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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 2019-2020 Class of LEAD Albania Fellows

1. Amarildo Ceka

Amarildo Çeka holds a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry with a concertation on human rights advocacy and an MBA with a Healthcare Administration concentration from Utica College in Utica NY. He possesses a Professional Certificate in Executive Leadership for Healthcare Professionals from Cornell University in Ithaca NY. Amarildo is the first Youth Ambassador ever to represent Albania at the United Nations. He has sat on the board of United Way of the Valley & Greater Utica Area serving as a Young Leader. Right after graduation, he was employed at Mohawk Valley Health System as a Laboratory Scientist. In 2018, he graduated from Mohawk Valley Health System Quality Academy, a Corporate Academy where he led a Laboratory Test Utilization Project. Amarildo wants to focus on projects which ensure quality and safety on the patients. Host Institution: Ministry of Health and Social Protection

2. Anisa Duraj

Anisa Duraj holds a degree in Architecture from the Faculty of Architecture and Urban Planning at the Polytechnic University of Tirana. Anisa has worked as an architect in Planning and Design Studios and has accomplished a wide range of architectural projects and urban studies. She was employed by Société Générale Albania as an Architect and Real Estate Supervisor. Anisa has been involved in cultural and research activities delivered by the French-Albanian Archaeological Mission in the northern region of Albania. She has a Master of Arts in Cultural Heritage Studies with a focus on cultural heritage in the context of Sustainable Development and Integrated Management by the Central European University in Budapest.  Anisa has been engaged in international activities for the promotion of cultural heritage, has conducted work-studies at international research centers and participated in events and trainings related her fields of expertise. Host Institution: Ministry of Culture

3. Anjeza Xhaferaj

Anjeza Xhaferaj has a long experience as a lecturer at the Faculty of Law, Political Science and International Relations at the European University of Tirana. She holds a Ph.D. in Political Theory from the European University of Tirana and an MA in European Politics from Sussex University.  She is the author of the book “Parties’s System in Albania: The Structure and the Organization of Political Parties in 1991-2013” and author of various articles and book chapters focused on political parties and electoral systems, media, social and political movements and totalitarianism. She has received the Scholarship for Excellence at the European University of Tirana for bachelor studies in political science and her doctoral studies in Political Theory. She was awarded the UK Chevening / OSI and Sussex scholarship for master studies in European Politics and was granted an Erasmus + grant for mobility teaching at the University of Warsaw. Anjeza has a rich working experience in an international humanitarian organization on issues related to sustainable development, education and infrastructure, risk management and emergencies, women empowerment, human resources and project management. Host Institution: Prime Minister’s Office

4.Bora Ylli

Bora Ylli was graduated in Screenwriting, BA at the Academy of Film and Multimedia Marubi. She holds a MA in Theory, History and Aesthetics of Film from the University of Paris 8 Vincennes-Saint-Denis and a Double Master in Cultural Policy and Management from the UNESCO Chair at the University of Arts, Belgrade and in Management of Cultural Projects and Institutions from the University Lyon 2 Lumière, where she was awarded with a full scholarship. She has worked at the Creative Europe Media Desk Albania, at the marketing department of the National Theatre of Albania and in many film productions. She taught Film Analysis and History of Cinema at the Academy of Film and Multimedia Marubi. Host Institution: Ministry of Culture

5. Desara Dushi

Desara Dushi holds a Double PhD Degree in Law, Science and Technology from University of Bologna and University of Luxembourg as an Erasmus+ Fellowship holder. During her PhD studies Desara has been working as a researcher at CIRSFID, University of Bologna. Desara also holds a Msc in Criminal Law and an MA in Human Rights and Democracy. She is an Oxford Internet Institute Summer Doctoral Programme Alumni and has been a visiting researcher at Max Planck Institute for Foreign and International Criminal Law. She is specialized in criminal justice, ICT law, cybercrime, business law, e-evidence, human rights, online child protection, Internet Governance, and anti-corruption laws and practices. She is the author of several articles and publications in leading international journals. Since 2016, Desara contributes in shaping various international and regional Internet Governance conferences annually. Host Institution: Ministry of Justice

