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Who is Gong?

The highest Gong body is the Assembly composed of all Gong members. It convenes at least once a year when it adopts the Annual report.

Gong Council


Aleksandra Kuratko Pani, President of the Council

Aleksandra Kuratko Pani has a degree in Journalism and Master's degree in International Relations and Security at the Faculty of Political Science in Zagreb. Since the end of 1990, she has been active in Gong. In 2004, she started an international career working for the US National Democratic Institute (NDI) with non-governmental organizations and parliaments in over 15 countries of the former Soviet Union, South East Europe, and Africa, supporting their organizational and parliamentary development and election processes. Since 2008, she is leading the OSCE Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina's Parliamentary Program that has been focusing on increasing citizens' involvement in legislative processes at all levels. In 2014 she initiates forming the Coalition for free and fair elections “Pod lupom” in Bosnia and Hercegovina, and in 2016 she sets up the Croatian Rural Tourism Association, where she is currently working as a manager. She works parallel on parliamentary development projects, promotion of electoral processes and organizational development in the private, civil, and public sector in Armenia, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Croatia.

Goran Čular, Deputy President of the Council

Goran Čular is an associate professor at the Faculty of Political Science in Zagreb and member of the Gong Council in the term of 2013-2014. He graduated from the Faculty of Political Science in Zagreb in 1994 and since 1995 he has been employed as a research fellow at the project “Party and Parliament in Croatia”. He obtained his Master's degree in 1999 at the postgraduate study of Political Science at the Central European University in Budapest on a thesis titled “The Dynamics of Political Institutionalization and Democratic Consolidation: The Case of Croatia”. In 2004, he obtained his Ph.D. degree from the Faculty of Political Science on a thesis titled “The Role of Political Parties in the Process of Democratic Consolidation: Croatia in a Comparative Perspective”. His scientific and research interests focus particularly on the problems of choice, forms of political behavior, political parties and party systems, party competition and functioning of democratic institutions. In articles published in Croatia and abroad, he problematizes these topics. He also participated in the work of a series of international conferences and was a member of several international research networks.

Enes Ćerimagić

Enes Ćerimagić was born in Dubrovnik where he finished high school. He graduated from Law School of the University of Zagreb. He is a longtime activist and has participated in non-advocacy campaigns and actions such as the protest of Dubrovnik students against the threat of cultural heritage in 2003, the campaign "Do not Give Warsaw Street" (Zagreb), National Referendum Campaigns "Do not Give Our Highway" and "Referendum on Referendum" Campaign "Srđ is ours" (Dubrovnik). He is a member of the initiative Srđ is ours and Green Action where he also works as a lawyer. His work deals with the analysis of the legislative framework in the field of environmental law and advocating environmentally sustainable legal solutions, educating citizens about their rights and the possibilities of participating in environmental decision-making procedures and using legal mechanisms to contest environmentally damaging projects.

Vlasta Ilišin

Vlasta Ilišin is a scientific adviser in the fields of politics and sociology at the Institute for Social Research in Zagreb where she was Director (2007-2011) and head of the Center for Youth and Gender Research (2015-2018). As a full-time associate, she taught at the Faculty of Kinesiology and the Faculty of Political Science of the University of Zagreb, where she had been promoted to Full Professor. She is an associate on the study program “Young Man in Contemporary Society” at the Faculty of Philosophy, University of Rijeka, where she is the head of two courses. She was a coordinator of 12 and associate on 17 research projects, of which four were international. Her primarily occupation deals with research of youth and their political culture, free time and media consumption. In her research, she also explores dimensions of European integration processes and the Croatian political elite. She has published 18 scientific books and more than 100 scientific and professional papers, both as an author and coauthor. She is a member of the Scientific Council of the Center for Democracy and Law Miko Tripalo, the Council of the Faculty of Political Science of the University of Zagreb, the Executive Committee of the Croatian Political Science Association and the Council for Youth of the Government of the Republic of Croatia

Vanja Jurić

Vanja Jurić is a lawyer specialized in media law and freedom of expression. She graduated from the Faculty of Law in Zagreb, after which she enrolled in a specialist study program of the Advanced Master of European Studies at the Faculty of Political Science in Zagreb. In 2017, she completed a CopyrightX course at Harvard Law School. She represents the media publishers, journalists, and activists. She is one of the co-founders of the Center for the Protection of Freedom of Expression of the Croatian Journalist Society.

