Originally from the town of Ruse in Northeastern Bulgaria, Irina (28) schooled and worked in various places around the world. She was a scholar of the European Commission Erasmus Mundus program with a Joint Master’s Degree in Economics of Globalization and European Integration in China, Belgium and Italy. During her undergraduate studies in International Economic Relations at the University of Economics in Varna, she spent an academic year at the University of applied sciences Seinajoki, Finland with a focus on International Business Administration.
Irina‘s first experience in a foreign country as a “young diplomat” within the Ben Franklin Transatlantic Fellowship program at Wake Forest University, North Carolina, sparkled her interest in global issues and she decided to pursue an international career. An alumna of the Preparing Global Leaders Forum, the international student organization AIESEC, the European Youth Parliament, the Fulbright Summer Institute and the Harvard Project for Asian and International studies, to name a few, Irina is passionate about civic engagement and youth empowerment.
Irina has been working at the America for Bulgaria foundation, which is the biggest independent professional philanthropic organization in her home country. In her role in the education program team, she has been managing grants and grantee relations, as well as representing the organization at various fora and events. Prior to her current role, she spent two years with the Communication and External Relations team at the OPEC Fund for International Development, where, among other things, she organized and coordinated events and initiatives, coordinated a campaign for proliferating equality for young migrants in Austria, and prepared various written materials on the project operations of the fund in the developing world. She was also the youngest elected vice chair at the organization‘s staff committee.
Irina is keen language-learner and traveler, who would like to continue her professional path in the field of development.