Velma Šarić, Editor-in-Chief
A trained journalist and graduate of the BBC reporting school, Velma has dedicated her 14-year career to investigative reporting in the Western Balkans. She has worked as a court reporter for the Institute for War and Peace Reporting (IWPR), Balkan Investigative Reporting Network, and Association of Court reporters in Bosnia and Herzegovina. As a freelance journalist, she has collaborated with: Al Jazeera, BBC, PBS, National Geographic, Süddeutsche Zeitung, The New York Times, La Repbulica, Le Monde, The Guardian, The Observer, Neue Zürcher Zeitung, TV Espana, Danish TV 2, and Deutsche Welle.
Leslie Woodward, Business Development
Leslie holds a BSc in Biology from Baylor University and an MA in International Studies from the University of Denver’s Josef Korbel School of International Studies. She obtained advanced certification in designing peacebuilding programs from the Peace Action Training and Research Institute of Romania (PATRIR) and has worked in Kenya, Bangladesh, and Bosnia and Herzegovina on various peacebuilding and development projects.
Tatjana Milovanović, Associate Editor
Tatjana is a youth activist and human rights defender with over 10 years of experience in the fields of intercultural dialogue, reconciliation and peacebuilding, with the aim to educate youth, advocate for the underrepresented, inspire social activism, and foster tolerance and mutual understanding. She holds an MA Degree in Democracy and Human Rights from the University of Sarajevo and University of Bologna, and a Law degree from the University of East Sarajevo.
Catherine Galley, Associate Editor
Catherine is currently working to receive a Dual Master’s Degree in Social Work and International Development with a specialization in migration and refugee rights at the University of Denver. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Purdue University. Catherine has worked for multiple American NGO’s in grant writing, fundraising, migration, and refugee rights along with international NGO’s in relation to Rohingya mental health, education in crisis and conflict areas, and equality within policy and governance. She completed an internship at the Post-Conflict Research Center in 2018 which further intensified her interest in post-conflict societies, transitional justice, and genocide.
Adrian Pecotic, Associate Editor
Adrian is a freelance writer and editor based in Sarajevo. He’s written for Foriegn Policy, the Times Literary Supplement, and Undark Magazine. In the course of his Masters in Neurophilosophy at Georgia State University, Adrian studied the pyschology of moral values and group cohesion.
Niđara Pašanović, Translator
Niđara holds an MA in English Literature from the University of Sarajevo. She has worked with a wide range of NGOs as their primary translator and interpreter, converting written texts and subtitles and providing simultaneous interpretation at conferences, workshops and public events for high-level officials.
Armin Halilović, Translator
Armin comes from Zavidovići, BiH where he finished technical high-school. He is currently finishing his Bachelor’s degree at the Department of English Language and Literature within the University of Sarajevo’s Faculty of Philosophy. He works as an interpreter and a tutor of English language.
Marija Arnautović, Workshop Facilitator and Editing Consultant
Marija began her career as a journalist on Radio Montenegro in 1998, before becoming an editor for the Montenegrin News Agency (MINA). She later worked as journalist and television news editor for Sarajevo Canton Television before joining the Sarajevo office for Radio Free Europe as a journalist, reporter, news editor, magazine editor and host for Radio Free Europe’s TV Liberty.
Maria Hetman, Program Development Consultant
Maria is a writer, editor, and researcher specializing in the Western Balkans. She has worked in media development and NGOs in Eastern Europe and Bosnia-Herzegovina, and has a master’s degree in Sociology and Social Anthropology.’
Paul Lowe, Creative Consultant
Paul Lowe is a Senior Lecturer in Photography at the University of the Arts London and an award-winning photographer living and working between Sarajevo and London. His work is represented by Panos Pictures, and has appeared in Time, Newsweek, Life, The Sunday Times Magazine, The Observer and The Independent amongst others. He has covered breaking news the world over, including the fall of the Berlin Wall, Nelson Mandela’s release, the conflict in the former Yugoslavia and the destruction of Grozny.
Safet Šarić, Manager of Publishing and Technical Operations
During his pursuit of a degree in Law at the University of Sarajevo, Safet worked for a local NGO as a journalist and researcher, focusing on BiH’s Euro-Atlantic integration and ongoing peace restoration. He has experience working as a fixer and translator for numerous researchers, journalists, and newspapers, including The Boston Daily, Financial Times, Allgemeine Zeitung.
At the heart of Balkan Diskurs lie our youth correspondents. Drawn from villages, towns and cities across the Western Balkan Region, they each have a passion for bringing honest and objective news and analysis from their own communities to a wider audience. Each youth correspondent has participated in our Youth Correspondent Training Program.
Winner of the Intercultural Achievement Recognition Award by the Austrian Federal Ministry for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs