Ranka has been the Executive Director of the European Policy Centre (CEP) since February 2017. From July 2014, when she joined CEP, until February 2017, she held the position of Senior Project Manager. She has managed projects funded by the European Union (both grants and technical assistence projects), German development assistance and other donors and is well versed in financial and narrative reporting procedures. From September 2015 to November 2017, she also managed the Programme Management Unit of the UK Good Governance Fund, and has consultancy experience for the OECD, GIZ, the EU, etc. Prior to her involvement in CEP, she worked in public administration, in ministries in charge of the economy, where she was engaged in creation and implementation of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) policy and its alignment with SME policy of the EU, as well as in the preparation and implementation of IPA projects and of bilateral development assistance. She was also a coordinator for European Integration issues in the Ministry of Economy, and a deputy secretary of the Negotiation Group 20 - Enterprise and Industrial Policy, as well as a member of several other negotiation groups. She worked in the private sector for two years. She has completed courses on European integration, SME development policy and EU rules on state aid, both in the country and abroad. Ranka graduated from the Faculty of Political Science, Department of International Relations at the University of Belgrade, and is only a master thesis away from obtaining her master's degree. She is fluent in English and has medium level knowledge of French and Italian.
As the Programme Director, Milena is in charge of the overall programmatic strategy of CEP as well as developing and managing the quality assurance system and processes within the organisation. In terms of thematic focus, she is primarily responsible for the Good Governance and Europe&us programme areas. Milena is a proven expert in the fields of public administration reform, regional development and local economic development, with consultancy engagements including SIGMA/OECD, ReSPA and the World Bank. In 2014-2015, in addition to her work at CEP, she acted as the special adviser to the Serbian Deputy Prime Minister in charge of public administration reform. Prior to co-founding CEP, Milena served for six years in the Serbian civil service, as adviser for public administration reform and administrative capacities for EU accession in the EU Integration Office of the Serbian Government (SEIO) and in the Serbian Ministry of Public Administration. As a Soros scholar, she obtained her BA degree in European Studies and International Relations at the American University in Bulgaria (AUBG), after which she obtained an advanced MA degree in European studies at the College of Europe, on a King Baudouin Foundation scholarship. She later also graduated from the Diplomatic Academy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Serbia and obtained an MA in European Administrative Law at the Law Faculty of the Belgrade University. She speaks fluently English, French, Italian and Bulgarian and has basic knowledge of German. She is married and mother of two children.
Programme Manager for Internal Market and Competitiveness
Dušan Protić, lawyer by profession, has a unique expertise in the area of market regulation, public law and public administration. He has the profound ability to conceptualise comprehensive regulatory solutions in complex surroundings of contemporary legal system in Serbia. In period between 2001 and 2015 he held positions of deputy and assistant minister in Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Agriculture and up until recently in continuous mandates in Ministry of Trade, Tourism and Telecommunications. In his competence as government official he was primarily in charge of normative affairs and appellate proceedings. Moreover, he was director of Judicial Centre (currently, Judicial Academy), as well as manager of legal affairs in corporative sector. He has completed bar exam and diplomatic course at the Diplomatic Academy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Serbia. Dušan speaks English and French.
Programme Manager and Senior Researcher
Miloš graduated from the Faculty of Political Sciences, University of Belgrade, where he continued his Master studies in political institutions and institutionalist theory. He studied European Union institutions and procedures as well as project cycle management as participant in the Leadership Development Programme, jointly organised by the College of Europe and the European Fund for the Balkans, as well as in the FutureLab Europe programme of the civil society organisations gathered around European Alliance for Democratic Citizenship. He completed several internships in domestic and foreign organisations, including the Belgrade Center for Security Policy, Political Academy of the Austrian People's Party and National Democratic Institute and worked as an associate on the project administered by the European Fund for the Balkans. He is alumni member of the Belgrade Open School, XVI generation of students at the Department of Advanced Undergraduate Studies. He joined the CEP team in March 2012 as project assistant, then continung at the position of researcher. Speaks English and German.
Programme Manager and Senior Researcher
Strahinja joined the CEP team in January 2017 as a junior Researcher within the Europe&Us programme area. After progressing to the position of researcher, he now works as Programme Manager and Senior Researcher, a position he has held since March 2021. In this position, his key responsibilities include the preparation and implementation of research projects; research and production of policy products; advocacy of appropriate solutions to the identified challenges; supervision of junior colleagues and interns; and organisation of public debates and other events on EU-related topics. Strahinja is a proven expert in the fields of enlargement policy and EU affairs. His other areas of expertise include the analysis of the increasing involvement of external actors such as China, Russia, and Turkey in the Western Balkans, particularly in Serbia.
Strahinja is also currently pursuing a PhD degree at the Faculty of Political Science (University of Belgrade), where he previously graduated as the best student of his class at the Department of Political Science. He obtained an MA degree in Political Science at the Central European University (CEU, Hungary), acquiring a certificate in Social and Political Theory. Prior to that, he studied at the University of Missouri during his junior year, as part of a programme funded by the US State Department.
Ljubica graduated from the Faculty of Philology, Department for Iberian Studies, obtaining the title of Spanish and English language teacher. She has built her professional career in the education/employment sector. Besides working as a foreign languages teacher, she was engaged as an assistant, office manager and translator in international projects aimed at managing and improving the vocational education and introducing the National Qualifications Framework to Serbian specific environment. She has years of experience in project administration and implementation and working with various international organizations. Ljubica joined CEP team in January 2017 as a project assistant primarily within the Good Governance programme area and then advanced to the position of project manager. She speaks English and Spanish fluently and has basic knowledge of Brazilian Portuguese.
Branko has almost ten years of experience in the non-governmental sector, where he has been mostly involved in project implementation, planning, M&E, reporting, coordinating numerous teams, organizing various events, coordinating research, facilitating seminars and workshops, developing manuals and educational tools, developing projects and campaigns etc. His main focus was on the themes of violence prevention and especially on gender-based violence, on promotion of gender equality, on gender issues and especially on masculinities, breaking stereotypes, combating discrimination and developing activism among youth, all in the role of Program manager at the Center E8. He has managed projects supported by CARE International, the Austrian Development Agency, U.S. State Department (Global Women, Peace and Security Initiative), US Embassy, Norwegian Embassy, European Commission, OSCE, UNICEF, UNFPA etc. He obtained the title of Master of Pedagogy at the Faculty of Philosophy, University of Belgrade. He interned for a year at the Center for Infant, Child and Youth Protection and shortly worked in elementary school. He is fluent in English and his passionate hobby is photography.
Events and Communication Coordinator
As a Events and Communication Coordinator, Anesa is helping in spreading CEP's key messages to all target groups. Her obligations include direct and indirect communication with the media, event organisation, preparation of press releases, media invitations, all communication related to the event organisation, etc. Her duties also include managing CEP website - writing reports on CEP events and activities, designing a graphic, visual, and textual content on CEP's website, including quarterly newsletters and printed publications, as well as managing social media profiles and communication through these networks.
Anesa has graduated from the University of Belgrade, Faculty of Political Science, and she holds a BA with Honours in Political Science – International Affairs, and a MA with Honours in Political Science. During her undergraduate studies, she interned at Belgrade Centre for Security Policy and in the office of the Protector of Citizens of the Republic of Serbia (Ombudsman). She is an alumna of XXIII generation of the educational programme Future Studies of Belgrade Open School, an alumna of the II generation of Human Rights Defenders School organized by Civil Rights Defenders, and an alumna of the II generation of LIBEK’s Public Policy Academy. She completed the courses Applied Rhetorics and Debate course at the Faculty of Political Sciences. Anesa joined the European Policy Centre (CEP) team in February 2017 as an Events and Communication Assistant. She works as Coordinator from January 2019. She speaks English and has a basic knowledge of German.
