Maria Metodieva is a member of TSA since 2012. Her subject matter expertise in the inclusion process of vulnerable communities, with a focus on the Roma, set the stage for the development of innovative solutions in addressing long-standing housing challenges with urban planning and housing conditions of communities living in informal settlements. Institutional development and sustainable partnerships between TSA and grantees are of utmost importance, for that reason Maria’s expertise of 20+ years supports TSA’s led initiatives to build a sustainable civil society sector, strengthening the capacity and organizational development of civil society organizations partnering with TSA to achieve their mission.
Before joining the TSA, Maria managed the Roma program at the Open Society Institute Sofia. Her expertise includes also civil society development, strategic planning, ethnic minorities integration, community mobilization, public and private partnerships, and public policies development targeting vulnerable societal groups.
Maria has an MA in Public Administration from the New Bulgarian University in Sofia.
Iskra Stoykova supports the development of the Trust’s approach toward maternal and infant wellbeing among Bulgaria’s most impoverished citizens. Her responsibilities include design and management of projects, analysis and evaluation of the Trust’s initiatives, and applicability of successful models in the field to the Bulgarian context.
Prior to joining TSA, Iskra acquired more than 10 years of experience in design, management, and evaluation of Roma community development projects. For four years, she was responsible for projects that aimed to improve access and quality of education for Roma children at the pre-school and primary level. Throughout the next six years, she managed the Early Childhood Development Program of the Health and Social Development Foundation and focused on the design, piloting, and evaluation of an integrated model of community-based services for pre-school education, parenting skills training, family planning for adolescents, and individual case management for families at risk.
Iskra graduated from the American University in Bulgaria with BA degrees in Business Administration and Journalism and Mass Communication. She also holds a master’s degree in human rights from the University of Sarajevo and the University of Bologna.
Eugenia Volen is the Program Officer responsible for the Early Education portfolio at the Trust. Her core functions include fundraising to leverage program impact and supporting the Early Education team’s professional growth. Eugenia also leads TSA’s advocacy and policy change efforts so that all children in Bulgaria can access high quality early education services. Under her leadership, TSA is making a significant contribution towards evidence-based policy-making with respect to affordability and developmental impact of early education for children from disadvantaged communities. Eugenia is also the Program Officer responsible for Learning and Development.
Before joining TSA, Eugenia was a financial reporting consultant to investment management companies in the United States and a senior audit manager at Ernst & Young New York. She led numerous internal controls assessments and oversaw the financial audits of large and complex financial services companies. Eugenia’s career with Ernst & Young spanned 12 years and 3 countries, including Bulgaria. Serving a wide variety of industries, Eugenia managed and participated in financial and internal control audits, fraud investigations, due diligence reviews, and staff training programs.
Eugenia holds a master’s degree in Public Administration from the Monterey Institute of International Studies and a bachelor’s degree in Finance and Accounting. Eugenia is a member of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants.
Ognyan has knowledge and experience in designing, implementing and monitoring of projects/programs, focused on inclusive and intercultural education. His many years of experience is supplemented by expertise aimed at empowering oppressed communities, community development and organizing. In recent years, Ognyan has conducted studies aimed at promoting professional debate, ethics and professional standards among leading Media. He also has experience in leading of trainings on topics such as: cultural dimensions, human rights, discrimination, communication, negotiation and advocacy. He has publications for several Bulgarian and foreign Media outlets on topics related to equal opportunities, social justice, and challenges that Roma community in Bulgaria faces.
Prior to joining the Trust, Ognyan served as а Country Facilitator for Bulgaria at Roma Education Fund – Budapest, where he is responsible for Bulgarian portfolio at Grant program of the foundation. The scope of his work and expertise includes: access to quality education, educational desegregation, early childhood development, institutional partnerships, public fundraising, policy analyzes and advocacy, project management, community work and etc.
Ognyan graduated from the Konstantin Preslavsky University of Shumen with BA degree in Journalism. He also graduated from the St. Cyril and St. Methodius University of Veliko Tarnovo with MA degree in Psychology. As well as, Ognyan is a member of the Alumni network of Bulgarian School of Politics “Dimitar Panitsa”.
Petia is responsible for the design and management of TSA’s programs related to the economic development of Bulgaria’s most impoverished citizens, with a focus on the Roma. She is committed to the mission of helping the Trust move people from dependency to self-sufficiency, focusing on activities that will effectively provide them with better employment opportunities.
Petia has 15+ years of business experience with leading Bulgarian and multinational companies where she placed brands at leading positions and helped them achieve their full potential. Petia has also been an instructor of English and in her spare time she translates books for children.
Petia has a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from the American University in Bulgaria where she graduated with Honors and was the Senior Speaker of the Graduating Class. She also holds two Master’s Degrees (one in PR and one in General Psychology) from Sofia University.