ALUMNI

Ridvan Bari Urcosta

Ridvan Bari Urcosta

a PhD Candidate at the Centre for Strategic Studies, University of Warsaw
Ridvan Bari Urcosta

Ridvan Bari Urcosta

a PhD Candidate at the Centre for Strategic Studies, University of Warsaw

He is currently a PhD Candidate at the Centre for Strategic Studies, University of Warsaw.

His research interests are: Black Sea region, Maritime Security in the Black Sea Region and Eastern Mediterranean; Russia and the Middle East; Human Right Situation in Crimea and the Crimean Tatars; Sea of Azov and Ukrainian Naval Policy.

Ridvan writes analytical articles to different analytical centers for example: ECFR, Jamestown Foundation, War Room (U.S. War College) The Proceedings (U.S. Naval Institute), Jerusalem Post and etc. He has experience of working in the European Parliament in the Subcommittee of the Security and Defense and responsible for the Eastern European and Black Sea regions and Russia.  And teaching an ERASMUS course – “Russia and the Middle East: Geopolitics and Diplomacy” in the University of Warsaw. Ridvan born in Abkhazia, Georgia and till Civil War was living there, at the begging of nineties he moved to Crimea where he lived until the annexation of Crimea.

At the moment of annexation he worked in the Sevastopol State Administration. Right after annexation worked as Human Rights Officer in Odessa, Ukraine in the UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission. He finished Estonian Diplomatic Academy in 2015 and completed The Indigenous Fellowship Programme (IFP) is a comprehensive human rights training programme that was established by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in Geneva. Ridvan give a speech at the Human Rights Council in 2018 about situation in annexed by Russia Crimea

Tamar Toria

Tamar Toria

Executive Director at the Georgian Farmers’ Association (GFA)
Tamar Toria

Tamar Toria

Executive Director at the Georgian Farmers’ Association (GFA)

Tamar Toria has been holding the position of Executive Director at the Georgian Farmers’ Association (GFA) since January 2015. She is responsible for general operations of the organization, its advocacy mandate, as well as fundraising and overall supervision of donor-funded projects within GFA.She represents GFA and its member farmers at different working groups and boards and carries forward key messages respectively.

Prior to joining the Association, Tamar has worked on economic development and agriculture programs in the Ministry of Agriculture of Georgia and with different donor organizations such as DfID, MCC, USAID, and others.

Tamar graduated from Tbilisi I. Chavchavadze State Institute of Foreign Languages and holds a Master’s degree in Public Administration from the Georgian-American Institute of Public Affairs (GIPA). She has obtained numerous certificates from various courses both at home and abroad and is currently pursuing Mastery of Management Graduate Diploma program in Corporate Strategy & Planning at International Cambridge College.

Zurab Tchiaberashvili

Zurab Tchiaberashvili

Member of the Parliament
Zurab Tchiaberashvili

Zurab Tchiaberashvili

Member of the Parliament

Zurab Tchiaberashvili, MP, joined public service in 2003 as the Chairman of the Central Election Commission of Georgia. He was Mayor of Tbilisi (2004-2005), Permanent Representative of Georgia to the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, to the UN office and other organizations in Geneva (2005-2012), Minister of Labour, Health and Social Affairs (2012) and Governor of the Kakheti region (2013). He has a rank of Ambassador of Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Georgia (since 2007).

Zurab Tchiaberashvili has MBA (2009) from Joint program with Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, Evanston, USA, and WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management, Vallendar, Germany, and Ph.D. in Philosophy (1999) from Tbilisi State University, Georgia. He translated Robert Putnam’s “Making Democracy Work” (published in 2005) and John Rawls’ “Political Liberalism” (published in 2018) from English into Georgian.

Olga Stuzhinskaya

Olga Stuzhinskaya

International Relations and Development Professional
Olga Stuzhinskaya

Olga Stuzhinskaya

International Relations and Development Professional

Olga Stuzhinskaya is a seasoned international relations and development professional specialized in the region of the Former Soviet Union (FSU). She is the founder and former director of the Brussels-based Office for a Democratic Belarus (2006-2015) that sought to strengthen ties between Belarus and the European Union (EU). She is also a co-founder of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum, and was Member of its Steering Committee. The EU’s Eastern Partnership initiative aims at closer political and economic ties with Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine.

In her present capacity of independent Senior Consultant, Olga delivers expertise to the European Union and international organizations – Council of Europe, UN agencies, OSCE -, governments, NGOs and business companies on governance reform, leadership, and sustainable development in Eastern Europe, Central Asia and South Caucasus. Within the CDDRL alumni network, she is one of the co-founders of the Gender and Development Group. Olga holds a BS degree from the University of Maryland (USA) and an Executive MBA from the Solvay Business School (Belgium).

Alexander Solovyev

Alexander Solovyev

Ex-Chairman of the Open Russia Movement
Alexander Solovyev

Alexander Solovyev

Ex-Chairman of the Open Russia Movement

Alexander Solovyev is an Ex-Chairman of the Open Russia Movement.

He was born in 1987 and studied International Relations at the Russian State Academic University of the Humanities. Began his career as a specialist in international affairs in the Institute for the US and Canada Studies at the Russian Academy of Sciences, where he was a teacher and an analyst.

In 2013 he became assistant to Russian State Duma member Dmitry Gudkov, he assisted in lawmaking and amendment activities. Solovyev played a role in authoring bills for the return of direct elections for governors and majors, and on the abolition of food sanctions due to their incompatibility with the Russian Constitution. In 2016 Solovyev became a member of the Open Russia movement, and in April 2017 he was elected Chairman of the Open Russia Movement.