Vladimir is a policy analyst and researcher in the fields of public administration and public policy, with experience in Serbian public administration reform matters and expertise in public sector wage system reform, human resources management and reorganisation of public administration. Experience in both Government and non-governmental sector enables him a comprehensive approach in analysis of public administration. From July 2014 until August 2016 he worked as an advisor in the Cabinet of the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Administration and Local Self-Government. Prior to the engagement in the Government, he had worked in several CSOs, including CEP. He has been engaged in Serbian public administration reform process as a consultant of the World Bank (WB), the Council of Europe (CoE), the United Nation Development Programme (UNDP), the United Kingdom Good Governance Fund (GGF), the Standing Conference of Towns and Municipalities (SKGO), the Centre for Advanced Economic Studies (CEVES), the German International Cooperation Agency (GIZ), etc. Vladimir graduated from the Faculty of Political Sciences University of Belgrade, after which he obtained an MA degree in Public Administration, Local Self-Governance and Public Policy at the same faculty. He speaks English.
Dragana has professional experience in policy research and analysis with a focus on public administration reform and European integration of the Western Balkans. As part of the regional Western Balkans Enabling Project for Civil Society Monitoring of Public Administration Reform (WeBER), she was responsible for the overall monitoring of Serbia’s reform progress under a set of indicators, while specifically covering the analysis of public service and human resource management in the public administration. Additionally, Dragana has been providing local expert support to SIGMA’s mission in Serbia during the assessment of compliance with the Principles of Public Administration, so far focusing on service delivery and policy development and coordination. Representing CEP under the global initiative Open Government Partnership, she has been engaged in independent monitoring and reporting on the implementation of Serbia's OGP commitments. Since 2015, she has been part of PAR-related projects addressing HRM issues in the administration. Dragana holds an LL.M. degree in European integration, obtained at the University of Belgrade Law School. She completed undergraduate studies in international politics at the Faculty of Political Science.
Katarina joined CEP team in june 2020. She graduated from Faculty of Law University of Belgrade in 2014. As a French Government scholarship holder, she earned the title of Master of Laws in International Economic Law from the University Paris 1 Pantheon-Sorbonne School of Law. During her professional career so far, Katarina worked in one of the leading law firms specialized in commercial law in Belgrade, as well as in one arbitration boutique law firm from Geneva. Over the course of her studies, she interned at the Office of the Ombudsman of the Republic of Serbia. Katarina also took part in two different legal clinics at the Faculty of Law University of Belgrade – Family Law Clinic and Anti-Discrimination Legal Clinic and interned at one of the Big Four consultant companies in the field of tax law. Besides, as a Faculty of Law University of Belgrade team member she took part in two prestigious international law moot court competitions – in Washington D.C. and in Frankfurt. In the 2013 FDI International Arbitration Moot Court Competition in Frankfurt, Belgrade University team won the prize for the 3rd highest ranked Claimant Memorial, which was later published in one of the international law journals. In 2019, Katarina passed the Serbian Bar Exam. She is fluent in English, French and Italian.
Dr Sanja Petkovska joined the European Policy Centre - CEP in October 2021 as a researcher. Her previous professional engagement includes many years of parallel commitment in the academic and non-profit sectors. Her main research interests are education, culture and public policy. The master's thesis she defended at the Faculty of Philosophy in 2009 was published under the title "The Idea of the University and the Bologna Process" in 2010 for the Andrejević Endowment. She defended her doctoral dissertation on the topic of internationalization of scientific and research policy at the Faculty of Political Sciences, the University of Belgrade in 2017. As part of the cooperation with non-profit and international organizations, she conducted several significant analyzes, among which the study "Public Policies of Serbia" from 2011 stands out. She is the author of numerous scientific papers in Serbian and English languages published in domestic and foreign scientific journals. She is actively involved in several international initiatives, including the project of the Center for Advanced Studies (CAS) from Sofia concerning the future of social sciences and the framework of their funding and evaluation, engagement within the international academic network Dialoguing Posts, as well as the development of a book on progressive policies for post-socialist countries contracted for the Routledge publishing house. Her hobbies include cycling and writing poetry. In addition to English, she speaks Italian, Russian and Dutch languages at the beginner level.
