Action Team Leader
Mr Orhan USEIN is the Team Leader of RCC’s Roma Integration 2020 Action Team. He holds an MA Degree in International Relations and European Studies from the Central European University. Before joining the RCC, Mr Usein worked for the Decade of Roma Inclusion Secretariat Foundation as Program Manager responsible for providing conceptual, operational and technical support to the Roma Decade countries. In 2012, Mr Usein was a Lantos Fellow at the United States House of Representatives working in the office of Congressman Elliot L. Engels. While there, he wrote several statements for the Congressman on the situation of Roma in Europe. Mr Usein was a representative of the Advisory Council on Youth in the Council of Europe. He has also worked in various capacities for the Roma Education Fund, the European Roma Rights Centre and the European Commission.
Within the Roma Integration 2020 Action Team Mr Usein is responsible for the overall coordination and implementation of the project between the European Commission, the RCC Secretariat, the National Roma Contact Points and the Open Society Foundations. More concretely, he manages the project by engaging the respective economies in the process of Roma integration driven by the EU accession and national budget-timing, as well as by facilitating peer learning, expert input and civil society engagement. Mr Usein’s tasks include streamlining the initiative with the RCC work; cooperating with the Roma Integration 2020 Task Force; assisting economies with the usage of the monitoring and reporting template; representing the RCC Action Team at international and national events; and coordinating communication. Besides overseeing the work in each participating economy, Mr Usein also serves as a desk officer for Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Ms Aleksandra BOJADJIEVA is a Policy Expert of the RCC’s Roma Integration 2020 Action Team. Before joining RCC she worked for the Decade of Roma Inclusion Secretariat Foundation as Research and Policy Officer, successfully conducting the Decade Intelligence project, the Roma Inclusion Index research, the civil society participation programme Decade Focal Points and the Decade Future wide debate process, besides the regular activities within the secretariat dealing with the governance of the Decade, preparing Decade presidency plans, International Steering Committee Meetings and international workshops, as well as various administrative and organizational tasks. Ms BOJADJIEVA has been actively involved in minority, particularly Roma rights organizations and projects, including managing the Making the Most of the EU Funds for the Roma in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, managing and conducting DecadeWatch monitoring reports, and a number of other projects. She has served as an Independent Expert on the Advisory Committee of the Framework Convention for the protection of National Minorities within the Council of Europe. Within the Roma Integration 2020 Action Team Ms BOJADJIEVA is responsible for planning and mainstreaming, monitoring, and civil society participation. She also serves as desk officer for the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia.
Dr Alenka VERBOLE is a Policy Expert of the RCC’s Roma Integration 2020 Action Team. Before joining the RCC she worked with the United Nations (UN) and Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) for more than 15 years including in the South Eastern Europe (SEE) and the Western Balkans and Turkey. Her professional engagement with the minorities’ issues, and in particular Roma started in 2005. Her expertise covers the education for minorities, participation of Roma in decision-making and democratic processes including elections, development of the national frameworks for Roma integration, social inclusion, confidence building, multiculturalism as well as promotion of democracy and good governance, human rights, gender equality, election and electoral processes, civic education, and civil society development and media. She has among others managed a multi-year and multi-donor project "Empowering the Vulnerable Communities of Albania" which included minorities programme roll-out (social inclusion and access of minorities to social services, minorities' human rights, mobilizing Roma and Egyptian communities to address their development priorities, building capacity of vulnerable communities, advocacy activities on minority issues and social inclusion, including a revision of the National Roma Strategy and similar). She has designed and implemented numerous trainings including on the citizens’ engagements vis-a-vis Parliament and Independent Human Rights Institutions for Roma and other vulnerable communities.
Within the Roma Integration 2020 Action Team Alenka is responsible for mainstreaming, budgeting, promotion of gender equality and liaising with the international organizations. She serves as desk officer for Albania, Kosovo and Turkey.
Ms Rada KRSTANOVIĆ is an Administrative Assistant of the RCC’s Roma Integration 2020 Action Team. She has gained experience in administrative and financial operations while working both in business and non-profit environments, including work for two UNDP implemented projects in Serbia with the position of programme and communications assistant. She has been active in civil society sector in Serbia with a focus on vulnerable groups, minorities and human rights for more than a decade, being responsible for financial and organisational management and implementation of projects as well as administrative and communication work. For the last six years she was engaged on Roma rights and advocacy projects in Serbia, bearing responsibilities from project planning and programme implementation to logistical and administrative-financial tasks. Within the Roma Integration 2020 Action Team, Rada supports the technical implementation of the initiative and performs daily administrative and organisational tasks, including preparatory accounting.