• Sonja Stojanović Gajić

    CEP Savet

    Sonja Stojanović Gajić is an experienced researcher and practitioner of security sector governance and conflict-transformation and an organizational consultant. Sonja holds PhD in International Relations from the University of Belgrade and MA in Politics, Security and Integration (with distinction) from University College London (UCL). From December 2006 to October 2019, she led the Belgrade Centre for Security Policy (BCSP) as its Director, during which she helped it transform from an advocacy NGO into a specialized think tank leading on public oversight of security sector in the Balkans. Under her leadership, BCSP became the only Western Balkan think tank ranked among the most influential Security and International Affairs Think Tanks in the Global Think Tank ranking. Her original contribution is the development of innovative engagement tools such as the methodology for measuring security sector reform (SSR) from the perspective of civil society, which has subsequently been applied in Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia, and Serbia. She initiated a number of national and regional civil society partnerships and multi-stakeholder platforms to address some of the key challenges in the Balkans – such as deterioration of democracy and democratic governance of security, normalisation of Belgrade-Pristina relations, and accession to the EU. Before BCSP, she has worked for the OSCE Mission to Serbia and Montenegro on police reform program, with focus on introduction of strategic planning in both police services. She has been teaching at the Faculty of Political Science in Belgrade and participated in international academic research on policing, peacebuilding, EU and gender. She has more than twenty years of experience as a facilitator and trainer with diverse groups from grass-root activists to MPs and international security institutions from Eastern Europe, Central Asia and Middle East. She has assisted as a consultant the transformations, e.g. strategic planning and change management in both civil society and public administrations in the Balkans. For her accomplishments in the civilian oversight of the security sector and inclusion of youth in security research, she received the award for The Person of the Year 2019 by the OSCE Mission to Serbia. From November 2019, Sonja transitioned to assisting civil society globally in developing impact on public policy, especially security sector reform, while she remains active in the Balkan civil society: as a member of BCSP Executive Board, civil society representative for rule of law in Joint Consultative Committee EU-Serbia within EESC, the coordinator of Working Group for Chapter 24 (Freedom, Security and Justice) of National Convention on EU that facilitates government-civil society dialogue in accession negotiations for membership in the EU and a member of the Steering Board of OSCE Network of Think Tanks and Academic Institutes and Cooperative Security Initiative, Track II initiatives aimed at conflict transformation and establishing cooperative security in Europe.