Lola joined CEP in December 2020 as a Junior Researcher, having completed a three-month traineeship. She obtained her Master’s degree (M.Sc.) from the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (KU Leuven) in International Politics, where she specialized in migration politics and policy. She completed her Bachelor’s degrees in Sociology and in International Studies at the University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW), USA. Upon the completion of her BA in Sociology, Lola was awarded the Sociology Excellence Award for having the highest GPA in her class and was declared a Valedictorian. Lola graduated high school in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. During her studies, she volunteered and engaged in youth activism, through which she gained interest in youth politics. She is an alumna of the fourth generation of the Academy of Youth Politics, which she completed as a recipient of a scholarship provided by the National Youth Council of Serbia (KOMS). Currently, she holds a position in the Advisory Council on Youth of the Government of the Republic of Serbia. She interned at the International Organization for Migration (IOM) where she worked with migrants in one-stop-centers throughout Serbia. Besides native Serbian, Lola is fluent in English and Spanish and has a basic knowledge of Swahili.
Miloš joined CEP in June 2021 in the position of Junior Researcher in the programme department Europe&us. He graduated from the Faculty of Political Sciences, the University of Belgrade in 2017. He earned an MA degree also from the Faculty of Political Science at the Joint Master’s Programme in South-East European Studies. During academic 2018/2019 he was studying and researching for his MA thesis at the University of Graz, Austria. His study stay at the University of Graz was supported by the Erasmus Plus scholarship. Miloš is currently finishing his second MA degree at the Department of Political Science of Central European University (CEU) in Vienna, Austria. During his study at CEU, Miloš was elected member of the Academic Senate – one of the highest governing bodies of the University and engaged in the internship programme with the Student Recruitment Office. He received the Dositeja scholarship for the best Serbian students abroad by the Ministry of Youth and Sport of the Republic of Serbia. Before joining CEP Miloš worked as an external research associate in the Hermes Institute of International Affairs, Security and Geoeconomy. In the period 2017-2018, he was a coordinator of the international cooperation team of the Centre for International Public Policy (CMJP) and he participated in two nationwide public opinion polls about Serbian foreign policy and entrepreneurship among young people implemented by CMJP. In 2018 he was an observer on local elections in Belgrade for CeSID and he has participated in the “Coke Summership”; an internship program of Coca-Cola HBC Serbia in the Sales Sector – Demand Planning Team. During 2016 and 2017 he was also a panellist with the topic “Political system of Serbia” on two seminars organized by NDI in Serbia. Miloš started his professional career in 2016 in the position of Project Assistant in the Center for Free Elections and Democracy (CeSID) – one of the oldest Serbian NGOs. Miloš has participated in numerous conferences and seminars including Ayn Rand Conference in Prague (2019), Belgrade Strategic Dialogue (2019), OSCE Winter School on Democracy and Political Parties (2020) and has published several papers including one for the Serbian Ministry of European Integration. His field of interest are Political Science, Comparative Politics, European Union, European Integration, Democracy and Democratic Promotion and the Western Balkans region.
Milica joined the CEP team in June 2021 as a junior researcher. She has many years of experience in the civil sector, as a project assistant, external associate, team leader, and activist. She worked on projects supported of USAID, SIDA, FOD, HBS, BFPE, BOS, and others. Milica is currently on PhD studies at the Faculty of Political Sciences (University of Belgrade), where she completed basic studies in politology and master studies in Public Administration, Local Self-Government, and Public Policies. During her studies, she was a teaching associate in the subject of Public government and an intern in the Ministry of Labor, Employment, Veterans, and Social Affairs in the sector for anti-discrimination policies and gender equality. Milica completed a number of trainings about social organization and digital marketing. She is also the author of several scientific papers in the field of civil service and public agencies. She speaks English.
