Marija Ristic

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Regional Director

Marija Ristic is the regional director of Balkan Investigative Reporting Network, a network of seven non-governmental organisations promoting freedom of speech, human rights and democratic values. Ristic oversees the activities and communications within the Network and represents it publicly.

As regional director, Ristic also leads the BIRN Hub, which coordinates the BIRN network, dealing with editorial, training, operations and development, as well as developing, fundraising for and coordinating core regional projects.

Ristic started working for BIRN in 2011 as a journalist, contributing to the regional Balkan Transitional Justice programme. Topics related to facing the past, reconciliation and transitional justice have been at the core of her professional development. After becoming the programme’s director, Ristic was responsible for building the capacities of local media and civil society in order to promote reconciliation and intercultural dialogue.

In 2015, she produced the award-winning documentary ‘The Unidentified’.

She also made BIRN one of the first media organisations in the Western Balkans to initiate regular reporting about violent extremism, populism and propaganda under the regional Resonant Voices Initiative, which also involved training journalists to cover these topics.

Ristic has significant expertise and knowledge related to media, transitional justice, human rights, democratic processes and EU integration.

She has also been actively involved in organisational development, fundraising and expanding the organisation’s influence regionally and abroad over the past several years.

Ristic is a graduate of the Geneva Academy for International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights. She has received numerous awards and scholarships from the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung, the OSCE, the Zoran Djindjic Foundation and the Research Council of Norway. She is also a fellow at the Free University in Berlin researching universal jurisdiction.