Back to top

LEAD Albania

LEAD Albania, a fellowship program similar to the White House Fellows Program, aims to provide gifted young Albanian professionals with first-hand experience in the process of governing Albania.  Fellows are assigned to senior positions within the Prime Ministry, Office of the President, Ministries, and Municipality of Tirana. The Fellowship experience is supported by an educational component where Fellows participate in seminars on: European integration, public policy, decision making, foreign policy, security policy, leadership, and soft skills development. The program envisions that Fellows will not only learn in their positions but that they will also contribute significantly to the productivity, efficiency and innovativeness of the host institutions. Five years from its successful implementation, the AADF approved the extension of the LEAD program to a second five-year period, budgeted at $3.2 Million and making it an overall investment of $5.7 Million.

About

Engagement in the work of the central government agencies is at the heart of the LEAD Albania program. Fellows will spend a year as full-time, paid advisers or assistants to the top officials of the Prime Ministry, Ministries, the Office of the President, and the Municipality of Tirana. Fellows may also be required to work on issues outside of their area of expertise. Responsibilities can be wide ranging and will be defined in the job description developed by the AADF and each host institution prior to placement of the Fellow. Fellows may be required to undertake domestic and international travel as part of their assignment and for learning purposes.

The list of positions for Fellows may vary from year to year. The number of Fellows selected will also depend on the quality of applications. The year-long Fellowship begins in the fall of each year.

The LEAD Albania Program will pay each Fellow a salary and benefits based on the pay scale of the agency where they are placed. Fellows will not be permitted to have additional employment during their year of government service. In return for the privilege of participating in the Program, Fellows will be expected to apply what they have learned by contributing to the nation as leaders in their respective communities, professions, and in public service. Fellows will be expected to return to their former occupations or undertake new career paths with the attained experience in public policy. Participants will be better prepared to contribute to national affairs, thereby fulfilling the mission of the program.

Host Institutions

Prime Minister’s Office, Ministries, Office of the President and Tirana Municipality offer positions for the fellows. The Albanian-American Development Foundation has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with each of these institutions.

During the application process, Fellows are asked to choose the institution where they prefer to be placed. If selected as a finalist, the fellow will be recommended as an adviser to the top ranking official of the respective institution.

Current Class

The 2018 Class of LEAD Albania Fellows

1. Oltion Pengu

Oltion Pengu holds a Bachelor’s degree in Law and a Master’s degree in “Compared Constitutional law and Compared European law” from the University of Tirana. In the past four years he has worked at the Albanian Erasmus + Office in the promotion and implementation of the EU funded Erasmus + programme. His prior professional experience comprises working as a coordinator and local consultant for foreign aid issues at the Council of Ministers of Albania, as a lawyer and media specialist in the private sector, and as a teacher at the Higher Education level. Host Institution: Prime Minister’s Office

eltionmeka

Eltion Meka holds a Ph.D. in Global Affairs from Rutgers University, New Jersey, USA.  He also holds a Master’s in Political Science from the same university and a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Kean University (USA). His research investigates the process of European integration and how the process of EU accession has affected democratization and party politics in Eastern Europe. Part of his research work has already been published in a number of leading international journals. After a 17-year period in the US, Eltion returned to Albania as Assistant Professor of Political Science and International Relations at the University of New York Tirana. During this period, Eltion has also been the recipient of two Erasmus+ projects from the European Commission which investigate the EU’s promotion of democratic values in Albania and the Western Balkans. Host Institution: Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs

3. Eugena Topi

Eugena Topi holds a Bachelor and Master of Science degree in Finance from the University of Tirana. She started her career at the Albanian Center for Economic Research as a Research Coordinator. Eugena has similarly engaged on topics of good governance, anticorruption and management of state owned enterprises as part of the Southeast European Leadership for Development and Integrity. Subsequently, she was awarded a traineeship in the European Parliament as part of the Robert Schuman Graduate Programme. Over the past years, Eugena was an advisor and parliamentary assistant at the European Parliament, acquiring and exercising expertise on budgetary, economic and financial issues of the EU. Throughout her professional engagements, she has actively participated in civic and youth initiatives in Albania and abroad and has contributed to the development and capacity building of AIESEC in Albania. Host Institution: Ministry of Finance and Economy

4. Oerd Bej

Oerd Bej holds a MSc in Communication Science from the European University of Tirana. After his studies, his professional career has been closely linked to the media field with a study by Birn Albania on “Corruption Reporting in Audio-Visual Media and Written: The Case of Albania”. He has worked as a journalist for “Top Channel” television, addressing themes that have focused on creating a public debate on cultural and media issues. At the same time, his research work has been closely related to the media since 2015, at which time Oerdi joined the Audiovisual Media Authority staff, making a continuous contribution to improving the “Broadcasting Code” and of other secondary legislation related to the media. Host institution: Ministry of Education, Sports and Youth

5. Besnik Maho

Besnik Maho holds a Masters Degree in Private law, a magistrate degree and a PhD in Historical Sciences. He has been part of the public administration in the position of the General Director of the Agency for Restitution and Compensation of Immovable Properties and prior to that, he has held the position of Judge. Besnik has been part of the team training the new magistrates of the School of Magistrates in Albania and is a lecturer of several subject matters in Albanian universities. He is the author of several articles and publications in legal journals in Albania and abroad, mainly related to property rights. He is a certified “Notary Public” in the State of Illinois, USA. Host Institution: Ministry of Justice

6. Manjola Stefani

Manjola Stefani holds a BA in Marketing and Business Administration by the University of Tirana and a MA in Public Administration by the joint program of University of Tirana and University of Nebraska. She has 18 years of professional experience in public administration and civil society sector. Her fields of expertise include organizational development, program management, rural development, women and youth social and economic integration and empowerment, gender mainstreaming, human rights. Her professional career include EU programme management within the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Energy (2001-2006); associated lecturer at Faculty of Economy of Tirana University (2008-2012); and since 2006 onward expertise in development programs and NGO management issues.  Host Institution: Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development

7. Enyal Lani

Enyal Lani graduated in Dental Medicine from the University of Tirana. In 2017, she was awarded the Chevening Scholarship, to pursue a Master’s degree in Global Health and Policy at the Queen Mary University of London. Upon completion of her studies, she worked on a research on Global Health Philanthropy. Early on in her career she worked in Tirana as a coordinator of educational health projects focusing on specific areas of oral health. She also conducted extracurricular and volunteer activities in the UK, predominantly  based in Bartholomew’s Hospital, NHS, mainly in the areas of health promotion and mental health. Moving forward, she wants to focus on designing and implementing evidence based health policies. Host Institution: Ministry of Health and Social Protection

8. Ermal Telha

Ermal Telha holds a Bachelor and Master of Science degree in Business Administration from the University of Korça. He earned a Master of Science in Public Relations from European University of Tirana. During his studies at the European University of Tirana, he held the position of Marketing and Recruitment Coordinator at this University. His engagement with the European University of Tirana continues as an invited lecturer in business and public communication. For nearly three years, he held the position of Sales and Standards Director at Theaplast shpk, engaging in the policies undertaken by the Albanian Government in the field of environment, as a representative of the Albanian Plastic Converters Association. He has contributed to the revision of the legislation on integrated waste management in the Republic of Albania. He is active in the public opinion and national media through professional economic analysis. Host Institution: Ministry of Tourism and Environment

irola

Irola Andoni holds a MSc with Distinction in Architecture, and a BSc in Architecture and Urban Design from Cracow University of Technology in Poland, which she combined with studies at the University of Tennessee, College of Architecture and Design in Knoxville, TN, USA. She started her career in the private sector, working as an architect in different architecture studios in Poland and Italy until 2016, when she started working at the National Territorial Planning Agency (NTPA) of Albania. As Head of the Priority Implementation Sector in NTPA, she was involved in coordinating the drafting of the General Local Plans of Tirana, Durrësi, Shijak and Vora Municipalities, in monitoring pilot projects and international architecture and urban designs competitions organized by the Albanian government, through Atelier Albania. Since 2016, she is engaged as a part time lecturer at the Faculty of Architecture and Urban Design, of the Polytechnic University of Tirana. Upon her return to Albania she joined a start-up for entrepreneurship and innovation and contributed in designing graphic materials and mockups for new softwares and an innovative platform for new ways of learning. Host institution: Municipality of Tirana

10. Valbona Seranaj

Valbona Seranaj holds a Master’s degree in Architecture from Polytechnic University of Tirana and has completed advanced postgraduate studies at University of Maryland, College Park, School of Architecture, Urban Planning and Historic Preservation. She has over ten years of experience in architectural design and urban planning based on sustainability and the principles of New Urbanism, in both public and private sector. Her experience includes a broad range of projects, from civic buildings design, master plans, Transit Oriented Development (TOD’s), urban site retrofits, creation of design guidelines, etc. Valbona is certified in Building Energy Audit and Environmental Impact Assessment. She has also worked as a real-estate evaluation senior for a financial institution and holds a license as real-estate appraisal. Under the MIP Professional Internship Program, Valbona has worked in an architecture / planning firm in Washington D.C. area, where she was a member of the Urban Planning Department. Host Institution: Municipality of Tirana