Ana joined CEP in August 2021. as a Junior Researcher. She obtained her bachelor’s degree in Economic Analysis at the Faculty of Economics, University of Belgrade, with the main focus on microeconomics and industrial organization, and her Master’s degree in Economics at the University of Bologna. During the second year of her master’s studies, she worked as a Research Assistant at the University of Bologna. Her research focus was on Applied Econometrics in various fields, including the job market, adoption processes, crime, and environment. Through that experience and various courses she attended, she became a proficient user of the software for data analysis, such as STATA and SPSS. She attended numerous workshops and seminars in Economics and Industrial Organization. Upon returning to Serbia, she worked in the Centre for Circular Economy (CIREKON) in Belgrade. She is fluent in English, Spanish, and Italian.
Sava joined CEP in November 2021 in the position of Junior Researcher in the programme department Good Governance, after previously completing his one-month internship. He obtained his Bachelor’s degree in International Relations (module: European Integration) at the Faculty of Political Sciences in Belgrade, as the best student in his year, with the highest possible average mark (10,00). He is currently pursuing a master's degree in International Politics at the same faculty. He began his professional specialization at the Centre for International Public Policy, where he managed several projects as the coordinator of the International Cooperation Sector, including the organization and coordination of the project “Belgrade Model of the United States Senate”, which was funded by the US Embassy in Belgrade. Moreover, Sava represented his school at the “All-European International Humanitarian and Refugee Law Moot Court Competition” in Ljubljana. He took part in the project “Clemson Spring Semester Abroad, University of Belgrade 2019”, together with students from the University of Clemson, South Carolina. He attended the Summer School of American Studies and Regional School for European Integration. He also participated in the Belgrade Security Forum in 2019. He was engaged in the international project “Strengthening student skills in debating and promoting democratic values among young people”, organized by the Center for Euro-Atlantic Studies and the Slovak organization MESA10. Additionally, he was part of the project team for monitoring the elections in the United States, which was implemented by the Center for Social Dialogue and Regional Initiatives, with the support of the US Embassy in Belgrade. He was engaged as an educational partner and lecturer on the European Students of Industrial Engineering and Management organization's international project “Europe 3D”. In addition, he published a scientific paper in the fourth issue of the professional journal “Polytheum”. His fields of interest include European integration, Balkan relations, as well as Energy and Environment. He is fluent in English and speaks French.
Kristina joined the CEP team in September 2021 as a Project Assistant, after previously completing her two-month internship. She obtained her Bachelor’s degree in International relations and Diplomacy at the Faculty of Political Science in Belgrade, where she is currently pursuing her MA in European studies. During her undergraduate studies, she spent one year at the Charles University in Prague, as an exchange student within the Erasmus+ Mobility Programme. Moreover, she completed two interdisciplinary courses – Applied Public Policy Analysis: Legal, sociological, and economic aspects and Serbian Security Policies as a part of Public Policy Making and Analysis (PPMA) Erasmus+ Project. She has experience in organizing various conferences and seminars, which was a part of her duties as a member of the international cooperation team at the Centre for International Public Policy (CMJP), where she also participated in conducting two nationwide public opinion polls about Serbian foreign policy and gender equality. Kristina participated in a number of regional and multinational sessions, including BIMUN 2018, Belgrade Security Forum 2019 and 2020, and Regional summer school in Bar 2021 dealing with questions concerning democracy and identity in the Western Balkans. Her fields of interest are the EU and European integration, international and security affairs. She is fluent in English and has a basic knowledge of German.
Associate for Finance and Accounting
After her academic studies in the field of musical arts, Marija studied Research Psychology at the State University in San Francisco, California. From 2003 to 2013 she has been working in the USA in the field of psychology and psychometry with a focus on neuropsychology. She has gained great experience both in research work and in administration and interpretation of a large number of tests: intelligence, cognitive abilities, personality and neuropsychological tests. Through work in neuropsychological laboratory she has also gained considerable experience in creating different types of both standard and computerised tests. She applied that experience by working at the State University of Berkeley, California. She had created and maintained the website of the research laboratory. Marija joined the CEP team in 2013 where she worked as an senior researcher and financial assistant. She speaks English and has basic knowledge of Russian and German. She is also engaged in conducting in several prestigious Belgrade choirs. She is married and has three children.