002 she attended the “Sampling Program for Survey Statisticians,” at Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, USA (Leslie Kish International Fellowship Award), and the “Training of European Statisticians” (TES) program at the University of Southampton, UK. She is the founder of the first postgraduate statistical studies in Croatia, and has been leading the project “Statistical Modelling for Response to Crisis and Economic Growth in Western Balkan Countries“, granted by Croatian Science Foundation. Several times she was Sampling Consultant at the EU projects, IPA and Phare, Consultant at the World Bank project “Statistical Master Plan for the Republic of Croatia”, Sampling Consultant at the WHO project „MICS- Multi-indicator Survey in Croatia – Research into Parental Knowledge and Behaviour Concerning Children’s Health and Nutrition“ for the UNICEF. She is President of Croatian Statistical Association, being its founder, too, and Elected Member of the International Statistical Institute, the member of ISI Committee for Women in Statistics (CWS), ISI International Association of Statistical Education (IASE), ISI International Association of Survey Statisticians (IASS), Royal Statistical Society, American Statistical Association, the Board member of the European Courses in Advanced Statistics (ECAS) and is available as an DevelopmentAid Expert. She is one of the founders and Editor-in-Chief for the Croatian Review of Economic, Business and Social Statistics (CREBSS) journal, and member of editorial boards of two ESCI WoS journals (CRORR and BSRJ). She lectured statistical courses at the postgraduate and doctoral level in Croatia, Slovenia and BiH, where supervised 10 doctoral, and cooperates with Doctoral Defense Committees in BiH, Republic of Macedonia and Slovenia. She is the member of: the Young Statisticians Meeting (YSM) International Program Committee for youngsters from Austria, Croatia, Hungary, Italy and Slovenia; the Scientific Committee for the International Balkan and Near Eastern Social Sciences Conference Series (IBANESS Conference Series). In 2017 she has been nominated the Ambassador for the Statistical Olympics within the project ”Support for statistical literacy actions in the area of a competition, gamification, e-learning”, conducted by Croatian Bureau of Statistics, granted by Eurostat. She published more than 180 papers, many of them cited in relevant scientific bases, number of book chapters, and four textbooks. She actively attended over 70 international scientific conferences.
Toni Popovski, M.Sc. in Political Sciences, First Minister of Environment and Physical Planning in Macedonia and for three years a co-chair (with EC DG Environment) of the Task Force that coordinated the implementation of over 100 million Euro funded Regional Environmental Reconstruction Program for South-East Europe. Former Executive Director of the Regional Environmental Centre for Central and Eastern Europe and Project Manager/Deputy Team Leader of several path breaking projects on decentralization (EAR/CARDS) and biodiversity protection (UNDP/GEF). Former member of the International Jury of the European Awards for Environment – Industry (December 2001 – December 2002; the European Environment and Health Committee (June 2001- June 2003); the International Advisory Board of UNEP IETC – International Environment and Technology Center based in Osaka/Japan (June 2001 – June 2003) and the Environmental Advisory Committee of EBRD, London/UK (June 2001 – May 2005).
Freelance consultant with 23 years of professional experience and strong expertise in public policy analyses and formulation with a focus on environmental protection, good governance and stakeholder’s involvement, sub-national government reform and delivery of public services, decentralisation, regional and rural development and spatial and urban planning.
Dr.Aneta Krstevska is Chief Economist at the National Bank of the Republic of Macedonia in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, where she was previously Director of the Research Department during the period 2001 – 2010. Currently, she is a member of the Monetary Policy Committee and she is involved in the monetary policy setup, macroeconomic forecasting process, macroeconomic and financial sector analysis. Dr. Krstevska is actively involved in the preparation and discussion of the Economic Reforms Programme of the country in conjunction with the European Union (EU) and other EU integration processes. Dr. Krstevska earned her Ph.D. in Economics from the Faculty of Economics in Skopje, where she also earned a Master’s Degree in the field of Monetary Economics. Since 2007, she has been a part-time professor at the University American College Skopje. She was a non-executive member of the Governing Board of the Deposit Insurance Fund during the period 2001-2002. Her research spans several fields including Macroeconomics, Monetary Economics, Banking and Financial Markets.
Dr.Bruno S. Sergi is an Associate at the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies at Harvard University; an instructor at Harvard University, where he teaches “The Economics of Emerging Markets—Asia and Eastern Europe” and “Political Economy of Russia and China.” Concurrently, Dr. Sergi teaches “International Economics” and “Political Economy and International Finance” at the University of Messina.
Dr. Sergi has performed extensive consulting services for the private and government sectors. Since 2009 he has coached two networks of trade-union economic experts: the SEE TUs Economic Experts’ Network and the NIS TUs Economic Experts’ Network, both of which are under the framework of the Pan-European Regional Council of the International Trade Union Confederation. He has done research at a number of national central banks in Western and Eastern Europe (e.g., National Bank of Poland, Czech National Bank, and the National Bank of Belgium).
He has taught and done research at New York University, the IMF, CERC-University of Melbourne, University of Economics – Prague, University of Latvia, City University (Slovakia), ISM University of Management and Economics (Lithuania), University “Aleksandër Moisiu” (Albania) and the European Trade Union Institute in Brussels, among others. He has been an Honorary Fellow of the School of Social and Political Sciences at the University of Melbourne (2010- 2011).
Dr. Sergi’s extensive academic career, publications, and advisory roles with the leading international institutions have established him as a premier expert, frequent guest, contributor, and a commentator on the matters of contemporary developments in political economy and emerging markets in a wide range of media.
Sergi has authored or co-authored books and journal articles on transition economics, international macroeconomics, and global business, the most recent book titles being Economic Dynamics in Transitional Economies (Routledge 2003); Global Business Management (Ashgate 2007); The Political Economy of Southeast Europe from the 1990 to the Present (Continuum 2008); Misinterpreting Modern Russia: Western Views of Putin and His Presidency (Continuum 2009); and Cross-Cultural Management: Discovering a Mosaic of Words and Concepts (McGraw-Hill 2012).
His current research interests include international macroeconomics and the political economy of transition countries. He has published extensively in a wide spectrum of scholarly journals such as Comparative Economic Studies; Eastern European Economics; European Journal of Development Research; International Labour Review; Journal of Economic Issues; Journal of Management Development; Journal of Post Keynesian Economics; Management Decision; Technology Analysis & Strategic Management; Thunderbird International Business Review. He has also published numerous chapters in edited volumes.
He is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of International Journal of Trade and Global Markets; International Journal of Economic Policy in Emerging Economies and International Journal of Monetary Economics and Finance.
Dr. Sergi holds a M.Sc. and M.Phil. in economics from the University of London and a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Greenwich Business School – London.
Gazmend Qorraj is the first Jean Monnet Chair Professor in Kosovo respectively at the University of Prishtina. He received his PhD from University of Ljubljana in 2009 and MA Economics of International Trade and European Integration in 2004 at Staffordshire University, UK & Vrije University Brussels.
He worked for Banking and Payment Authority of Kosovo, for ICU (World Bank & EU Credit Unit) as Finance Manager, adviser to Minister of Finance until June 2005. From June 2005 until February 2008 he was Kosovo National Coordinator of the Stability Pact for SEE and adviser of two successor Kosovo’s Prime Minister’s.
During 2006-2007 he was also Co-Chair of Kosovo Delegation on CEFTA 2006 Negotiations. Since 2001 teaches at University of Prishtina. He coordinated the Tempus Office at Faculty of Economics. From 2014-2015 he was Vice Rector at newly established public University of Gjakova.
From 2015 he is National Contact Point for Marie Curie actions and European Research Council at HORIZON 2020- EU research and innovation programme.
Murat Yülek, Ph.D is a professor of economics at Istanbul Commerce University where he is the Director of the Center for Industrial Policy and Development and a member of the board of the Finance Institute. He is also partner at PGlobal Global Advisory and Training Services Inc, an Ankara based international advisory company. Murat holds and has held high level executive responsibilities in financial and non-financial corporations including as director and chairman. He has project, corporate finance and economic development experience in various countries in Europe, Africa, North America and Asia with tenures at institutions including the International Monetary Fund, the Islamic Development Bank and the Turkish Prime Ministry. He has authored or managed financial, macroeconomic, sectoral studies, impact, feasibility and financial valuation studies and related trainings in various countries. He has taught at Georgetown and Yale Universities. Previously, he also served as Dean of the Faculty of Business Administration at THK University in Turkey. He authored a number of books and articles in economics, development and finance.
His most recent books has been published by Springer, New York, covering economic planning, industrial policy and suitable design of public procurement policies aiming at increasing the technological level in emerging countries. Murat also writes columns at newspapers and financial journals and is a frequent speaker at various for a organized by institutions such as Global Economic Symposium, Yale University, Duke University, Prime Ministry of Turkey, COMCEC, Economic Cooperation Organization, Dubai Economic Council, CFO Forum-Vienna, Khazanah Megatrands Forum, The Economist Round Table, Ewha Women’s University (Korea), Wirtshaftsrat, APU Ritsumeikan University (Japan), Korea Institute for International Economic Policy, Universita degli Studi di Parma and Eurofinance Conferences.
He is actively involved in the organization of Istanbul Finance Summit (Chairman of the Advisory Board) and Sarajevo Business Forum (Member of the Advisory Board). He sits in the advisory boards of various other national and international institutions, platforms and academic journals.
He holds an MBA degree from Yale University, Ph.D. and M.A. degrees from Bilkent University, an MSM (Management) degree from Boston University and a B.Sc. degree from Bogazici University.
