Atifete Jahjaga

Atifete Jahjaga – President of the Republic of Kosovo (2011 – 2016)
Atifete Jahjaga served as the fourth, and the first woman President of the Republic of Kosovo. Jahjaga is Kosovo’s first non-partisan candidate, the first female head of state in the modern Balkans, and the youngest female world leader to be elected to the highest office. Jahjaga constantly participates in national and international conferences and initiatives aimed at empowering women and supporting the survivors of sexual violence during the war. She continues to be resolute in her fight against violent extremism and radicalization and a staunch promoter of peace and stability for the Balkans and beyond.

During her presidency, Jahjaga worked diligently to bring women to the forefront of Kosovo’s political, economic, and social life as a means of ensuring a long-lasting democracy. In this context, in 2012, she hosted the International Women’s Summit "Partnership for Change—Empowering Women," which was attended by 200 leaders from Kosovo, the wider Europe, North America, Africa and the Middle East. The summit provided a venue for women from the region to cross ethnic barriers and come together to launch and promote a platform for their empowerment as women throughout the Balkans. The discussions led to the creation of the Pristina Principles which affirm the rights of women to political participation and representation, economic resources, and access to security and justice, and calls for actions to make these principles a reality. These principles were adopted as a resolution by the Kosovo Assembly.

Jahjaga is a member of the Council of Women World Leaders since 2012 and is recipient of numerous honors and awards, including the Doctor Honoris Causa from the University of Durham (2013), the Leadership in Public Service Award from the Clinton Global Initiative (2014), and the honorary degree of Doctor of Law from the University of Leicester (2015).

In March of 2018, President Jahjaga established the Jahjaga Foundation- an initiative that focuses on youth and women empowerment towards achieving social change in Kosovo.


Aleksander Kwasniewski

Aleksander Kwaśniewski is a former President of Poland, and served for two successive terms from 1995 until 2005. Aleksander Kwaśniewski was a member of the Polish United Workers’ Party (PZPR) from 1977 until its dissolution in 1990. He was particularly active in the student movement, and worked as the editor-in-chief of the student weekly ITD magazine from 1981 until 1984, and of Sztandar Młodych from 1984 to 1985. Mr. Kwaśniewski participated in the famous “Round-Table” negotiations that finally brought the peaceful transformation of Poland and the wider Central and Eastern Europe region from communism to democracy. Once the Iron Curtain had fallen, he co-founded the Social Democratic Party of the Republic of Poland (SdRP) and became its first Chairman. 

Aleksander Kwaśniewski won the Polish presidential elections in December 1995. One of his first great achievements was to bring about a new democratic Constitution in Poland, which became effective in July 1997. He was re-elected in 2000 for a second and final five-year term. During his Presidency, he played a key role in the reconciliation between the Poles and the German, Jewish and Ukrainian people. He further inspired the international mediation efforts during the 2004 Orange Revolution in Ukraine, helping the young democracy to prevail. Finally, he also was a strong advocate of EU and NATO integration, and ensured that Poland joined both institutions during his tenure. 

Mr. Kwaśniewski was appointed Distinguished Scholar in the Practice of Global Leadership at Georgetown University, USA, where as a visiting faculty member he taught for several years at the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service. Until November 2013, Mr. Kwaśniewski co-led the European Parliament monitoring mission in Ukraine to monitor the criminal cases against Yulia Tymoshenko, Yuriy Lutsenko and Valeriy Ivaschenko. He is Founder of the Amicus European Foundation, member of the Atlantic Council of the United States, Chairman of the Board of Yalta European Strategy, a member of Club de Madrid, a member of the Supervisory Board of Babyn Yar Holocaust Memorial Center, and a member of the Global Commission on Drug Policy. Since 2019, Mr. Kwaśniewski is also a member of the International Advisory Council (IAC) to Uzbekistan. In 2021, he became the Chair of the Eastern and Central European and Central Asian Commission on Drug Policy (ECECACD).