Senada Šelo Šabić

Senada Šelo Šabić is a senior research associate in the Department for International Economic and Political Relations.  Her research interests include issues from a wide range of international relations. Senada holds a PhD in political science from the European University Institute in Florence (2003) and has earned two Masters degrees – in international relations from the University of Zagreb (1999) and in peace studies from the University of Notre Dame, USA (1996). She graduated from the Faculty of Philosophy at the University of Zagreb and in her academic career she was the winner of prestigious scholarships. She is editor-in-chief of the Croatian International Relations Review and a lecturer at universities in the country and abroad. Senada is the author of scientific papers which, among other things, deal with the issues of migration, Croatian foreign policy and the dynamics of relations in South East Europe.

Jan Šnajder

Jan Šnajder is an associate professor at the Department of Electronics, Microelectronics, Computer and Intelligent Systems at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing and a member of the Research Laboratory (TakeLab).  His research interests include artificial intelligence, narrower areas of natural language processing, machine learning, computer semantics and extraction of information from the text. He was a visiting researcher at the Department of Computational Linguistics at Heidelberg University, the University of Stuttgart's Institute for Natural Language Processing, the National Institute of Information and Communication Technology in Kyoto, and the University of Melbourne. He participated in a number of scientific and professional projects in the field of natural language and machine learning.

Petar Vidov

Petar Vidov (born in Zadar in 1984) is the first editor-in-chief and journalist portal Faktograf.hr, the first Croatian fact-checking media. From 2006 to 2015 he worked as a journalist and editor on the portal Index.hr. He co-operated with the weekly Novosti and non-profit internet media Lupiga and Stav. His primary focus is on topics related to the functioning of state institutions, internal politics, and the economy.

Tihomir Žiljak

Tihomir Žiljak has obtained bachelor’s and master's degree and PhD in political science from the Faculty of Political Science in Zagreb. The basic area of his scientific interest is public policy. His work is focused on education policy, policies towards people with disabilities, local cultural policy and Europeanization of public policies. He is a lecturer at the Faculty of Political Science in Zagreb, Faculty of Law in Zagreb, Faculty of Education and Rehabilitation in Zagreb, Departments of Pedagogy and Political Science at the University of Mostar (Bosnia and Herzegovina) and School of Public Policy in Podgorica (Montenegro). He is head of the Department for Development, Lifelong Learning and EU Projects at the POU Zagreb - Open University. He is a member of the editorial board of “Anali Hrvatsko političko društvo” and “Andragoš glasnik”. He is vice-president of the Croatian Andragogy Association and member of the Board of Directors of the Association for Democratic Society, member of the board of directors of the Danube-Networkers for Europe association (Ulm, Germany). He is a member of The Academic Network of European Disability Experts (Utrecht, Netherlands / Leeds, UK), a network that conducts a comparative analysis of policies for people with disabilities.


Gong Supervising Board


Daniela Jovanova Ivanković, President

Daniela Jovanova Ivanković graduated from the Faculty of Pedagogy in Skopje. During her studies, she worked for Friends of the Earth Macedonia. She was a member of the Executive Board of Friends of the Earth Macedonia and a longtime volunteer at the Volunteers’ Centre Zagreb (VCZ), as Head of Office. Since 2002, she has been an employee of Friends of the Earth Croatia, where she was Executive Director and Executive Board member. She was also a member of the local Advisory Committee of TACSO, the National Committee for the Development of Volunteering and VCZ and a member of the Supervisory Board of the Operational Program for the Development of Human Potentials 2007-2013. She is a member of the Macedonian Minority Council for the City of Zagreb.

Sanda Malbaša

Sanda Malbaša has more than 25 years of activist and professional experience in several civil society organizations in Croatia: CESI, Center for Women Victims of War, Croatian Anti-fraud Campaign, Center for Peace Studies ... From 1992 to 1997 she attended various education in The purpose of educational programs in the area of crisis counseling, group work, communication skills, nonviolent conflict transformation, management skills and organizational development conducted by professionals from various international institutions such as the Dublin Rape Crisis Center, the Manchester Rape Crisis Center, WATFY from Great Britain, Harvard Medical School, ARS Publica from USA, Admira from Netherlands and professional therapists and educators from Canada, Germany, Austria and Croatia. She is the founder of CESI, a feminist organization, where has been working as Finance Manager since 1997, and as Deputy Coordinator of CESI since 2013. She has been educated in financial management, marketing, strategic planning and organizational development for non-profit organizations, and trained for carrying out bookkeeping activities.

Natalia Mirković

Natalia Mirković is a legal expert with experience in the right to information, voters' rights and overall electoral legislation. As a member of Gong's legal team, she had participated in participative budgeting processes, investigated corruption and advocated for transparency of public institutions and media. Since 2015, she is working at Erste & Steiermärkische Bank d.d., focusing first on the prevention of money laundering and terrorist financing, and then on internal control systems of credit institutions.


Gong Executive Board


Jelena Berković, Executive Director

Jelena Berković has a degree in journalism at the Faculty of Political Science and Master's degree in Global Policy at the London School of Economics and Political Science. Among her areas of interest are public policy and the media. From 1998. till 2010. she worked as a reporter and editor at Radio 101 and was an outer member of the Parliamentary Committee on Information, Informatization and the Media, as well as a member of the Association of Investigative Journalists.

Blaženka Sečkar, Deputy Executive Director

Blaženka Sečkar has a decade long activist and professional experience in a number of civil society organizations in Croatia, including Amnesty International Croatia and Documenta - Centre for Dealing with the past. She is also involved in lecturing at internationally accredited business school «Zagreb School of Economics and Management». She has graduated in Mathematics at the Faculty of Science in Zagreb, financial and business mathematics and she is also near graduation in business administration(MBA). Her activities are focused on international cooperation, capacity building, organization and financial business organizations, including numerous trainings on strategic and operational planning, communication and leadership. Since 2014 she is a member of the Council of the Central Bureau of Statistics in front of the civil society organizations.

Oriana Ivković Novokmet, member

Oriana Ivković Novokmet has a degree in journalism at the Faculty of Political Science of Zagreb University. She worked as editor and journalist in several media outlets. Before joining Gong, she was an investigative journalist for the news outlet Index.hr. Among her interests are good governance, anti-corruption and public policy.

Dražen Hoffmann, member

Dražen Hoffmann has obtained a bachelor's degree in Linguistics and Sociology from the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, as well as a bachelor’s and master's degree in Political Science from the Faculty of Political Sciences in Zagreb. As of 2012, he is a PhD student in Comparative Politics. Apart from Gong's Research Centre, he is gaining research experience as an associate of the Centre for Studies of Ethnicity, Citizenship and Migration at the Faculty of Political Sciences, working on social policy topics.


Democratic political processes and institutions


Oriana Ivković Novokmet

Oriana Ivković Novokmet has a degree in journalism at the Faculty of Political Science of Zagreb University. She worked as editor and journalist in several media outlets. Before joining Gong, she was an investigative journalist for the news outlet Index.hr. Among her interests are good governance, anti-corruption and public policy.

Slaven Rašković

Slaven Rašković has MA in Sociology and Information science gained on Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Zagreb. For the last 10 years, while working in Documenta – center for Dealing with the Past he has become expert in documenting of serious human rights violations but also use of modern technologies in the work of civil society organizations. As a member of different national and international networks of CSO', he has actively worked on raising capacities of CSO's in Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Ukraine, Armenia, Columbia… He has prepared and implemented many projects gaining experience of entire project cycle. At the moment focused on advocacy and implementations of open data standards in Croatia.

Melisa Skender

Melisa Skender has a degree in journalism from the Faculty of Political Science, the University of Zagreb. She worked as a professional journalist at various media outlets since 1996 and from the start, her fields of interest were media policy, civil society as well as open and transparent government. She is the member of the Balkan Fellowship for Journalistic Excellence Alumni Network from 2013 and prizewinner of the Croatian Journalists' Association award for the best internet journalist in 2016.

Jelena Tešija

Jelena Tešija holds two Master's degrees; one in Gender Studies (Central European University, Budapest) and one in Journalism (Faculty of Political Science, Zagreb). Besides her professional experience as a Journalist (she worked as a Web Journalist and a Community Manager), she has a rich experience in the NGO sector (as a PR and Communications Specialist), where she developed her communication and organizational skills. She has been trying to use her educational and professional background for activism for years.

Andrea Kovač

Andrea Kovač has master’s degree in comparative literature and ethnology and cultural anthropology. Her previous work experience was in IT industry where she worked in marketing and project management. She is interested in citizens’ participation in decision-making on the level of local communities, smart city and data management technologies, institutions and policies in higher education and student organizations in which she actively participated during college.