Alumni

Admir Malaj – Ministry of Social Welfare and Youth

Bledar Dervishaj – Ministry of Justice

Dritan Fino – Ministry of Finance

Eduart Gjokutaj – Ministry of Finance

Elona Bano –  President’s Office

Ergis Sefa – Ministry of Social Welfare and Youth

Krislen Keri – Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure

Ledio Braho – President’s Office

Qamil Dika – Municipality of Tirana

Sokol Muça – Ministry of Education and Sport

Adanela Musaraj – Ministry of Agriculture, Rural Development and Water Management

Besjona Mehmetaj (Dede) – Ministry of Education and Sport

Edmond Ahmeti – Ministry of Culture

Endri Mykaj – Prime Minister’s Office

Erton Graceni – Prime Minister’s Office

Gilbert Vigani – Municipality of Tirana

Julinda Mansaku – Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure

Sokol Bardhi – Ministry of Interior

Ujvara Ponari – Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Bruxhilda Kito – Ministry of Interior

Dritan Palnikaj – Prime Minister’s Office

Ekflodia Leskaj – Ministry of Economic Development, Tourism, Trade and Entrepreneurship

Enton Duro – Ministry of Finance

Gerion Dhimo – State Minister for Innovation and Public Administration

Jonila Gabrani – Ministry of Health

Klodiana Beshku – Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Lumturi Hoxha – Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure

Marsida Duli – Ministry of Health

Alban Lila – Ministry of Economic Development, Tourism, Trade and Entrepreneurship

Soana Jaupllari – Ministry of Economic Development, Tourism, Trade and Entrepreneurship

Albana Hana – Ministry of Justice

Elfrida Bino – Ministry of Energy and Industry

Sabina Juka – Ministry of European Integration

Sonila Turshilla – Ministry of European Integration

Sashenka Lleshaj – Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Emiljano Kaziaj – Ministry of Social Welfare and Youth

Enkelejda Hamzaj – Municipality of Tirana

Besarta Vladi – State Minister of Innovation and Public Administration

Esmeralda Byberi – Municipality of Tirana

Nita Shala- Ministry of Internal Affairs

Jonida Burba – Ministry of Internal Affairs

Bledar Qalliu – Ministry for Europe and of Foreign Affairs

Doriana Matraku – Ministry of Education and Sport

Elena Pici – Prime Minister’s Office

Elkjana Gjipali – Ministry of Culture

Sidrit Tako – Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure

Ardit Cami – Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure

Orjola Shahaj – Ministry of Health and Social Protection

Selection

The LEAD Albania program management and the selection commission will look into the following criteria when selecting Fellows:

  • A record of remarkable professional achievement early in one’s career.
  • Evidence of leadership skills and the potential for further growth.
  • A demonstrated commitment to public service.
  • The skills to succeed at the highest levels of the government, and the ability to work effectively as part of a team.

Other qualities include:

  • Exceptional writing ability
  • Foreign language skills
  • Positive attitude
  • Strong management skills
  • Very good interpersonal skills
  • Level of expertise in the proposed focus area

Eligibility criteria

  • Applicants must be Albanian citizens (dual citizenship is also acceptable).
  • Applicants must have completed their undergraduate education. Completion of graduate and postgraduate studies may be of significant advantage.
  • Preferably, applicants will have a minimum of 5 years of post-graduate work experience. In case of a completed PhD, the preferred minimum is 3 years.
  • Employees of the central government and the President Office are not eligible.
  • There are no age restrictions. However, the Fellowship Program was created to give selected applicants the experience of government service early in their careers.

Applications for the 2020 Class of LEAD Albania Program are now open. Please visit the “Apply” section below for more information.

 

Selection Commission

The Selection Commission for the LEAD Albania Program is composed of two AADF representatives and three outstanding citizens who represent a different range of backgrounds, interests, and professions. The Commission interviews selected candidates from the first round and then recommends those individuals it finds most qualified to host institutions for appointment as Fellows.

 

FAQ

What is the LEAD Albania Program?

The LEAD Albania Program (Leadership Experience And Development) is an initiative of the AADF for leadership development. The concept of the program is derived from the White House Fellows Program in the United States. Its purpose is to provide gifted young Albanian professionals with first-hand experience in the process of governing Albania and a sense of personal involvement in the leadership of society through a one-year Fellowship placement attached to a top-ranking government position.
Fellows also participate in an Education Program where they will meet with a series of individuals including the Prime Minister, Ministers, Constitutional Court Justices, Advisers and other senior central government officials, Members of Parliament, military leaders, journalists, historians, business executives, leaders from non-government organizations, and foreign heads of state or diplomats as opportunities arise. There will also be a series of seminars on European integration, public policy, decision making, foreign policy, security policy, leadership, soft skills, etc.

