Associate Partnerships Director
What is your role at GCA?
I joined the GCA team as the Associate Directors of Partnerships. In this role I assist the Director of Partnerships and the Partnerships team to further GCA’s growth.
What brought you to GCA and what does GCA’s mission mean to you?
I was drawn to GCA and its mission because I think the entire technology sector overall offers the widest scope of opportunities for creativity, innovation, and also application of various kinds of work methods. However, technology can be a dual-edged sword when it is not used properly and harm can be caused when left without the implementation and use of safety mechanisms. In order to know the magnitude of a threat, one needs to measure and analyze. Only then can they come up with a suitable solution. Ensuring that people feel safe and are secure when they are using the internet is not solely a noble profession but also, when cyber security is tackled on a global scale, can help all of us evolve better in applying tech advances.
How has your expertise/past work experience helped you at GCA?
I started working for a startup ecosystem builder organization a couple of years ago. By joining the startup community I was introduced to the niche sub-ecosystem of cyber security and the current risks that exist online, as well as the professionals, experts, and various institutions and organizations. I met a lot of professionals from various innovation ecosystems and international development organizations as I worked on identifying new stakeholders and partners for the Macedonian startup ecosystem. That is how I came across GCA and have been following its work for a while. Before that I was working in the non-governmental sector on various US Embassy and EU projects. Managing a project for me has never been solely about delivering milestones. Project implementation or developing a tool is just a puzzle of a wider, bigger strategy in altering peoples’ mindset and creating a safe – and at the same time – developed ecosystem. Back in July 2022 I finished my Technology and Innovation Fellowship in Chicago, Illinois USA. In the last segment of my Fellowship I affirmed that I enjoy and am more productive while working for an organization that has a global outreach, especially an organization that is focused on creating a trustworthy internet. My mixture of experiences in the non-governmental sector, combined with working with people from various sectors and backgrounds, has enabled me to easily apply different work methodologies and communicate effectively – yet remotely – with GCA’s team and partners.
What do you like best about working at GCA?
The team – I have colleagues from various parts of the world that carry with them buckets of knowledge. It is great when you happen to work with a diverse group of people. I firmly believe that when you are on a global mission to tackle the challenge of decreasing cyber security risks, the organization is as good as its human capital, and the experiences and social capital they carry with them.
What is your favorite quote?
My favorite quote is the last verse of Robert Frost’s poem “The Road Less Taken”. It goes like this: ‘’Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—I took the one less travelled by, And that has made all the difference.’’ I studied analogue languages at university, in particular English Language and Literature. I ended up working for a global organization focused on making the internet safe by reducing cyber security risks. Had I not made bold choices as an undergraduate university student and interned at the U.S. Peace Corps in Macedonia, I hardly would have ended up working for a global and diverse organization such as GCA. I have always admired people who are capable of nurturing a broad-minded approach to things and have tried to apply it myself in my day-to-day work. This is why I like to be part of an organization that nurtures a cosmopolitan agenda and has a staff from across the globe. One learns multi-fold when you have colleagues from different cultures and have different backgrounds.
Who inspires you?
My mother. I have never met a person who has such a larger-than-life energy and will to persevere. I like to think that the never-give-up, roll-up-your sleeves attitude I have taken it after her.
What do you enjoy doing when you are not working?
Spending time with my partner, Dimitar and pick his brains on a plethora of subjects. Basically cooking and sitting a lunch with family and friends is the best way to relax from today’s fast paced world we live in.