In 2019 during Moscow city parliament elections he was one of the independent candidates who managed to collect sufficient number of signatures but was still illegally rejected from being registered as a candidate. That caused mass protests in the city and all those candidates were arrested and put into jail for short terms, but simultaneously the authorities initiated dozens of criminal cases against ordinary citizens to frighten people and settle down the protests. Currently he is taking part in numerous initiatives helping to highlight the problem of political prisoners in Russia. Alexander is a federal board member of the Open Russia organization and also is in charge of the Party of Changes Moscow office (a new political party with Dmitry Gudkov as chairman).

Tamta Shermadini

Tamta Shermadini

Director of PwC Georgia
Tamta Shermadini

Tamta Shermadini

Director of PwC Georgia

Tamta Shermadini is the Director of PwC Georgia. Currently Tamta is leading Georgian advisory practice focusing on all the initiatives related to the Government and Public Sector (G&PS), Smart Infrastructure, and IFI / Donor funded projects. She is the Project Management Unit lead and Quality Assurance for all the Good Governance Projects implemented in the country.

In addition to the local role, Tamta is building up the G&PS practice for Eurasia region which covers 9 countries. During her almost ten-year career, she has been involved in various projects related to fund-raising, deals, feasibility studies, financial services consulting, project management and strategy consulting. Tamta holds MBA degree from the IE Business School, Madrid, Spain and BBA degree from the Free University, Tbilisi, Georgia.

Tamara Sartania

Tamara Sartania

Deputy Chief of Party for National Democratic Institute (NDI), Georgia office
Tamara Sartania

Tamara Sartania

Deputy Chief of Party for National Democratic Institute (NDI), Georgia office

Tamara Sartania is an international development professional with more than 12 years of experience in developing and managing programs with a particular focus on civil society development, parliamentary strengthening, elections and good governance systems. Currently she works as a Deputy Chief of Party for National Democratic Institute (NDI), Georgia office.

In her role, Tamara  oversees programs funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) aimed at increasing political pluralism and citizen participation in politics. In addition, she is in charge of the Institute’s election programing and has served as NDI’s Long-Term Analyst for Parliamentary Elections in Lebanon (2018) and as a Political Analyst for OSCE/ODIHR Election Observation Mission for Parliamentary Elections in the Republic of Moldova (2019).

Prior to joining NDI, Tamara  was a Senior Project Officer at CARE International, working with women at the grassroots level in the conflict-affected regions of the South Caucasus.  She  has also worked as an international development consultant for Eurasia Foundation in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan and has served in the government of Georgia for three years. Tamara  holds a Master of Arts degree in Law and Diplomacy from the Fletcher School, Tufts University, and a Bachelor of Arts degree with honors in International Relations from Tbilisi State University. Tamara speaks fluent Georgian, English and Russian and a little bit of French. In her free time, she runs marathons, climbs mountains and travels around the world.

Samira Safarova

Samira Safarova

Front-line Diplomat
Samira Safarova

Samira Safarova

Front-line Diplomat

I have ten years of front-line diplomatic practice, serving at the Embassy of the Republic of Azerbaijan in Washington, D.C. (May 2015-January 2018) and the Permanent Mission of Azerbaijan to the United Nations Office in Geneva (2008- 2012). In Geneva, I was responsible for the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC), Universal Periodic Review mechanism, and UN treaty bodies.

In Washington, D.C., I was a political and Congressional liaison officer covering the State Department with the human rights portfolio and the Senate. At the Ministry of Foreign Affairs since 2007, I have actively participated in bilateral and multilateral negotiations within and presentation of government reports to the UNHRC, UN treaty bodies, Council of Europe, etc. I have expertise in international human rights and humanitarian law and the U.S. political and legislative system.

I had the invaluable experience of being an OSCE short-term observer of the 2016 U.S Presidential elections. I have also three years of teaching experience at the law faculty of Baku State University on private international law, international human rights law and international organizations law theory. I earned my bachelor’s and master’s degree in international relations and international law from Baku State University, as well as a second MA from the Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights.

Sabuhi Rzayev

Sabuhi Rzayev

Leading adviser in Department of Public and Political Issues within the President Administration Office of Azerbaijan
Sabuhi Rzayev

Sabuhi Rzayev

Leading adviser in Department of Public and Political Issues within the President Administration Office of Azerbaijan

Mr. Sabuhi Rzayev is a leading adviser in Department of Public and Political Issues within the President Administration Office of Azerbaijan, since 2014. Currently, He is responsible to support the activities of local and international non-governmental organizations, development donors and link their activities with related state agencies and local executive authorities.

Mr. Rzayev obtained his bachelor degree in Management from Public Administration Academy under the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan in 2005-2009. He holds an MSc degree in Public Policy and Public Administration from the University of York, UK where he studied during 2009-2011. He has also travelled to more than 40 countries of the world and participated in more than 50 international conferences, seminars, training and fellowship programs.

Before his appointment to current position, Mr. Rzayev worked in the Department of political analysis and information provision of President Administration Office in the years of 2011-2014. His main responsibilities were preparing daily report of local and international news, analyzing the content of local media and information support of the president administration, managing the official web-site and all social media accounts of the President.

Tengiz Pkhaladze

Tengiz Pkhaladze

Senior fellow at the International Centre for Geopolitical Studies (ICGS)
Tengiz Pkhaladze

Tengiz Pkhaladze

Senior fellow at the International Centre for Geopolitical Studies (ICGS)

Tengiz Pkhaladze is a Georgian political researcher and public opinion maker. Former advisor-foreign relations secretary to the 4th President of Georgia (2014-1018). His background covers long standing working experience in government, civil society, think-tank and academia, mainly in areas of foreign and security policy, geopolitics, Russia and post-soviet countries, Eastern Partnership, European and Euro-Atlantic integration, institutional building and democratic development.

Currently he is working as Associated Professor, head of BA programs in political sciences at the Georgian Institute of Public Affairs (GIPA) and as Senior fellow at the International Centre for Geopolitical Studies (ICGS). Editor and co-author number of books about Russia’s foreign policy towards neighboring countries.