Dr. Zlatko Stefanović is a full professor at the Union University, School of Law in Belgrade, Serbia. He earned his PhD at the University in Belgrade, School of Law in Belgrade, following his dissertation entitled as “Methodology of Private Law Legislation”. Except Methodology, his areas of scientific interest are: Company Law, Contract Law, International Business Law and European Law.
In those areas he published books, entitled as: Company Law (7 editions); Business Contract Law (6 editions); EU Law (6 editions); International Business Law (5 editions).He published lots of articles and participate in expert projects, conferences and other projects.
In professional career, he had two terms of office as chancellor of Union University in Belgrade since 2009-2012 and 2012-2015 and since 2013-2016 as a dean of Union University, School of Law in Belgrade.
Sotiris Karagiannis has over twenty eight years of experience as an academic lecturer and corporate trainer. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the American College of Greece, a Master’s in Education from Lesley University, Boston and an MBA from the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow. He is currently completing his Doctoral studies in the field of Educational Leadership with the University of Bolton, UK.
In his current role, he manages the Graduate Business Programs of the University of New York in Prague, where he also resides. He is also teaching Strategy-Analysis-Evaluation for the prestigious MBA program of Strathclyde Business School. His areas of expertise include Organizational Behavior, Strategic Management, Human Resources Management and Research Methods. As a corporate trainer and coach, he has wide experience in soft-skills training and coaching in leadership, negotiations and communication, sales and customer care, culture change, strategic management, and presentation skills. In addition to Greece, he has trained professionals in various countries like US, Austria, Germany, Czech Republic, Cyprus, Serbia, Bulgaria, Romania, Albania, and North Macedonia.
For three years, he successfully managed and trained for the Greek franchise of Dale Carnegie Training, where he also received his further train-the-trainer education. Currently, he is Director and Senior Trainer of Change-to-Bel Ltd, a London-based training and consultancy firm whose mission is to help people embrace positive change at work or in life. His training portfolio includes companies like Apple, Bayer, Swarowski, 3M, Janssen, Johnson&Johnson, Astra Zeneca, Novartis, CSL Behring, Ericsson, Oracle, Viohalco Group, Danone, Elbisco, TUI, Quest Group, Sfakianakis Group of Companies, A-B Vassilopoulos, Carrefour where he developed and delivered programs for managers in leadership and sales, customer service and breakthrough presentation skills. As a consultant, he specializes in Organizational Culture Change and has carried-out various interventions to help organizations plan for the future in a non-threatening and confident way.
Sotiris Karagiannis mission as a trainer and consultant is to help managers and employees increase their levels of engagement at work by satisfying their intrinsic needs for autonomy, competence and relatedness. He works closely with organizations to bring positive organizational culture change so as to attract and retain talent. Adopting the renowned people-centered practices of Dale Carnegie, he creates a climate of trust and inspires his trainees to apply what they have developed immediately. He follows similar delivery practices in his academic teaching, helping students integrate theory and practice quickly.
His current research interests focus on the development of a coaching model for Higher Education leaders to guide and support their faculty so that they can provide an engaging learning experience to their students.
Biljana Markovic Stamenova, MBA
Biljana Markovic Stamenova has more than 14 years of executive/consulting experience in implementing economic development and social impact programs focused on supporting the growth of innovative companies through know-how transfer, capacity building, access to funding and internationalization. Biljana is the Co-founder and Managing Partner at PrimePoint Partners, an expert sourcing platform that provides professional project implementation and corporate advisory services by combining a team of relevant experts. PrimePoint is affiliated with an extensive international network of experts with regional background who serve as our strategy advisors and consultants. PrimePoint provides expertise in project management, business strategy, financial advisory, international development, strategic marketing and leadership development; and works with international development organizations, foreign investors, private sector companies, municipalities and NGOs.
Biljana has also been the Executive Director of the international organization Macedonia2025 and has envisioned programs that have impacted around 3,000 business professionals. Together with her team, she implemented flagship leadership programs and business/networking events such as The Leader Project, Toronto Executive Study Tour, Kellogg Executive Education Program, Canadian Experts Services Program (CESO), Empowering Female Entrepreneurship, Start-Up Competitions, Leadership Talks, Support Fund for Talented Students, Diaspora Mentorship Program, etc. They organized forums in Paris, Vienna, Stockholm, Toronto, Belgrade, Melbourne, Chicago, seven Macedonia2025 Summits, and a Gala Fundraiser in Columbus, featuring Former US President George W Bush Jr. Biljana has also been the Executive Director at the American Chamber of Commerce in Macedonia and worked at the IFC World Bank, University of Pittsburg in Macedonia, etc. Biljana has collaborated with government officials, institutional donors and development agencies on advocacy and social impact programs; and has been a moderator/speaker at 30+ international events.
In October 2019, Biljana has obtained a Certificate of Professional Achievement at the Kellogg School of Management Chicago, USA. Biljana obtained an MBA degree from the ALBA University in Athens, Greece and has a bachelor’s in economics from Ss. Cyril and Methodius University in Skopje.