6. Elona Hasko

Elona Hasko holds a Master of Science in Clinical Psychology by the University of Tirana and has completed two-year postgraduate studies in psychoanalysis in Torino, Italy. She holds a MA in Public Administration by University of Tirana and University of Nebraska. She has 15 years of various experience in public administration, private sector, as a lecturer in universities and as a social expert in the civil society. She has contributed in the area of child protection, youth education and mental health protection by managing projects supported by Albanian public institutions, European Union and other international organizations operating in the child protection area. Host Institution: Ministry of Education, Sport and Youth

7. Fabjola Arapi

Fabjola Arapi is graduated at Agricultural University of Tirana. She has completed Bachelor and Master of Science studies in Agribusiness Management. Fabjola started her career in the private sector as a specialist of Standards and Procedures, in Marketing and Auditing and later to higher levels of management. She has been engaged on several studies and projects in the field of agriculture, tourism and agritourism. Her main career goal is to contribute to the development of policies and strategies to support agricultural enterprises growth, good local governance, foster cooperation among rural stakeholders and contribute to rural development. Host Institution: Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development

8. Haris Vongli

Haris Vongli holds a Master’s Degree in Public Administration in International Development and Governance from Tsinghua University, Beijing (China), She holds a Master’s Degree in European Politics and Governance from the University of Tirana. She studied Law and Politics at Queen Mary University of London, where she specialized in the field of International Human Rights Law. Haris has worked for the Municipality of Tirana, in the PR Directory and in the Foreign Investment Promotion Directory. After completing her studies in Beijing, she worked for China Media Group. From 2018, she worked as a lecturer of Political Science at the University of Tirana, Faculty of Social Sciences and European University of Tirana as well as a lecturer of Communication at the Faculty of Economics. Host Institution: The Presidential Office

9. Irena Myzeqari

Irena Myzeqari holds a doctoral degree in Sciences of Communication and has 9 years of experience as a lecturer at the European University of Tirana. She was granted the scholarship of excellence to pursue her doctoral studies, an Erasmus+ grant as a visiting staff at the University of Warsaw and a DAAD scholarship to attend a course on German language and culture. Irena is part of the COST Action on Cultural Dissidence in post-communist countries, part of the new academic’s network of the “European Fund for the Balkans” and a member of the international movement called “Cultural Innovators Network”. Since 2015 she has worked as an external human resources expert at the Department of Public Administration and she is continuously present on media on issues related to communication. Host InstitutionMinistry for Europe and Foreign Affairs

10. Jonid Jorgji

Jonid Jorgji is the President of YAFA from 2009. During this time, he worked in more than 70 cultural, education and social projects. In 2016 Jonid founded his own company, EJF Production, an audiovisual production and distribution company. He has produced and directed many films, documentaries, commercials, electoral campaign. From 2012 -2019 Jonid worked as a Creative Director, Author and TV Director at TRING TV. He is the author of more than 100 tv shows, tv programs and tv documentaries. Jonid holds a Master’s degree in Filmmaking and Television from the Art Academy of Tirana. Host Institution: Municipality of Tirana

11. Rei  Nace

Rei Naçe completed his Bachelor and Master of Science studies at the University of Tirana, respectively in the fields of finance and management. His master studies focused on strategic management practices and organizational behavior. Following his studies, he began his career as a management consultant at one of the world’s largest financial and organizational consulting firms operating in Tirana. For the last 3 years, Rei has been working as a Risk Management Specialist and then as Head of the Finance Office in one of the country’s key electrical energy companies, laying the foundations of risk management practices in these types of corporations and their integration with the laws in force. Host Institution: Ministry of Infrastructure and Energy

12. Zerina Bruci

Zerina Bruci started her career as part of the Ministry of Economy in shaping the framework for the first special Economic Development Areas in Albania. She has served as a Country Coordinator for the Center for International Development (CID) at Harvard University for the project “Building the Capability to Implement a Growth Strategy in Albania”. She has been a Ventures Analyst in “Plug and Play Tech Center”, Silicon Valley, USA; a CEMS consultant in “Ernst and Young”, Düsseldorf, Germany and is the author of the study “The Triple Helix Model of Innovation: The opportunities and challenges for Albania” in collaboration with GIZ, Albania. Zerina holds a double bachelor degree in Economics & Business Administration with the highest Distinctions and MSc in International Management from the University of Cologne (Germany) and Vienna University of Economics and Business (Austria), as a DAAD scholarship holder. She is a motivated and driven young professional committed to advance her expertise in the field of innovation and economic development. Host Institution: Prime Minister’s Office

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

Besnik Maho – Ministry of Justice
Eltion Meka – Ministry for Europe and of Foreign Affairs
Enyal Lani – Ministry of Health and Social Protection
Ermal Telha – Ministry of Tourism and Environment
Eugena Topi – Ministry of Finance and Economy
Irola Andoni – Municipality of Tirana
Manjola Stefani – Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development
Oerd Bej – Ministry of Education, Sport and Youth
Oltion Pengu – Prime Minister’s Office
Valbona Seranaj – Municipality of Tirana

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.

The application period for the class of 2020 is closed. Please check our website for more information on future applications.

 

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 2021 Class of LEAD Albania Program. The application deadline is on Friday, 13 March 2020, at 5:00 PM. This application is for the Program that will begin in fall 2020.

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

  • 12.26.2019

    LEAD Albania 2020: Training package on “Introduction to Public Administration and Role of Advisers”

    LEAD Albania 2020: Training package on “Introduction to Public Administration and Role of Advisers”

    LEAD Albania Fellowship experience is supported by an educational component that starts with a training package on “Introduction to Public Administration and Role of Advisers” organized by AADF in collaboration with Future Center. For the 7th Cohort, these training sessions started in October, during a team building activity in Dardhe, Korce, prior to Fellows starting work in the Host Institutions, and continued in Tirana as afterwork sessions until the end of December. The Fellows acquired knowledge on the legal basis, organization and functioning of Albanian public administration, communication and negotiation techniques, the role of advisors, classified information, Event management and Time Management, as well as the Diplomatic Protocol and Business Etiquette. The training was delivered through theoretical sessions and interactive and simulation exercises.

    Detailed description

     

  • 04.26.2019

    LEAD HUB

    LEAD HUB

    LEAD HUB, the newest initiative of AADF and LEAD Albania Program. In the frame of the ecological project Forestation of Tirana, the Chairman of the AADF Board, Mr. Michael Granoff, LEAD Alumni and LEAD Albania Fellows donated 29 seedlings to the Great Artificial Lake of Tirana, in order to increase greening and improve the environment of the capital. The trees donated by AADF and LEAD Albania will increase year by year with new program participants. Several trees were planted symbolically by Mr. Michael Granoff, Mr. Erion Veliaj, representatives of the Foundation as well as participants from the Program. LEAD HUB will be the place that will often gather LEAD Fellows and not just for activities, discussions but also to take care for this space.

    Detailed description

  • 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

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

Besnik Maho – Ministry of Justice
Eltion Meka – Ministry for Europe and of Foreign Affairs
Enyal Lani – Ministry of Health and Social Protection
Ermal Telha – Ministry of Tourism and Environment
Eugena Topi – Ministry of Finance and Economy
Irola Andoni – Municipality of Tirana
Manjola Stefani – Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development
Oerd Bej – Ministry of Education, Sport and Youth
Oltion Pengu – Prime Minister’s Office
Valbona Seranaj – Municipality of Tirana

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.