Giorgi Papava

Giorgi Papava

Consultant of Economic Policy and Governance at Policy Management and Consulting Group (PMCG)
Giorgi Papava

Giorgi Papava

Consultant of Economic Policy and Governance at Policy Management and Consulting Group (PMCG)

Giorgi Papava is a consultant of Economic Policy and Governance at Policy Management and Consulting Group (PMCG). His policy research projects have looked into a number of challenges critical to Georgia’s social and economic development, such as facilitating international trade, internationalizing Georgia’s higher education system, evaluating competitiveness of economic sectors, financing mechanisms in agricultural sector, optimizing social protection system, etc.

He has been involved in evaluation of several existing and proposed legislations, including Law on Funded Pensions, Law on Public-Private Partnerships and Law on Anti-dumping. Giorgi holds an academic position of Associate Professor of Economics at Ilia State University (ISU), where he teaches courses in Managerial Economics and Principles of Economics. He is also an invited lecturer for courses in Law and Economics and Industrial Organization at International School of Economics (ISET).

In 2012, as part of his graduate studies at the University of Chicago, he received Master of Arts Degree in Economics and is currently working on his PhD thesis, Trade Policy in the Presence of Lobbying and Heterogenously Ignorant Voters, joint with Lasha Chochua. He also has a Master of Arts Degree in Economics (2008) from ISET.a

Elene Nizharadze

Elene Nizharadze

Deputy Executive Director at International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy (ISFED)
Elene Nizharadze

Elene Nizharadze

Deputy Executive Director at International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy (ISFED)

Ms. Nizharadze is the Deputy Executive Director at International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy (ISFED). She is in charge of legislative reforms and policy research.

Elene started working at ISFED in 2012 as the project coordinator and since then she has been involved in election monitoring, legislative reforms, local selfgovernment projects, awareness raising campaigns, etc. Ms. Nizharadze has a vast experience of preparing legislative recommendations and advocating for relevant amendments. She has participated in different working groups created to implement electoral, constitutional and local government reforms. Besides domestic elections Elene was also involved as a short-term observer in international election monitoring missions organized by ENEMO and OSCE.

Before starting work at ISFED Ms. Nizharadze was a legal intern at Open Society Justice Initiative (Budapest, Hungary) working on freedom of information and legal clinics. She was also a legal expert of UNDP working for the Civil Registry Agency in Georgia on the legislative reform on identification documents, registration of civil acts, etc. Ms. Nizharadze holds LLM in Comparative Constitutional Law from Central European University (Budapest, Hungary) and Master’s degree from Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University (Tbilisi, Georgia).

Badri Niparishvili

Badri Niparishvili

Judge at District Court of Tetritskaro
Badri Niparishvili

Badri Niparishvili

Judge at District Court of Tetritskaro

Badri Niparishvili is the acting Judge at District Court of Tetritskaro. For over six years he has been working as a head of secretariat at the criminal chamber of Supreme Court and has been engaged in wide range of processes, including Criminal Justice Reform, Electronic Justice, Administration of Justice, making recommendations in terms of legal issues in Criminal Justice System etc.

He has been actively involved in Judicial International Conferences. Alongside, Badri Niparishvili has been actively engaged in academic life, both as a student and as a lecturer. He has obtained Master`s degree in law from Tbilisi State University and currently is enrolled on PhD program at the same University, conducting research in terms of the admissibility of evidence obtained by breach of law. He has been permanently publishing articles on matter of criminal procedure in law journal – “Justice and Law”.

At different times he has been teaching original courses at five different University in Tbilisi namely Political and Legal Aspects of Terrorism, reasoning of judgements, power of investigative judge, preventive measures, criminal proc. he is an Alumni of Tbilisi School of Political Studies a part of the Council of Europe Schools of Political Studies founded in 2000 which is the most demanding space in Georgia.

The School is supporting civil society and democratic process development in the country and unites wide range of professionals around the world. He is amateur artist and had 3 solo and 3 group exhibitions – expressionism, modern expressionism.

Tamta Muradashvili

Tamta Muradashvili

Chief Executive Officer of Mtavari Channel LLC
Tamta Muradashvili

Tamta Muradashvili

Chief Executive Officer of Mtavari Channel LLC

Tamta Muradashvili is a Chief Executive Officer of Mtavari Channel LLC. She has been serving at this position from August 2019, when former senior management team of Rustavi2 established a new broadcasting company, Mtavari Channel, with the vision to create an independent platform and serve development of democracy in the country.

Tamta Muradashvili was a Chief Legal Counsel at Rustavi 2 Broadcasting Company from 2008 till August 2019. Prior joining Rustavi2, she worked for nonprofit organizations. Her work experience includes teaching media law at Georgian Institute of Public Affairs (GIPA) since 2017. Tamta Muradashvili holds LLM from Tbilisi State University (2006) and is a certified specialist in Civil Law. She is also a licensed lawyer in Civil Law (Georgian Bar Association member since 2010). She holds second LLM from University of Vienna (2015) in European and International Business Law.

She is an alumna (2001-2002) of a student exchange program (FSA/FLEX) that is administered by American Councils and fully funded by US State Department. Tamta Muradashvili has contributed to the amendments of the Broadcaster’s Code of Conduct adopted in 2009, and has been actively involved in discussions of draft law projects related to media sector and free speech in general. She has been engaged in the events and developments of Georgian media; participated in panel discussions and conducted public lectures on freedom of speech. She has brought the Rustavi 2’s high profile legal dispute case to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, France. Free University of Tbilisi has nominated her as the nominee of the “Human Rights Defender of 2017” award for her contribution to human rights development and protection in the year of 2017. From 2019, Tamta Muradashvili serves as the Chairwomen of Media and Communications Law Committee at Georgian Bar Association and is a member of International Bar Association.