Sandra Kasunić

Sandra Kasunić holds a Bachelor’s degree in Social work of the Katholische Stiftungsfachhochschule Munich and the European Master's Degree in Human Rights and Democratisation (EMA) of the European Inter-University Centre in Venice. She has been a trade union activist for many years with a particular focus on anti-fascism, antiracism, and (worker's) rights of migrants and refugees at the youth section of ver.di in Munich. Moreover, she has led seminars for adolescents and young adults on syndicalism and human rights. In Gong, Sandra is dealing with the right of access to information and democratization of the political system.  


Democratic political culture, activism and media


Martina Horvat

Martina Horvat graduated social pedagogy at Faculty of Education and Rehabilitation Sciences and is currently attending doctoral studies of social politics at Faculty of Law in Zagreb. Her activities so far include education and training aimed for the improvement of social competence, human rights, civil participation and activities as well as voluntary work. Thanks to her vast experience as a volunteer, she educated volunteering candidates and conducted workshops for teachers. A number of her scientific and specialized works have been published. She makes continuous efforts to improve her professional skills.

Dražen Hoffmann

Dražen Hoffmann has obtained a bachelor's degree in Linguistics and Sociology from the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, as well as a bachelor’s and master's degree in Political Science from the Faculty of Political Sciences in Zagreb. As of 2012, he is a PhD student in Comparative Politics. Apart from Gong's Research Centre, he is gaining research experience as an associate of the Centre for Studies of Ethnicity, Citizenship and Migration at the Faculty of Political Sciences, working on social policy topics.

Monika Valečić

Monika Valečić obtained a BA in Psychology and Philosophy from Smith College, USA, and an MA in Journalism from the Faculty of Political Science in Zagreb. Her interests include media literacy, media policy and contributing towards media systems acting in public interest. Before joining Gong, she coordinated international projects for the Croatian Journalists Association. She serves as a member of the Croatian United World College Croatia National Committee.

Lucija Dumančić

Lucija Dumančić obtained BA and MA in Political Science from the Faculty of Political Sciences and MA in Sociology at Croatian Studies, both at the University of Zagreb. Prior to joining Gong, she worked as a high school teacher and at a digital marketing agency. Her primary interest is education, therefore she is now focused on youth and teachers' education, including political and EU literacy.


Finance and Administration Team


Blaženka Sečkar

Blaženka Sečkar has a decade-long activist and professional experience in a number of civil society organizations in Croatia, including Amnesty International Croatia and Documenta - Centre for Dealing with the past. She is also involved in lecturing at internationally accredited business school «Zagreb School of Economics and Management». She has graduated in Mathematics at the Faculty of Science in Zagreb, financial and business mathematics and she is also near graduation in business administration(MBA). Her activities are focused on international cooperation, capacity building, organization and financial business organizations, including numerous trainings on strategic and operational planning, communication and leadership. Since 2014 she is a member of the Council of the Central Bureau of Statistics in front of the civil society organizations.

Žana Barišić Došen

Žana Barišić Došen has a master’s degree in economics and experience from the corporate sector, in the field of human resources and education. In the civic sector, she is active in many initiatives and associations in Zagreb and a board member of the International Association for Human Values (IAHV). She is involved in the implementation of many humanitarian actions and movements, important for democratic processes and equality of people. In Gong, her focus is on fundraising processes and management of day to day office business.

GRIF


www.grif.hr
Vlasta Ilišin is a scientific adviser in the fields of politics and sociology at the Institute for Social Research in Zagreb where she was Director (2007-2011) and head of the Center for Youth and Gender Research (2015-2018). As a full-time associate, she taught at the Faculty of Kinesiology and the Faculty of Political Science of the University of Zagreb, where she had been promoted to Full Professor. She is an associate on the study program “Young Man in Contemporary Society” at the Faculty of Philosophy, University of Rijeka, where she is the head of two courses. She was a coordinator of 12 and associate on 17 research projects, of which four were international. Her primarily occupation deals with research of youth and their political culture, free time and media consumption. In her research, she also explores dimensions of European integration processes and the Croatian political elite. She has published 18 scientific books and more than 100 scientific and professional papers, both as an author and coauthor. She is a member of the Scientific Council of the Center for Democracy and Law Miko Tripalo, the Council of the Faculty of Political Science of the University of Zagreb, the Executive Committee of the Croatian Political Science Association and the Council for Youth of the Government of the Republic of Croatia.