What is the mission of the program?

Its purpose is to provide gifted young Albanian professionals with first-hand experience in the process of governing Albania and a sense of personal involvement in the leadership of society.

What type of individual is the program seeking to find?

The LEAD Albania program management and the selection commission is looking for individuals who are most likely to fullfill the mission of the program. The following criteria are considered when selecting the Fellows:

  • A record of remarkable professional achievement early in one’s career.
  • Evidence of leadership skills and the potential for further growth.
  • A demonstrated commitment to public service.
  • The skills to succeed at the highest levels of the government, and the ability to work effectively as part of a team.

Other qualities include:

  • Exceptional writing ability
  • Foreign language skills
  • Positive attitude
  • Strong management skills
  • Very good interpersonal skills
  • Level of expertise in the proposed focus area.

These qualities combined with the strength of one’s character are taken into consideration when selecting a class for the Program.

Who is the Selection Commission of LEAD Albania Program composed of?

The Selection Commission on the LEAD Albania Program is composed of two AADF representatives and three outstanding citizens who represent a different range of backgrounds, interests, and professions. The Commission interviews selected candidates from the first round and then recommends those individuals it finds most qualified to host institutions for appointment as Fellows.

What is the program schedule and selection timeline?

Interested candidates can apply online at the application section of our website. All applications must be submitted with supporting documents by March 15.  Please see application section for more details.

April

First round selection
Applicants are notified in April if they have been selected for first round interviews. If selected, they will receive a notification explaining the time and location for interviews.

May

First round interviews
First round interviews will be conducted by an AADF panel. The candidates selected for the second round of interviews with the Selection Commission will be notified of the time and location by e-mail.

June

Interviews by the Selection Commission
Candidates will be interviewed by the Selection Commission in the second round of interviews. These interviews will determine which Fellows will be recommended to the host institutions.

July

Interviews with host institutions
The finalists recommended by the Selection Commission will interview with principals at the host institutions.  Host institutions will make the final decision.

September/October

Final design of individual placements.
Fellowship year begins with an October launching ceremony.

What is expected of a LEAD Albania Fellow during the program year?

Being a Fellow in the LEAD Albania Program is an honor, a privilege, and a full-time commitment. Fellows are expected to fully engage in their work placement, which lies at the heart of the Fellowship. Work placements can offer unparalleled experience working with Government officials on challenging issues. The work often requires long hours and, at times, unglamorous duties that require as much perseverance as ability on the Fellows’ part. The work placement may also require travel on behalf of the host institution. The Education component augments and enhances the work experience through seminars, workshops, round-tables, etc.

How do I apply?

The online applications go live each year on January 15, on the AADF website and must be submitted by March 15, at 5:00 PM (CET). It is recommended that submission of the application is a few days earlier than the deadline in case of technical difficulties.

What are the eligibility requirements?

  • Applicants must be Albanian citizens (dual citizenship is also acceptable).
  • Applicants must have completed their undergraduate education. Completion of graduate and postgraduate studies may be of significant advantage.
  • Preferably, applicants will have a minimum of 5 years of post-graduate work experience. In case of a completed PhD, the preferred minimum is 3 years.
  • Employees of the central government and the President Office are not eligible.
  • There are no age restrictions. However, the Fellowship Program was created to give selected applicants the experience of government service early in their careers.

Can I be a Fellow if I have dual citizenship?

Applicants must hold Albanian citizenship, dual citizenship is acceptable.

Are there age restrictions?

There are no age restrictions. However, the Fellowship program was created to give selected Albanians the experience of public service early in their careers.

Does a candidate need to be of the same political party as the current principals of the host institutions?

No, fellowships are awarded strictly on a non-partisan basis.

What is the best approach for handling recommendation letters?

Applicants are asked to submit only three references. It is best to have recommendations from individuals who know you well and can fully answer the questions that are asked in the application. For example, a recommendation letter from a prominent person is not helpful if that individual cannot speak about your background and character.

At least one recommendation should be from an individual that can speak to your professional competence and accomplishments in your field. At least one recommendation should come from someone with knowledge of your community and civic activities.

In addition, one recommendation should be from your current supervisor, if applicable. A recommendation from a prior supervisor is acceptable, but a current supervisor is preferred.

If selected, can I continue to participate in organizations in which I currently serve such as corporate and government boards, or on local councils?

LEAD Albania Fellows are considered full-time employees of the host institutions and are subject to the Albanian laws and regulations. These standards prohibit Fellows from receiving any salary or any contribution or supplementation of salary from any source other than the LEAD Albania program. If outside activity that is uncompensated conflicts with your official duties, then you will not be able to continue that outside activity.

Service on advisory boards and other types of committees is evaluated on a case-by-case basis to determine if Fellows may continue the outside activity based on the precise nature of the activity and the official duties performed while serving as an employee of the host institution in the program.

Are applicants required to submit financial disclosures if selected? What happens if there is a conflict of interest with my investments and my assignment?

Certain placements will require that a financial disclosure form be submitted.

Conflict of interest matters that arise will be handled on a case-by-case basis according to all applicable laws and regulations. If you have questions during the application process about potential conflicts of interest, please contact the LEAD Albania Program office to inquire.

Are applicants required to undergo a security and background investigation?

The winning Finalists recommended to the host institutions are required to submit comprehensive background information, and must be qualified to pass a security clearance. The winning Finalists must submit the following documents: penal certificate, the respective certificates from court and prosecution and the bailiff office certificate. The host institution may conduct further background investigation and certify your security clearance by the Albanian National Security Authority.

If it appears that a security clearance will not be possible, a winning Finalist will be notified by the Program Director and will not be able to become a Fellow.

Please be assured that all of this information is carefully protected and kept confidential. Panelists and Commissioners do not have access to background investigation information. Information provided by candidates who ultimately are not selected will be destroyed.

How is the class of Fellows selected?

The selection process is very competitive. The LEAD Albania Program staff screen the applications to identify the most promising candidates. Approximately 50 of the most qualified applicants are selected to be interviewed in the first round by a panel from the AADF. Based on the results of the interviews from the first round, Program Management selects approximately 30 candidates to proceed for the second round. The Selection Commission, which is comprised of representatives of AADF and prominent personalities from academia, public and private sector then interviews the group and recommends 10-15 outstanding candidates to host institutions for a one-year appointment as Fellows. These candidates interview with the respective principals of host institutions, who make the final decision.

How should I prepare for the interviews?

We recommend that candidates prepare as they would for any other interview. We also recommend the following:

• Knowledge of your application, as each application is carefully studied.
• Study current events. One of the essential qualities of a LEAD Albania Fellow is that they are citizens of the larger world.
• Be current on key issues in your professional field.
• Develop a clear articulation about why you should be selected.

What is required of first round selected candidates?

First round candidates are expected to participate in an interview that determines the selection of the candidates for the second round interviews with the Selection Commission. The interviews are scheduled in July and will take place in Tirana. Interviews are conducted by an interviewing panel created by the AADF. Travel arrangements are the responsibility of each selected candidate.

What is required of second round selected candidates?

The selected candidates from the first round are interviewed by the members of the Selection Commission on the LEAD Albania Program. Travel arrangements are the responsibility of each candidate.

How are interviews with the host institutions conducted and how is placement determined?

Two to three finalists are recommended to every host institution. The individuals who are recommended have to participate in a series of briefings and interviews with the principals of the host institutions to make the final selection and determine their fellowship work placements. Travel arrangements are the responsibility of each Finalist.

Can a Fellow remain in his/her placement after the Fellowship year?

The Fellowship year concludes in fall of the following year, and the program encourages Fellows to return to their communities and professions. The Fellow can be asked to continue at an agency, but not in their capacity as a Fellow.

What is the Education component?

The Education component augments and enhances the work placement experience. Fellows are expected to fully participate in the Education component, which includes seminars, workshops, trips, round-table discussions etc. Each class meets with dozens of individuals including the President of the Republic, Prime Minister, Ministers, members of justice institutions, senior government officials, Members of Parliament, military leaders, journalists, historians, business executives, leaders from non-governmental organizations, diplomats in Tirana and high representatives of other countries visiting Tirana.

Are Fellows provided with compensation and benefits like salary and health insurance during the program year?

The AADF shall provide Fellows with a full salary package, including health and social security, for the entire year. Their remuneration is equivalent in accordance with the pay scale of the government agency where assigned. The Program provides travel allowances for domestic and international travel, equipment for the workstations (if needed), and training allowances.

Does the Fellowship provide housing during the Fellowship year?

No. Fellows are responsible for their own housing arrangements.

Can Fellows receive outside income from other sources (private or public) during the program year?

LEAD Albania Fellows are considered full-time employees of the host institutions, they are part of the AADF payroll and are subject to the Albanian laws and regulations. These standards prohibit Fellows from receiving salaries or contribution from other sources.

Fellows cannot continue any outside activity that conflicts with official duties. Service on advisory boards and other types of committees are evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

How are previously scheduled commitments or vacation handled during the Fellowship year?

The program year is a full-time commitment, with work, education, travel, and fellowship responsibilities. Almost all activities are mandatory. Only under special circumstances, and with approval by the Program Director, are Fellows excused from activities.

If you currently have a multitude of personal commitments, vacations, or issues, we strongly encourage you to reconsider the timing of the application. Each Fellow and the full class benefit most from full participation and engagement.

Where can I direct additional questions?

The program staff is available to provide assistance and answer questions. The staff can be reached Monday through Friday from 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM via email at leadalbania@aadf.org

Apply

Welcome!

We are now accepting applications for the 2020 Class of LEAD Albania Program. The application deadline is on Friday, 15 March 2019, at 5:00 PM. This application is for the Program that will begin in fall 2019.

The application is submitted only online and is composed of the following sections:

1.General personal information;
2.Education background;
3.Employment history;
4.Voluntary and civic activities;
5.Contact details of minimum three recommenders (reference/recommendation letters will be requested and collected by the program management);
6.Declarations regarding security and justice clearance (i.e. whether the person has not been convicted of criminal offense or felonies, etc.);
7.Essays;
8.Explanation about the motivation to become a Fellow.

For reference and planning purposes see this sample application  To start the application process click here  (Only in Albanian)

The program staff is available to provide assistance and answer questions. The staff can be reached Monday through Friday from 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM via email at leadalbania@aadf.org

News

  • 02.01.2019

    LEAD Albania Program interview at Scan TV

    LEAD Albania Program Interview featuring Denada Kakeli, LEAD Albania Project Manager and Elkjana Gjipali LEAD Alumni 2018, Ministria e Kultures, on PërTëFol at Scan TV

  • 01.11.2019

    LEAD Albania 2019: Workshop on “Public Administration and the Role of Advisors”

    LEAD Albania 2019: Workshop on “Public Administration and the Role of Advisors”

    As part of the education component, LEAD Albania Fellows of 2019 participated in a series of trainings, part of the training package on “Introduction to Public Administration and the Role of the Advisers” that was organized by the AADF in cooperation with Futuré Center, during the start of the Program (November – December 2018). The Fellows acquired knowledge and on the legal basis, organization and functioning of Albanian public administration, communication and negotiation techniques, the role of advisors, conflict of interest, event management and time management, as well as the diplomatic protocol and business etiquette. The training aimed to develop participants’ knowledge and skills on public administration and the role of adviser, and it was delivered through theoretical sessions and interactive exercises. Some of the training sessions were organized in Dardhë, Korça, an activity that also served as a teambuilding activity for the Fellows.

    Detailed description

  • 10.08.2018

    LEAD Albania graduated Class of 2018 and welcomed the Class of 2019 – New Memorandum of Understanding was signed with the Government of Albania for extending the project for another 5 years (2019 – 2024)

    LEAD Albania graduated Class of 2018 and welcomed the Class of 2019 – New Memorandum of Understanding was signed with the Government of Albania for extending the project for another 5 years (2019 – 2024)

    On October 4th, LEAD Albania, the fellowship program sponsored by the AADF, organized the graduation ceremony of the current Class and welcoming of new Class that was hosted at the Prime Minister’s Office, Protocol Hall. Deputy Prime Minister, Mrs. Senida Mesi, the Chairman of the Board, Mr. Michael Granoff, members of the Board, members of the Selection Commission and Alumni, welcomed the class of 2019. A new Memorandum of Understanding was signed with the Government of Albania for extending the Program for a second five years period (2019 – 2024). Selected fellows that will serve a one-year fellowship as advisers to the highest levels of Albanian government include: Oltion Pengu at Prime Minister’s Office, Eltion Meka  at the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs, Eugena Topi at the Ministry of Finance and Economy, Oerd Bej at the Ministry of Education, Sports and Youth, Besnik Maho at the Ministry of Justice, Manjola Stefani at the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Ermal Telha at the Ministry of Tourism and Environment, Enyal Lani at the Ministry of Health and Social Protection, Irola Andoni and Valbona Seranaj at the Municipality of Tirana. LEAD Albania is modeled after the White House Fellows Program and aims to become a unique and prestigious contributor to the development of future leadership in Albania. Five years from its successful implementation, the AADF approved the extension of the LEAD program to a second five-year period, budgeted at $3.2 Million and making it an overall investment of $5.7 Million.