Salome Mukhuradze

Salome Mukhuradze

Senior Program Officer at the Eastern European Centre for Multiparty Democracy (EECMD)
Salome Mukhuradze

Salome Mukhuradze

Senior Program Officer at the Eastern European Centre for Multiparty Democracy (EECMD)

Salome Mukhuradze is a Senior Program Officer at the Eastern European Centre for Multiparty Democracy (EECMD) and has over 10 years of experience in support of democracy, political parties, policy development, and gender equality. Salome earned LL.B. and LL.M. in Public International Law from Tbilisi State University and holds an M.A. in Intercultural Conflict Management from Alice Salomon University of Applied Sciences of Berlin. Since the final year of her bachelor studies, Salome has been employed by various state agencies, local NGOs, and international organizations. Additionally, Salome has worked as a trainer and invited lecturer on public international law and law of international organizations.

Sandro Megrelishvili

Sandro Megrelishvili

Head of Reform Coordination and Monitoring Division at the Ministry of Defense of Georgia
Sandro Megrelishvili

Sandro Megrelishvili

Head of Reform Coordination and Monitoring Division at the Ministry of Defense of Georgia

Sandro Megrelishvili is the acting head of Reform Coordination and Monitoring Division at the Ministry of Defense of Georgia (MoD).

For over six years, he has been engaged in wide range of dissimilar processes, including coordination, monitoring and reporting, policy formulation and system analysis. With the help of his colleagues, he has introduced the monitoring system for the ministry’s strategic documents. As a result, MoD has a properly working monitoring system that enables the pinpointing of the main challenges and malfunctions, offers profound material for thorough analysis and facilitates decision-making process. Apart from that, Sandro has been actively engaged in academic life, both as a student and as a teacher.

He has graduated from University of St Andrews with Honors Degree in International Relations and gained Master’s Degree in Political Science at Ilia State University. Currently, he is enrolled on PhD program at Ilia State University, researching the role of political parties in the democratic consolidation process. For two consecutive years, Sandro has been teaching ‘Introduction to Democracy’ at a summer school (Guivy Zaldastanishvili American Academy in Tbilisi), while, currently, he is lecturing ‘Democratic Governance’ at the Business and Technology University, the main goal of which is to support students to become active and responsible citizens. S

andro’s is keen to contribute to the strengthening of Georgia’s defense and security, and to its democratic consolidation and sustainable development. He hopes that through participation in LAD program, he will be better prepared to advance these goals.

Elene Khoshtaria

Elene Khoshtaria

Member of the Parliament
Elene Khoshtaria

Elene Khoshtaria

Member of the Parliament

In 2016 Elene Khoshtaria was elected to the Parliament of Georgia, where she is a vocal member of the following committees: Human Rights and Civil Integration and Healthcare and Social Issues. In 2017 she ran as a Tbilisi Mayoral candidate in the Municipal Elections.

Since 2012 she has been a Professor of Political Ideologies and International Affairs at the Tbilisi State University, Agrarian and Free Universities. In the period of 2007-2012 she held a position of the First Vice-State Minister of Georgia for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration. During this period Georgia achieved the major milestones on its path to NATO integration. In 2004, she worked at the Ministry of Internal Affairs; later at the Ministry of Defense and further at the Office of the State Minister of European and Euro-Atlantic Integration, she headed the process of Georgia’s NATO integration in the capacity of the Head of Foreign Affairs Department.

In 2012, Ms. Khoshtaria co-founded a non-partisan, non-governmental policy watchdog and think tank “Georgia’s Reforms Associates” (GRASS) and became an active defender of the Human Rights. From the Civil Society platform, Ms. Khoshtaria was vocal about democracy challenges, annexation of Georgia’s occupied regions by the Russian Federation and Georgia’s Foreign Policy. Elene Khoshtaria graduated from Moscow State Institute for International Affairs (MGIMO).

Ruslan Khoroshvili

Ruslan Khoroshvili

Country Managing Partner of EY Georgia
Ruslan Khoroshvili

Ruslan Khoroshvili

Country Managing Partner of EY Georgia

Ruslan Khoroshvili is a country managing partner of EY in Georgia.

With 20 years of experience in the accounting and auditing profession, he is one of the leading professionals in this sphere in Georgia. He started his career with GCG-Audit in 1999 as a trainee. First working on the joint engagements of GCG-Audit and Andersen and later joining EY in 2003, during their acquisition of GCG-Audit. Throughout his career at EY, Ruslan worked in EY’s Tbilisi, Moscow, Almaty, Astana and Bucharest offices. He served leading EY’s local and international clients, participated in IPO’s and bond offerings in Georgia, UK, Russia and Kazakhstan. In 2003, Ruslan was the first active professional from Georgia to obtain a US Certified Public Accountant designation. He was promoted to audit partner in 2001 at age of 31, becoming the first locally promoted partner for Big4 professional services firms in Georgia.

In 2003, Ruslan was promoted to lead EY’s Georgian practice as a country managing partner. Ruslan is actively engaged in the promotion and development of audit profession in Georgia. He represented audit profession on the first board of the Service for Accounting, Reporting and Auditing Supervision of Georgia. He is also active member of the Georgian Federation of Professional Accountants and Auditors, currently serving as a head of its Audit Quality Committee. Apart from professional endeavors, Ruslan is passionate about charity and social work. In the past, he has participated in large number of social initiatives.

He promotes the idea of social engagement both at EY and broadly in the Georgian society. Currently, Ruslan is a board member of not-for-profit organization First Step. Ruslan is a Bachelor of Business Administration from ESM-Tbilisi. He is active Certified Public Accountant from a State of New Hampshire, USA and is licensed auditor in Georgia. Ruslan has a wife and three kids.

Levan Koberidze

Levan Koberidze

Member of the Parliament
Levan Koberidze

Levan Koberidze

Member of the Parliament

Levan Koberidze is an elected majoritarian member of the 9th term of the Parliament of Georgia. He is a member of the Healthcare and Social Issues Committee in the Parliament of Georgia. Levan Koberidze is a main staff member of the parliamentary delegation in the Parliamentary Assembly of Francophonie (APF).

As a member of the Parliament of Georgia, Levan Koberidze was a deputy chairman of the Healthcare and Social Issues Committee and a member of Sector Economy and Economic Policy Committee. He was a Head of the parliamentary friendship group with Japan, a main staff member of the Parliamentary Delegation in the EuroNest Parliamentary Assembly and a member of Gender Equality Council of Parliament of Georgia. Levan Koberidze was in charge of development of Georgian winery sector as he was a chairman of Georgian Wine Producers Union and gained enormous experience from working in “Georgian Wines and Spirits Company”.

Levan Koberidze holds an MBA Degree from Stockholm School of Economics and he also graduated from the department of medicine, general surgery at Tbilisi State Medical University

Nino Kiknadze

Nino Kiknadze

Director of the project “Law, media and Health” at the Open Society Georgia Foundation
Nino Kiknadze

Nino Kiknadze

Director of the project “Law, media and Health” at the Open Society Georgia Foundation

Nino Kiknadze is the Director of the project “Law, media and Health” at the Open Society Georgia Foundation.

Nino Kiknadze’s background spans such areas of Law as Civil Law (Corporation and Business Law, Labor Law and Health Care law) and human rights. Nina enrolled in Tbilisi State University (department of Jurisprudence) in 1995, which she graduated with honors in 2000 and acquired LLM degree. She also holds an MPA degree from the Georgian Institute of Public Affairs. In 2004, she completed the Leiden University and passed the BAR exam with success. In 1999 Nina worked for Georgian State Chancellery as a Lawyer, where her obligation was legal assessment of Georgian President’s radio speeches.

From 2000 to 2006, Nina Kiknadze worked for Children Central Hospital as a head of legal department. She also worked for Commercial Bank as a Head of Legal Department. Since 2003 till present  Nino Kiknadze  works for  European Union’s, USAID›s, UNDP and World Banks projects as a legal expert.

Since 2006, Nina has been working for Open Society Georgian Foundation as a Law, Media  and Health Initiative  Director. During this period, she has done  researches and till know provides lectures in “Labor Law”, “Contract Law” and “Health law” for different institutes. She is a professor at GIPA. She is an author of some articles published in International Journals and co-author of 3 books. In 2017-2018 Nino Kiknadze was a member of Prisoners Pardon Commission of Georgia. She is a founder of First Children’s Hospice “firefly World” in Georgia. Nino Kiknadze was awarded Order of Honor by President of Georgia. In 2018, in Rome, she was awarded first prize for commitment and dedication to children.

Fatemeh Haghighatjoo

Fatemeh Haghighatjoo

Executive Director of Nonviolent Initiative for Democracy Inc. (NID)
Fatemeh Haghighatjoo

Fatemeh Haghighatjoo

Executive Director of Nonviolent Initiative for Democracy Inc. (NID)

Dr. Fatemeh Haghighatjoo is a founding member and Executive Director of Nonviolent Initiative for Democracy Inc. (NID) and a founding member of Yalda Network for women’s political participation where she has led a training program to assist women to run for public office which previous training help 22 women got elected for local councils in Iran.

Dr. Fatemeh Haghighatjoo is an expert in Iran’s internal affairs and an advocate of human rights, women’s rights, and democracy in Iran. She was a member of Iran’s reformist parliament from 2000-2004. She has published book chapters and papers on the women’s and democratic movements in Iran. She wrote a book,  Search for Truth, which is an account to her trial sparked by her attempt to make the judiciary system accountable. She is also working on a book manuscript entitled A Voice for Truth. She has engaged in public speaking and Media appearance. She is a faculty member of the Eurasia Foundation where she teaches Advocacy and participatory decision making.

Alsi she was a faculty member of the Women’s and Gender Studies Department at the University of Massachusetts Boston and the University of Connecticut.  She developed an online certificate on “Women’s Leadership in Global Perspective” for UMass Boston’s Center for Women in Politics and Public Policy. Also, a research fellow at MIT’s Center for International Studies and Harvard Kennedy School. She has over 6 years of experience in e-learning, strategic planning & project management, policy development, problem-solving skills, team building, staff development, organizational skills, monitoring & evaluation. Managed day-to-day operations, grant proposal writing, budget development and management, and financial report writing  and liaised donor. Adept at using project management technology and e-learning platform such as Webex, Blackboard, Adobe.

Skilled in qualitative & quantitative research, proficient use of SPSS & office software. She oversaw curriculum design, content development, delivery of training and 23 online modules on leadership and electoral campaign management  on women’s political participation. In 2005, Dr. Haghighatjoo earned her Ph.D. in Counseling. She was a faculty member of Tehran University and Shahid Beheshti University before moving to the USA. She was honored as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum in 2005.

Tamar Gvaramadze

Tamar Gvaramadze

First Deputy Public Defender of Georgia
Tamar Gvaramadze

Tamar Gvaramadze

First Deputy Public Defender of Georgia

Dr. Tamar Gvaramadze is a legal professional, with over 12 years of cumulative experience, covering both managerial and administrative positions, as well as content-related analytical work at the public and non-governmental sectors.

Under her management in one of the leading NGOs in Georgia – Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association (GYLA) the rights of over a quarter-million individuals were protected, Dr. Gvaramadze drew forward major amendments into Georgian legislation and led the establishment of important human rights precedents at the courts – both at domestic and international levels. In her capacity as a human rights lawyer, her work covered protection and advocacy for the diversity of rights of hundreds of vulnerable individuals. Currently she holds the position of the First Deputy Public Defender of Georgia.

