Please tell us about your professional background. Where have you worked before coming to the OSCE and what did you do?
Before joining the OSCE Presence in Albania, I was a member of the ICITAP (International Criminal Investigative Training Assistance Program) Department of Justice, the United States Embassy in Tirana. Throughout my entire professional career, I have been constantly engaged with police and security matters. I have been involved in a number of significant projects carried out in conjunction with the Albanian Police Academy, the Ministry of Public Order, as well as the US FBI and the US Immigration & Naturalization Services.
All such projects have required extensive cooperation with Albanian interlocutors in ministerial levels, and representatives from other international organizations. I have assisted in strengthening the collaboration and professional relationships between different institutions operating within similar fields. This has enabled the successful implementation of joint-efforts in tackling multiple security related issues. I have contributed in conducting and carrying out programs on the repatriation and reintegration of victims of trafficking through improvements on legislation, law enforcement, and enhancement of the police capacity.
What’s your academic background? How does it align with the career you developed?
I am a strong believer that in order for a country to be able to advance socially, as well as politically, ideally it needs to achieve a “criminally free” reality. To allow for this to happen, there is a dire necessity for rigorous law enforcement and improvement of the legislation. My Degree in Law, and Master’s Degree in Criminal Law, have provided me with a solid understanding of how legal systems function, on what basis they should be operating, and the challenges it faces. This academic background has, not only emphasized the paramount importance of legal instruments, but has also helped me develop a series of professional tools needed to dissect some of the troubles Albania faces in policy development and implementation, particularly in my area of expertise: police and border management.
Where are you based now and what do you like most about your current job at the OSCE?
I am the National Police Assistance and Border Management Officer within the Security Cooperation Department of the OSCE Presence in Albania.
I definitely enjoy this job thoroughly. It is certainly a challenging one, because of the intensity of the work, and the national as well as international significance of the matters I deal with on a daily basis. It also requires a high level of commitment, and involves a great deal of travelling, both within the country and abroad. Because of my position, among other things, I am constantly in the field building capacities, coaching/monitoring/ organizing stimulation exercises, implementing projects or conducting / attending conferences / meetings.
However, I can say without a doubt that it is a highly rewarding job. Not only do I get the pleasure of seeing the fruitful results of various border and security projects or programs conducted by myself and my colleagues, but I also get to experience first-hand the improvement of the capacities of our police force. What is more, I get to be in constant contact with people and interlocutors across different disciplines, who provide important input and share their experience. In this way, my professional abilities are enhanced while I assist in the building of long-lasting relationships between Albania and its neighboring countries.
What type of advice would you give to applicants considering international civil service?
It is no wonder that working for the OSCE has helped me enhance my existing capabilities while building a new set of professional assets. It has been a unique experience since I am able to give a measurable contribution to my country, as well as to the broader international sphere. When you work in international service, you become part of a well-structured driving force that for many years has pioneered change and has lended a hand to many governments or institutions. Organizations, such as the OSCE, live up to very high democratic standards, and besides professional development, these careers also offer an opportunity to share experiences with people from different backgrounds and walks of life, creating an exciting working environment.