    Detailed description

  • 06.21.2018

    “We are here to stay” – LEAD Alumni Event

    “We are here to stay” – LEAD Alumni Event

    Alumni of the Lead Albania Program in cooperation with the American Corner in Tirana, organized on June 20, the activity “We are here to stay”. The inspiration of the Alumni to organize the event comes from the recent interview with the Voice of America of Mr. Michael Granoff, Chairman of the Board of the Albanian American Development Foundation (AADF). During the interview Mr. Granoff stated that the Albanian youth is “voting with their feet”, by choosing to leave the country and that the answer to it is cooperation with a common vision. Participants shared their experiences during and after the Program, by highlighting that despite the challenges and difficulties encountered, they have chosen to stay in Albania and contribute to its development.

    Detailed description

  • 01.15.2018

    LEAD Albania: Call for Application

    Albanian-American Development Foundation (AADF)

    For release:        January 15, 2018

    The Albanian-American Development Foundation announces the call for applications for the LEAD Albania Program 2019

    January 15, 2018, TIRANA - The Albanian-American Development Foundations opens the call for applications for the LEAD Albania Program 2019, a Program for Leadership Experience And Development designed to provide gifted young Albanian professionals with first-hand experience in the process of governing Albania and a sense of personal involvement in the leadership of society through a one-year Fellowship placement attached to a top-ranking government position.

    The Call for Proposals for the LEAD Albania Program 2019 is now open until March 15, 2018. To find out more and to submit an application, please visit www.aadf.org/lead.

     

  • 10.11.2017

    LEAD Albania graduates Class of 2017 and welcomes the Class of 2018

    LEAD Albania graduates Class of 2017 and welcomes the Class of 2018

    On October 10th 2017, LEAD Albania, the fellowship program funded by the AADF, organized the graduation ceremony of the current Class and welcoming of new Class that was hosted at the Prime Ministry, Map Room. Deputy Prime Minister, Ms. Senida Mesi, the Chairman of the Board, Mr. Michael Granoff and members of the Board welcomed the class of 2017. Selected fellows who will serve a one-year fellowship as advisers to the highest levels of Albanian government are Sidrit Tako and Ardit Çami at the Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure, Jonida Burba and Nita Shala at the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Esmeralda Byberi at the Municipality of Tirana, Bledar Qalliu at the Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs, Doriana Matraku at the Ministry of Education, Sports and Youth, Orjola Shahaj at the Ministry of Health and Social Care, Elena Pici at Prime Minister’s Office and Elkjana Gjipali at Ministry of Culture. LEAD Albania is modeled after the White House Fellows Program and aims to become a unique and prestigious contributor to the development of future leadership in Albania.

    Detailed Description

  • 05.29.2017

    LEAD Albania 2017 Fellows organize a charity activity at the Retirement Home in Tirana

    LEAD Albania 2017 Fellows organize a charity activity at the Retirement Home in Tirana
    In the framework of education component, LEAD Albania 2017 Fellows held on May 29, 2017, a charity activity at the Retirement Home in Tirana. With the aim of further improving the conditions of the elderly, the Fellows provided seats for the outdoor living environments, as well as a considerable number of flower vases that adorned the premises where the residents of this house spend most of their time. During the visit, Lead Albania participants talked with 54 elderly people staying in the house who welcomed the visit as well as the modest contribution. Some of the elderly said that the best gift for them is the presence of visitors in their place and the pleasure of the conversation with them. This activity aims to contribute to raising awareness for vulnerable categories as well as to enhance community engagement initiatives in Albania.
  • 05.22.2017

    LEAD Albania 2017: Study visit to EU Institutions and leadership development training, Brussels, May 15th – 19th, 2017.

    LEAD Albania 2017: Study visit to EU Institutions and leadership development training, Brussels, May 15th – 19th, 2017.

    LEAD Albania Fellows 2017 participated in the tailor-made training on leadership development that was organized within the framework of education component on May 15th to 19th 2017 in Brussels. The training was designed and delivered by the Center for Creative Leadership (CCL), a worldwide known and highly specialized provider in leadership development programs. The training focused on developing fellows’ knowledge and skills for leadership and concluded the full training package, composed of Module 1 and coaching session that were organized in Tirana, on March 15th to 17th and April 18th to 19th. The visit was followed by a study visit on May 15th and 19th where Fellows met with officials from European Union Institutions. The agenda included a meeting with the Ambassador of the Mission of the Republic of Albania to the European Union and several meetings with officials from the European Commission: DG for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, DG for Trade, DG for Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, DG Justice and Consumers, DG Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, DG Migration and Home Affairs, and European Union External Action Services (EEAS). The meetings aimed at increasing Fellow’s knowledge about the EU and the European integration process of Albania. Fellows had the chance to exchange their views and ideas with representatives of the EU institutions and address several questions and topics for discussion.