In addition to the successful career in non-governmental and public sectors, Dr. Gvaramadze has Ph.D. in Law, is Associate Professor of Law at the Tbilisi State University (TSU) and Board Member of the major human rights organizations in Georgia such as GYLA. In 2014-2016 she was member of Advisory Council of the National Preventive Mechanism under the Office of Public Defender of Georgia. Moreover, Dr. Gvaramadze is an author of various papers for widely acclaimed international organizations: Council of Europe, GIZ, DFG, and GBA.

George Glonti

George Glonti

Independent Member of Supervisory Board and Chairman of Audit Committee at Pasha Bank Georgia
George Glonti

George Glonti

Independent Member of Supervisory Board and Chairman of Audit Committee at Pasha Bank Georgia

George is a banker and financier with hands-on over 20 years, a professional manager with strong turnaround management practice.

George graduated from Tbilisi State University in 1994 with Master’s degree in Economics, majoring in Banking and Finance. Received bank auditor’s certificate from Georgian Chamber of Auditors in 2000, completed Harvard VPAL FinTech online course in October 2019.

 

Presently Independent Member of Supervisory Board and Chairman of Audit Committee at Pasha Bank Georgia, Non-Executive Vice President of GFTC – SWIFT Service Bureau in Georgia, Freelancer specialized in Management Services, Consulting, Business Turnarounds. Most recent Assignments include the following positions and achievements: 2014–2018 – CEO at Super TV (leading Pay TV company) – Doubling EBITDA, quadrupling Net Profit and increasing the volume of business by 25% in less than one year; 2009–2013 – CEO at KSB (Kor Standard Bank) (Presently Tera Bank) – remarkable turnaround from loss-making bank, to a highly profitable and reputable financial institution; 2008–2009 – CEO at People’s Bank of Georgia (presently Liberty Bank) – rescuing the bank from bankruptcy and transforming to one of the highest-return-giving banks; 2005-2008 – Vice President of the National Bank of Georgia (Central Bank) – optimization of the Central Bank’s operations and modernization of the regulatory framework for the Georgian Banks. Other positions during career include: 2003–2005 – Deputy CEO at People’s Bank of Georgia (presently Liberty Bank); 1999-2003 – CEO, Managing Partner and Founder at UBC International LTD (Audit & Consulting) 1992-1999 – Various positions at leading Georgian Banks. George is a Board member of Georgian Independent Directors’ Association. Speaks English (Fluent), Russian (Fluent) and Georgian (Mother-tongue).

Nino Gelashvili

Nino Gelashvili

Senior Editor at the RFE/RL Georgian Service
Nino Gelashvili

Nino Gelashvili

Senior Editor at the RFE/RL Georgian Service

Nino Gelashvili is a Senior Editor at the RFE/RL Georgian Service. She started practicing journalism in 1992 with the local Georgian newspaper.

In 1994 she as a young journalist took part in the US funded internship program. In 1995 Nino Gelashvili joined the RFE/RL as a freelancer. Prior to that she was hired by the newly opened European Commission Delegation in Tbilisi as a press assistant. In 2003-2005 Nino moved to the RFE/RL headquarters in Prague and worked as a broadcasted for the Georgian Service. She returned to Tbilisi Bureau as a Senior Editor and a moderator of a live radio talk-show. Today she hosts a daily radio program “Dilis Saubrebi” (Morning Talks) where she discusses various important topics with the guests and the listener.

Nino Gelashvili’s video interviews are published on the RFE/RL Georgian Service internet sites. She is mostly interested in politics (Georgia’s path towards the NATO, integration with the EU, relations with Russia, state of democracy in Georgia, judicial reform), human rights (minority rights, environment, rule of law) and economic issues. She is also invited to the various panels as a moderator. In different years Nino Gelashvili served as a teacher in news reporting and radio journalism with different students’ classes at the GIPA, the Caucasus University and the Liberty Media School. Nino Gelashvili graduated from Tbilisi State University Journalism faculty.

Katarzyna Gardapkhadze

Katarzyna Gardapkhadze

Leadership and strategic management practitioner
Katarzyna Gardapkhadze

Katarzyna Gardapkhadze

Leadership and strategic management practitioner

Leadership and strategic management practitioner with 25+ years of professional experience, ranging from public services and non-profits to multilateral organizations in Europe, the United States of America, South Caucasus and Central Asia. Experienced trainer with an Institute for Leadership & Management certification. 2019 recipient of the Ambassador for Liberty and Peace International Award of Excellence. Committed to responsible leadership rooted in ethical values, centered around human and social capital, and driven by sustainable social impact.

George Darchia

George Darchia

Component Lead at USAID Economic Security Program in Georgia
George Darchia

George Darchia

Component Lead at USAID Economic Security Program in Georgia

Mr. George Darchia was born in Tbilisi, Georgia in November 30, 1980. He graduated from Lincoln University (San Francisco, California) with his Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration in 2003. His Studies, among other subjects, included International Trade, Macro Economics and Organizational Culture.

For more than 15 years he has worked for governmental and donor organizations, private enterprises and financial institutions; counseled business associations and unions on institutional development, competitiveness and economic growth. Renowned for providing pragmatic advice and delivering tangible results, He has worked in technical and leading roles on long- and short-term assignments. Institutions Mr. Darchia has worked for, include the National Bank of Georgia, Flag International, LLC, Deloitte, International Executive Service Corps, Land O’Lakes Inc, Enterprise Georgia, and DAI Global. Currently he serves as a component lead at USAID Economic Security Program in Georgia, implemented by DAI Global. Mr. Darchia has gone through numerous trainings and professional development endeavors resulting in gaining excellent communication, management, presentation and problem-solving skills.

One of the highlights among Mr. Darchia’s achievements is insurance market reform in Georgia, which he spearheaded through institutional development of Georgian Insurance Association, tailoring and implementation of co-financed agricultural insurance pilot project, and initiation of public-private dialogue resulting in adoption of law on subsidized agricultural insurance in the country. During his career, Mr. Darchia took a challenge of an expatriate life and went to Middle East, particularly to Afghanistan, where he spent three years working on private sector developmentoriented program of USAID. Being a big believer of liberty, equality, prosperity, and the pursuit of happiness, Mr. Darchia considers himself as a servant of private sector and economic growth and continues concentrating his efforts to achieve significant goals in his future career.

Giorgi Cherkezishvili

Giorgi Cherkezishvili

Chief Investment Officer at Wings & Freeman Capital (WFC)
Giorgi Cherkezishvili

Giorgi Cherkezishvili

Chief Investment Officer at Wings & Freeman Capital (WFC)

Mr. Giorgi Cherkezishvili is a Chief Investment Officer at Wings & Freeman Capital (WFC) – a financial advisory firm with special focus on structuring the financial transactions involving International Financial Institutions (IFIs) and Development Finance Institutions (DFIs). Before joining WFC, Mr. Giorgi Cherkezishvili worked on different high level positions, both in public and private sector.

He was a Deputy Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia in the years 2017-2018, covering Transport & Logistics, Communications & Innovations, Investment & Entrepreneurship sectors. In the years 2014-2016 Mr. Giorgi Cherkezishvili worked as a Head of Investment Department at JSC Partnership Fund, state equity fund with investment portfolio over USD 2 bln. Short before, for more than eight years, he held different positions at Corporate Banking Department of JSC Bank of Georgia, a leading commercial bank in Georgia. Mr. Cherkezishvili holds a Master degree in Business Administration, Specialization in Global Management from Grenoble Graduate School of Business (France) and Caucasus Business School (Georgia) Dual MBA Program and Master/Bachelor degree in International Economic Relations from the Iv. Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University.

Giorgi Butikashvili

Giorgi Butikashvili

Program Manager at Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung in the South Caucasus office in Georgia
Giorgi Butikashvili

Giorgi Butikashvili

Program Manager at Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung in the South Caucasus office in Georgia

Since 2019, I am involved in the Professional Development Program for Leaders “Carl Friedrich Goerdeler-Kolleg for Good Governance” organized by the The German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP) and Robert Bosch Foundation. In 2018, I have successfully completed a one-year research program at the Free University of Tbilisi and the University of North Texas on “Russian Hybrid Warfare and its Implications for Democracy,” which will be published as a hard copy at the end of 2019. Since 2013, I have been working as program manager at Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung in the South Caucasus office in Georgia. At the same time, I am an invited lecturer at the Ilia State University in Tbilisi. I teach the political and legal system of Germany for various bachelor courses. In 2011, I completed my master’s degree in International Relations and Economics at the Catholic University Eichstätt-Ingolstadt in Germany. Before that, I obtained my bachelor’s degree in International Relations from the Georgian Technical University.

Ketevan Bochorishvili

Ketevan Bochorishvili

Vice minister of Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia
Ketevan Bochorishvili

Ketevan Bochorishvili

Vice minister of Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia

Counting 17 years of management experience including 7 years of her dedication to Georgia’s public sector as a senior executive, Ketevan has successfully served as vice minister of Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia, under four consecutive leaderships of two democratically elected governments. Her area of work included Economic Policy, FDI Attraction, SME Sector Development, Export Promotion and Development, Tourism Development, Special Development and Construction Policy, R&D, National and International Promotion Campaigns. Ketevan has an impressive record of cooperation with all leading International Financial Institutions and International Organizations through development and implementation of multimillion dollar economic development programs.

Ms. Bochorishvili holds MA degree in International Public Management from SDA Bocconi School of Management (Milan, Italy) and BA/MA degrees in International Conflict Resolution from Georgian Technical University. She has accumulated several intercultural experiences and developed entrepreneurial skills through participating in programs at Georgetown University (USA), the Iacocca Institute (USA) and Charles University (Czech Republic). In her capacity, as CEO of JSC Anaklia City, Ms. Bochorishvili aims to develop the city scale special economic zone, next to the deep sea port, encompassing such economic clusters as logistics, light manufacturing, tourism and hospitality and other services.

Otar Berishvili

Otar Berishvili

Business Development Manager at Adjara Group
Otar Berishvili

Otar Berishvili

Business Development Manager at Adjara Group

Oto Berishvili joined Adjara Group in 2010 and heads a visionary team of 50 people who runs the business development process of the company. He leads the company’s business expansion effort and is responsible for new international markets entry strategies. Oto is instrumental to project development and concept creation of the company’s ever-evolving initiatives. His interest in regional development and grassroots engagement drives him to focus on responsible business practices and generate knowledge sharing platforms for others to get inspired by.

Nikoloz Alavidze

Nikoloz Alavidze

Deputy Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia
Nikoloz Alavidze

Nikoloz Alavidze

Deputy Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia

Nikoloz is a qualified, experienced and responsible professional with more than 20-years of extensive experience in Banking, Finance, International Trade Finance, Consulting, Management and Coordination.

Now, he’s a Deputy Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia. Before joining Ministry Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia, he was actively involved in private sector, particularly in Corporate Banking and Consultancy. For past 19 years, he acquired experience of working for largest Georgian and International Banks: Bank Republic – Societe Genarale Group, TBC Bank and Bank of Georgia, as Head of Corporate Banking Division and head of Regional Corporate Banking.

