Artan Hajdari – Chairman of the Board of Directors, former Deputy Minister of Justice

Besnik Mustafaj

Diana Çuli 

Gjergj Sinani 

Valentina Leskaj 

Teuta Starova

Valter Ibrahimi 




Albert Rakipi, PhD, Chairman of the Albanian Institute for International Studies

Rakipi has a PhD in International Relations from Bilkent University. Before assuming this position, he has previously served as deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Albania and a career diplomat. Dr. Rakipi also taught as part time professor at the Tirana University, Faculty of History and Philology and as guest lecturer in other universities in Albania and abroad. He is Co- Founder and Co-President of Albanian Council on Foreign Relations, founder of a monthly magazine Europa ( and co-founder and Editorial Page Editor of English language weekly newspaper Tirana Times ( He is a Board Member of the Diplomatic Academy of Albanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Also member of Director’s Network of International Relations Institutes of EU countries, Member of Editorial Board of the European Perspectives , - Journal on European Perspectives of the Western Balkans, Slovenia. He has received a number of scholarships and awards including Chevening Faculty Fellowship Program LSE, London, NATO Fellowship Program at NATO Defense College, Rome, US State Department International Visitors Program.etc.



Alba Çela, Executive Director and Head of the European Program at the Albanian Institute for International Studies

Alba Cela holds a B.A in Political Science/ International relations from the American University in Bulgaria (magna cum laude) as well as an M. A in Nationalism Studies from the Central European University (with Distinction) in Budapest. She has been a recipient of the prestigious John Gunn scholarship at the University of Washington and Lee in Virginia. Alba’s main areas of research are: democratization, political parties, national identity and European integration. She has also taught as an associate professor of political science and economics at two private universities in Tirana. Her latest publication is entitled “Ghost political parties and the deformation of democracy: the case of Albania and the region”. Additionally, Alba participates as an independent expert in research, monitoring & evaluation and advocacy projects for several international donors and organizations such as OSFA/ FES/ BIRN etc.



Sara Zekaj, Executive Assistant 

Sara Zekaj holds a Joint degree in law from University of Tirana and Masaryk University under the JoinEU-SEE program in 2011 and Msc in Public Law (2016). Previously she has been part Cabinet of the Minister in the Ministry of Interior, working on illegal migration and violent extremism, including related international cooperation initiatives. Following her interest in international political affairs and security matters, she recently graduated from University of Westminster in MA International Relations and Security at as a Chevening Scholar.




Elka Qirjako - Library Manager    Elisa Carka - Events Planner  Vasilika Andrea - Events Planner




Professor Nicholas Pano - Professor Emeritus, Western Illinois University. 

Bernd Fischer - Historian. Professor, Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne.

Elez Biberaj - Director, Eurasia Division, Voice of America. 

Michael Weichert, University Diploma in Sociology, Free University of Berlin, Germany. 


Albert Doja - Anthropologist, Professor, Institute of Sociology and Anthropology, University of Sciences and Technologies of Lille 1. 

Robert Austin - Senior Lecturer and Undergraduate Program Coordinator, Centre for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies, Munl School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto. 

Dr. Zemaida Mozali - PhD in European Integration

Blendi Kajsiu - Lecturer, New York University of Tirana.  PhD in Ideology and Discourse Analysis from the University of Essex, United Kingdom.





Andi Balla - Journalist, author



Lutfi Dervishi - Freelance media expert


Geron Kamberi - Policy and Acvocacy Officer, Oxfam GB. 


Alfred Lela -  PhD candidate in European Studies. Editor in Chief, MAPO Magazine. Deputy Editor in Chief, Mapo Newspaper. 


Sokol Lleshi -  PhD in political science, Central European University. 


Olta Murataj -  Ph.D. candidate at Hacettepe University, Ankara, Turkey


Alban Dafa - Researcher on governance and security. 


Dr. Eda Gemi - Senior Lecturer of Sociology of Migration and Gender Studies at European University of Tirana


Jordan Jorgji - Lecturer of International and European Studies at the Department of Social Studies, Fan S. Noli University, Korçë, Albania, member of Academic Senate. 


Megi Llubani -  EVAW Technical Project Analyst at UN Women. 


Kristina Lani -  Consultant Albanian Media Institute 




Since its establishment, the Albanian Institute for International Studies has served as a center for excellence and as a starting point for boosting one's career. The following list of former AIIS staff members are a good example of the Institute's aim to enrich the academic and researcher's community in Albania and to encourage excellence in this field. 


Adela Halo - Currently PhD in Political Studies at the Queen Mary University, London. Former Lead Researcher for National Integrity System Assessment


Aldo Bumçi - Former Deputy Director of the Albanian Institute for International Studies and former Minister of Foreign AffairsCurrently DP MP in the Albanian Assembly. 


Blerta Hoxha - Currently Political Adviser at the U.S. Embassy in Tirana. 


Dr. Diana Gellci - Anthropology instructor at Wayne County Community College, U.S. 


Dorarta Hyseni - Currently works for the European Union Delegation in Albania, Political Section


Elda Dakli - Currently working on Market Research at ACCES Employment, Canada


Eno Trimçev - Former Executive Director of the Albanian Institute for International Studies. Currently Visiting Lecturer at Leuphana Universitat Luneburg. 


Edith Harxhi - Former Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs. Currently Executive Director of the Albanian Policy Center. 


Edlira Majko - Currently Program Coordinator for the Roma Initiatives Office, Open Society Foundation, Budapest. 


Elena Shomos - Currently MSc Candidate at the London School of Economics and Political Sciences, International Relations. 


Enfrid Islami - Currently Qualitative Researcher at IDRA Research and Development. 


Klementin Mile - Currently lecturer at the European University of Tirana. 


Lublin Dilja - Former Ambassador of Albania to the United States, Former Ambassador of Albania to the United Nations. 


Maklen Misha - Former Adviser at the Prime Minister's Office. 


Marsida Gjonçaj - Political, Press and Public Affairs Officer at the British Embassy in Tirana. 


Odeta Barbullushi - Advisor to the Prime Minister of Albania and National Coordinator for Regional Economic Area; Former Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs 


Sabina Ymeri - Former Deputy Director at Albanian Institute for International Studies