Drita Ivanaj – Interim Executive Director
Pertefe Leka – Vice President
Ani Rizo – Treasurer
Drita A. Ivanaj, C.S.P.
Drita Ivanaj, with BA’s in Science and Economics, is a Certified Systems Professional, who had two, long-term, full time careers: in business management and large contracts administration for the international conglomerate of FIAT, and in information systems and large computer operations at Columbia University in New York City. Drita is the Founder and President of the “Martin and Mirash Ivanaj Foundation” in New York, and the “M. & M. Ivanaj Foundation Institut” in Tirana (Albania), since their inception in the mid 1990’s. These nonprofit institutions share the common mission of promoting Albanian education and culture within the country and abroad. Drita has been, throughout her life, an active member of many American professional associations, where she held different positions, and as an Advisory and Board Member of other Albanian American organizations, serving also as a Trustee of NAAC (National Albanian American Council) in Washington, DC. She took early retirement from business employment to totally dedicate her time and full support toward the development of the above two charitable organizations.
Perteve (Domnori) Leka
Perteve Leka was educated at Shkodra’s ‘Pedagogic Institute’, graduated in Linguistics & History there and at the Faculty of Philology and Literature in Tirana where she was also an Instructor for School Methodology in Literature and Albanian Language, overseeing 14 night schools for this program. After retiring from the Albanian school system, she continued her pedagogical activities as an English Instructor at English-Albanian “Phoenix” School in Tirana, applying contemporary and Montessori methods for 5-6 year old children, and as a Trainer at “Lexo” School of young Teachers for pre-schooling. She has received an Award from Albania’s Ministry of Culture for her effective role in educational impact of pedagogical studies, and an Honorary Award as a Teacher from the “Order of Naim Frasheri”. For over a decade she has been a freelance Journalist for newspapers “Drita” and “Kosova” in Tirana, and Illyria in NYC, while being actively involved as Vice President of the M. & M. Ivanaj Foundation Institut.
Aferdita Prroni, graduated in the Faculty of Philology, Tirana and Faculty of Law. Ms. Prroni is the Founder and Executive Director of the Human rights in Democracy Centre (2002), a domestic NGO that promotes and protects human rights in Albania, with special focus for the promotion and protection of women’s rights. Prior to 2002, Ms. Prroni was engaged in several projects carried out by human rights organizations operating in Albania, and is a Board Member of the M. & M. Ivanaj Foundation Institut in Tirana.
Ani Rizo graduated from the University of Tirana with a degree in Economics. She has worked and held the position as an Economist for several years at a private firm named V.T. E. Trading, and also within her family business. Mrs. Rizo has being a loyal supporter for a long time, on a voluntary basis, of a variety of activities of the M. & M. Ivanaj Foundation Institut in Tirana, where she now holds the position of Treasurer of such organization.
FROST & FIRE CONSULTING
Frost & Fire Consulting offers unparalleled legal, organization development, human resources, and other business services to clients who operate or wish to explore opportunities in the Albanian or regional market. Its commitment is rooted in its members’ extended and distinguished experience in the private, public and international organization sectors. Frost & Fire Consulting takes pride not only in having deep insight into the existing issues and intricacies of the local business climate, but also in being intimately familiar with the expectations and mind-sets of their clients, whether they are foreign investors, multinational corporations, or governmental and international donor agencies. In merging the unique experiences of its team of professionals that has an extended and distinguished international and local experience, Frost & Fire Consulting can afford to offer superior quality services. Its members studied and graduated from the Schools of Law of the best universities in the world (Harvard, New York University, London School of Economics, Columbia, Lion III University, University of Maryland), have honed their skills inter alia by working with some of the most prestigious law firms in the world (Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP; Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP; Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP, Hogan Lovells US LLP), and/or held top executive positions with government institutions in Albania (Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Economy, Albanian Power Corporation). This Consulting firm is involved in pro-bono services for the M. & M. Ivanaj Foundation Institut in Tirana, and it is part of this organization’s Board.
Ita Bonner is the Executive Assistant to the Executive Director of the Foundation. She holds a Bachelor’s in Biology and a Master of Science in Environmental Biology, graduated with the “Medal of Honor”. She is an experienced Project Manager with a demonstrated history of working in the public, private and non-governmental sector. Long experience as a Project Coordinator/ Manager, Consultant, Expert and Researcher. Ita has worked as an Assistant Professor at the Agricultural University in Tirana (AUT). She is fluent in English, Italian and French. Ita is now dedicated to put her experience and skills to the promotion and advancement of Albanian culture and education within the country and abroad.
Klevis Begaj is the Facilities/Logistics Superintendent. He completed his studies as Electrical Engineer at the Electrical Faculty of the University of Tirana. He also holds a Diploma in Professional Master and is the founder of EESTEC LC Tirana. Before becoming part of the M & M Ivanaj Foundation team, he worked as an electrical engineer at the “Fushe-Kruja Cement Factory”.
Geiv is the IT Support and Logistics Technician. He completed his studies at the Faculty of Natural Sciences, University of Tirana for Computer Sciences, and has an extensive skillset on different ICT fields and electronics. Geiv is one of the most active individuals in the TV and online media and lecturers in the tech communities in Albania, with 10+ years of experience in Software and Hardware of various technologies and platforms. He was previously working as a Web Applications & Hybrid Apps Developer at Commit Sh.p.k. and during the recent two years his lecturing skills were also in use from NEPTUN Sh.p.k. as Sales & Product Trainer. Right now, he is closely involved in education and development of the digital technology culture, starting from small age-groups in kindergartens and elementary schools.
Jona Siliqi is the Project Planning Coordinator of the Foundation. She grew up in Italy, and completed her studies in Milan, in the Faculty of Linguistic Sciences and Foreign Literature (French & English major). Before becoming part of M & M Ivanaj Foundation team, she worked several years in the field of marketing, and implemented her work experience as a junior financial controller. She is fluent in Italian and both English and French language, and also involved in the coordination of our Volunteer Hub, with now more than fifty registered members.
Ani Drishti currently holds the position of the Receptionist. She has completed her studies in Foreign Languages (Spanish major) at the Foreign Languages Faculty, University of Tirana. She is proficient in Spanish, English and Italian. Her previous work experience consists of sales manager and marketing specialist with a manufacturing company.
Mimoza Elmazaj is responsible for Cleaning and Maintenance of our premises. She has more than 15 years’ experience in the cleaning and garment sector.