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Marija Risteska

GA Council

Marija Risteska is a doctor of political science. He is the founder and executive director of the Center for Research and Policy Creation, a leading think tank in Macedonia, which received the Japan Medal for Outstanding Research in Development in 2016 and the PASOS Think Tank Award in 2010 and 2013.

Her research work is related to the areas of public administration reform, good governance, policy transfer and European integration. She taught political science at FON University and New York College in Skopje, and currently holds the position of assistant professor at the University of Southeast Europe (SEEU) in Tetovo.

At the Center for Research and Policy Making, Ristesca led a team that contributed to the implementation of four public sector reforms in Macedonia. She created the system of public policy development of the Government of Macedonia with the support of Norway, as well as the system of subsequent evaluation of policies with the support of the OSCE. Since 2006, she has been collaborating with UN Women on gender-responsive budget reform as a researcher, analyst, trainer and mentor to government and municipal officials. Risteska is now the regional director of the Gender Budget Watchdog network, which includes 88 non-governmental organizations from Albania, Montenegro, Serbia, North Macedonia, BiH and Moldova. It launched a regional open government platform in six countries of the Western Balkans: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia, with the support of the EU. Since 2018, Ristesca has focused on the prevention of violent extremism working with the Hedyah Center for Counter-Terrorism Excellence and the EU, which led to the development of the policy model Passage for Prevention: A mechanism for the referral of persons vulnerable to radicalization and the reintegration of foreign fighters and their family members into community.

Dr. Risteska is the author, co-author and co-editor of several books, textbooks and publications. She is co-chair of the working group for chapter 19 of the National Convention for European Integration and policy coordinator for the EBRD Women in Business Program in the Western Balkans. She has participated and spoken at numerous high-level events such as the Raisina Dialogue: