Besar Likmeta

Besar has extensive experience in journalism, having worked in print, television and electronic media in both the US and Albania since 2003.

Besar has been the editor for BIRN Albania since 2007, and serves as the country correspondent for Balkan Insight.

Besar started his career reporting for the Florida Times Union in Jacksonville, Florida. He moved to Albania in 2005 where he worked as a features editor for the Tirana Times, and a world news editor for the 24 hour news channel TV Ora News.

He has also contributed stories to various publications including The Christian Science Monitor, Global Post, Transitions Online, The Diplomatic Courier and World Politics Review.

In 2009 Besar received the CEI/SEEMO Award for Outstanding Merits in Investigative Journalism and in 2010 he was runner up to the Global Shining Light Award, presented at the Global Investigative Journalism Conference in Geneva. Besar studied philosophy at the University of North Florida.

Gordana Igrić

Gordana is the founder of the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network (BIRN) and currently serves as the Regional Network Director.

With her Balkan colleagues Gordana helped establish, manage and develop the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network, BIRN. Through her dedication, engagement and careful planning of network establishment, programme objectives and strategies for further development, the organisation has continued to grow since its inception.

As Regional Network Director, she closely oversees all BIRN Hub projects, and is informed of the major project activities of the network members.

Whenever time allows, she also participates in the editing and training programmes in the network, which are the fields she truly enjoys and considers to be crucial to the development of independent, impartial and professional media in the Balkans. She is frequently invited to speak at international conferences as a media expert.

Gordana began her career as a journalist in Belgrade in 1981. She reported from Bosnia and Kosovo during the wars that followed the dissolution of the former Yugoslavia. From 1998 to 1999, she worked in the field of human rights as Director of Research for the Humanitarian Law Centre (Belgrade), and Kosovo Researcher for Human Rights Watch (New York).

She has received several journalism awards, including the 1998 Overseas Press Club (USA) Award for Human Rights Reporting and a Human Rights Watch Hellman Hammet award in the same year for her research into war crimes in Foca, Bosnia & Herzegovina.

Gordana was Balkan project manager at the Institute of War and Peace Reporting, IWPR, from 1999 until August 2005, during which time IWPR’s Balkan reporting received numerous press awards and media citations.

Gordana graduated in 1983 from the University of Belgrade’s School of Political Science, Department of Journalism.

Dušica L. Štilić

Drawing on the experience she gained in several large international organisations, Dusica contributes to the smooth operations of BIRN’s regional organisation.

Dusica joined BIRN in 2006 as Regional Operations Coordinator.

Drawing on her previous professional experience, she quickly deployed her organisational and executive skills to ensure the regional activities of the organisation run smoothly.

She manages the operational budget of the organisation, assists the development department and joyfully participates in the organisation of BIRN’s events.

Dusica previously worked with several leading EU and UN institutions and donor groups. She worked in administration, programme management and PR, starting with the UNHCR as a Programme and Field Assistant.

In 1996 she joined ECHO, the EC’s Humanitarian Aid Office, in the Administration, Programme and Visibility departments, where she stayed for seven years, working in Tuzla from 1996-2000 and in Skopje from 2000-2003.

Dusica also worked as a television reporter from 1992-1993, but later moved to radio to run talk shows on the edge of provocativeness, tackling taboo topics in society. She still occasionally appears on talk shows, and sees this as a good way to share her concerns about society and ways of life with the world.

Dusica L.I. Cook was born in 1971 in Tuzla. She has a B.A. in English Language and Literature and graduated from a 19-week course at the London School of PR as best in class 2003/2004. She is also a certified court interpreter, registered with the Ministry of Justice of the FBIH, but always emphasises that her main profession is being a single mother.

Dusica’s awards include Best in Class, London School of PR 2003/2004 and a Certificate from the Director of ECHO for dedication and commitment to the provision of humanitarian aid. She was also one of eight winners of the Business Plan Competition in 2005 at the Tuzla University Business Start-up Centre.

Marija Ristić

A reporter with experience at a variety of publications, Marija joined BIRN’s Balkan Transitional Justice initiative in February 2012 as a journalist and reporter covering Serbia.

Prior to BIRN, Marija completed a traineeship at the Press and Information Unit at the Delegation of the European Union to Serbia. She also worked as an assistant editor and science journalist at the Institute for Informatics Systems and Computer Media at the Technical University of Graz.

She previously interned as a journalist focusing on economics at Serbia’s Politka newspaper. During her undergraduate studies in Belgrade, Marija worked as a journalist for the student magazine Politokolog and as host for the Radio production ,Slušaonica 6” for Radio Studio B.

Marija holds a Bachelor’s degree in journalism from the Faculty of Political Science at the University of Belgrade. She received additional training at the School of Investigative Journalism at the Centre for Investigative Journalism in Serbia, the European Journalism Centre in the Netherlands, and other organizations. Marija is currently studying for her Master’s in political science in Belgrade.

While at university, Marija was awarded the OSCE award as a top journalism student. She also received the Zoran Djindjic award for top Serbian young professional and was recognised by the Austrian government as a top Serbian young professional.

Maida Selmanović

Maida has years of experience in commercial business and financial work.

Maida joined BIRN Hub in January 2008. As the financial officer, she is responsible for cash flow management, accounting and financial operations, drawing up budgets for specific projects, record keeping and regular financial reporting to the executive and management staff.

Maida’s educational background is in economics, and she has worked for three decades in commercial business, finance and administration.

Slobodan Georgiev

Slobodan Georgiev is Belgrade based journalist and he serves as programme coordinator in BIRN Serbia.

He works as a journalist in Vreme weekly from 2001 covering organised crime and sports. He participated in UNDP’s programmes of transitional justice an justice sector reform in Serbia.

Slobodan is contributor to and Belgrade insight. Also he is editor at

He lives and works in Belgrade