Maria Metodieva focuses on the Family Economic Success program among disadvantaged groups in Bulgaria. Her commitment is to maximize results for the Trust in this sphere and to help beneficiaries gain the skills and experience they need to find relevant employment to support their families. The Trust approaches this challenging task by building and sustaining valuable partnerships with leading businesses as well as supporting programs that increase the employability of beneficiaries. Equally relevant are community projects and the promotion of legalized neighborhoods and home ownership.
Prior to joining the Trust, Maria served as Director of the Roma Program at Open Society Institute in Sofia. Her areas of expertise include civil society development, strategic planning, ethnic minority integration, community development, public-private partnerships, and public policies for vulnerable groups.
Maria holds a master’s degree in Public Administration from the New Bulgarian University.
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 Isaev PROGRAM DIRECTOR EDUCATIONAL ACHIEVEMENT
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”.