    Detailed description

  • 03.27.2017

    LEAD Albania Fellows 2017 meet with Ambassador Donald Lu

    LEAD Albania Fellows 2017 met on March 24th, 2017 with H.E Mr. Donald Lu, Ambassador of the United States of America in Albania. The meeting focused on the recent political and economic developments in U.S, the relations and cooperation of the U.S with the Albanian government and countries in the region, the latest political situation and reforms in the country, as well as the role of women in leadership positions. The Fellows showed particular interest on aspects and challenges of leadership from the Ambassador’s personal perspective and experience.

  • 03.23.2017

    LEAD Albania 2017: Leadership development training on May 15th – 17th 2017

    LEAD Albania 2017: Leadership development training on May 15th – 17th 2017

    LEAD Albania Fellows 2017 participated in a tailor-made training on leadership development that was held from March 15th to 17th in Tirana. The training was designed and delivered by the Center for Creative Leadership (CCL), a worldwide known and highly specialized provider in leadership development programs. The training focused on developing fellows’ knowledge and skills for leadership and it will be followed by the coaching session that will be held in Tirana in April and Module II that will be organized in Brussels, on May 15th – 17th 2017.

    Detailed description

Alumni

Admir Malaj – Ministry of Social Welfare and Youth

Bledar Dervishaj – Ministry of Justice

Dritan Fino – Ministry of Finance

Eduart Gjokutaj – Ministry of Finance

Elona Bano –  President’s Office

Ergis Sefa – Ministry of Social Welfare and Youth

Krislen Keri – Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure

Ledio Braho – President’s Office

Qamil Dika – Municipality of Tirana

Sokol Muça – Ministry of Education and Sport

Adanela Musaraj – Ministry of Agriculture, Rural Development and Water Management

Besjona Mehmetaj (Dede) – Ministry of Education and Sport

Edmond Ahmeti – Ministry of Culture

Endri Mykaj – Prime Minister’s Office

Erton Graceni – Prime Minister’s Office

Gilbert Vigani – Municipality of Tirana

Julinda Mansaku – Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure

Sokol Bardhi – Ministry of Interior

Ujvara Ponari – Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Bruxhilda Kito – Ministry of Interior

Dritan Palnikaj – Prime Minister’s Office

Ekflodia Leskaj – Ministry of Economic Development, Tourism, Trade and Entrepreneurship

Enton Duro – Ministry of Finance

Gerion Dhimo – State Minister for Innovation and Public Administration

Jonila Gabrani – Ministry of Health

Klodiana Beshku – Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Lumturi Hoxha – Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure

Marsida Duli – Ministry of Health

Alban Lila – Ministry of Economic Development, Tourism, Trade and Entrepreneurship

Soana Jaupllari – Ministry of Economic Development, Tourism, Trade and Entrepreneurship

Albana Hana – Ministry of Justice

Elfrida Bino – Ministry of Energy and Industry

Sabina Juka – Ministry of European Integration

Sonila Turshilla – Ministry of European Integration

Sashenka Lleshaj – Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Emiljano Kaziaj – Ministry of Social Welfare and Youth

Enkelejda Hamzaj – Municipality of Tirana

Besarta Vladi – State Minister of Innovation and Public Administration

Esmeralda Byberi – Municipality of Tirana

Nita Shala- Ministry of Internal Affairs

Jonida Burba – Ministry of Internal Affairs

Bledar Qalliu – Ministry for Europe and of Foreign Affairs

Doriana Matraku – Ministry of Education and Sport

Elena Pici – Prime Minister’s Office

Elkjana Gjipali – Ministry of Culture

Sidrit Tako – Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure

Ardit Cami – Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure

Orjola Shahaj – Ministry of Health and Social Protection

Calendar

April

First round selection
Applicants are notified in April if they have been selected for first round interviews. If selected, they will receive a notification explaining the time and location for interviews.

May

First round interviews
First round interviews will be conducted by an AADF panel. The candidates selected for the second round of interviews with the Selection Commission will be notified of the time and location by e-mail.

June

Interviews by the Selection Commission
Candidates will be interviewed by the Selection Commission in the second round of interviews. These interviews will determine which Fellows will be recommended to the host institutions.

July

Interviews with host institutions
The finalists recommended by the Selection Commission will interview with principals at the host institutions.  Host institutions will make the final decision.

September/October

Final design of individual placements.
Fellowship year begins with an October launching ceremony.