He has also been involved in numerous private initiatives, mostly as an angel investor oriented on Social Impact Investments; in 2016, he initiated and founded LLC Altitude (project – Altihut 3014) that is an innovative, Social Impact Investment Project, executed solely by private investment. He has joined Government team from TBC Bank, where he served as a Head of Regional Corporate Banking Business. He holds a Master Degree form Tbilisi state University in International Economics (2000) and Master Degree in Innovations management form Grenoble Graduate School of Management (GGSB), Grenoble, France (2015).

Damelya Aithozhina

Damelya Aithozhina

Researcher, the Human Rights Watch’s Europe and Central Asia Division
Damelya Aithozhina

Damelya Aithozhina

Researcher, the Human Rights Watch’s Europe and Central Asia Division

Damelya Aitkhozhina is a Researcher with the Human Rights Watch’s Europe and Central Asia Division. A lawyer by training, prior to joining Human Rights Watch, Aitkhozhina has worked on a number of projects aimed at promoting human rights in Central Asian region and the Russian Federation.

She has worked with the Street Law human rights education project; the European Human Rights Advocacy Center and the Russian Justice Initiative and as a Researcher with Amnesty International. She also has considerable experience working in UN in Central Asia, including OHCHR, UNHCR, UN Women and UNTOP.

She holds MPA from Harvard Kennedy School, LLM in international human rights law from the University of Essex (UK) and her law degree from Adliet Higher Law School (Kazakhstan).

Anna Zhvania

Anna Zhvania

Senior Research Fellow at Georgian Institute for Strategic Studies (GISS) / Director at Social Research Lab at Ilia State University
Anna Zhvania

Anna Zhvania

Senior Research Fellow at Georgian Institute for Strategic Studies (GISS) / Director at Social Research Lab at Ilia State University

Anna Zhvania is a Head of Social Research Lab at Ilia State University and Senior Research Fellow at the Georgian Institute for Strategic Studies (GISS). Social Research Lab aims to conduct research and facilitate public discussion on topics related to self-reflection of Georgian society, statehood building and institutional development, understanding public policy and reforms, their dimensions, development and transformation of society, other issues, which are essential for understanding of the current dynamics and perspectives.

Anna has a diverse work experience in non-governmental organizations, international donor institutions, academia and the government. She started with the Georgian national NGOs working in field of human rights and media freedom, public education and policy analysis. From 2005 Anna worked for different governmental institutions in fields of security and peace building, intelligence, CBRN preparedness and response, education and science, human rights and civic education. As a part of a government team, in close cooperation with partners and stakeholders at domestic and international level, she was involved in needs assessment, evaluation and planning, policy design and actual implementation of different reform elements.

During 2005 – 2013, Anna acted as Deputy Minister of Education and Science, Head of Foreign Intelligence Service, special adviser to the President in field of civic integration and Director of Richard G. Lugar Center for Public Health Research. The latter meant to be the unique international center of excellence in field of biomedical research. From 2002 Anna was pursuing her academic carrier, through carrying out different researches as well as teaching and mentoring future social researchers at Ilia State University.

Tina (Tiko) Tsomaia

Tina (Tiko) Tsomaia

Chairperson at Baltic to Black Sea Alliance Georgia and Professor at Caucasus School of Journalism and Media / GIPA
Tina (Tiko) Tsomaia

Tina (Tiko) Tsomaia

Chairperson at Baltic to Black Sea Alliance Georgia and Professor at Caucasus School of Journalism and Media / GIPA

Tina (Tiko) Tsomaia is a Professor at the Caucasus School of Journalism and Media Management (CSJMM) of the Georgian Institute of Public Affairs (GIPA), where she is completing her PhD in Mass Communications. She has a BA and MA in Medicine and an MA in Journalism and Media Management.

As a recipient of a Global Faculty Grant of the Open Society Scholarships Program, she was a postgraduate research fellow NYU’s Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute. She is a MC member of the Cost Action IS-1206 Femicide Across Europe and a board member of the Georgian Psychotrauma Society.

She is a Chairperson of the Baltic to Black Sea Alliance – Georgia, a nongovernmental organization with the aim to facilitate consolidation of free, democratic, socially and politically vocal society in Georgia. As a human rights activist she is involved in different campaigns in mental health, women movement, access to medicine, palliative care.

Her research topics are: pre-natal sex selection, trauma and addiction, ethical decision making and health communication.

Vera Tkachenko

Vera Tkachenko

International Programme Manager at United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNDODC)
Vera Tkachenko

Vera Tkachenko

International Programme Manager at United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNDODC)

In May 2015, Vera Tkachenko assumed her duties as International Programme Manager of Sub-Programme 2 “Criminal Justice, Crime Prevention and Integrity” of the Programme for Central Asia 2015-2019 that represents the overarching strategic framework under which United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) provides technical assistance within the Central Asian States. From 2010 to 2015 she served as UNODC International Project Manager leading criminal justice project in the Kyrgyz Republic aimed at strengthening the rule of law through enhanced multi-agency coordination and policy development on criminal justice, crime prevention and penal reform.

From January to August 2015 Ms. Tkachenko served as an Officer-in-Charge of UNODC Programme Office in Tajikistan. From 2008 to June 2010 she led the work of a non-political, independent research institute Legal Policy Research Centre (LPRC) based in Almaty that promotes legal reforms through research and pro-active engagement with policy makers in countries of Central Asia. From 2001 to 2006 she served as a Regional Director of Penal Reform International (PRI) for Central Asia.

From 1999 to 2000 she worked on implementation of human dimension projects of the OSCE Centre in Kazakhstan. In 2006-2007, as a Chevening Scholar, Ms. Tkachenko has received the degree of Master of Science in Criminal Justice Policy in the London School of Economics and Political Science. In 2007 she was a fellow at Stanford Summer Programme on Democracy, Development and Rule of Law. She also has bachelor degree in Law.

Giorgi Vashakidze

Giorgi Vashakidze

Researcher at Swiss Graduate School of Public Administration in the University of Lausanne
Giorgi Vashakidze