Margarita Assenova, Executive Director
Margarita Assenova is a founder and Executive Director of the Institute for New Democracies. She also serves as a Course Chair for Bulgaria Area Studies at the Foreign Service Institute in Washington, DC. Assenova, who is from Bulgaria, worked as a print and broadcast journalist in her home country since 1987. She worked as political correspondent for RFE/RL for more than 10 years and was awarded the prestigious John Knight Professional Journalism Fellowship at Stanford University for her reporting on nationalism and minorities in the Balkans.
After moving to the United States, Assenova worked on U.S. projects for economic development, security, military reform and democracy building in Eastern Europe and Central Asia for the Center for Strategic & International Studies, the International Republican Institute, the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars, and Freedom House. Assenova is a frequent speaker at forums and conferences in the U.S. and abroad. Her articles appeared in U.S. and European newspapers, magazines and online publications, including RFE/RL Newsline, Balkan Report, The Washington Times, The World and I, Transitions Online, Balkan Times, Internationale Politik in Germany, The Capital Weekly and Razum Magazine in Bulgaria. She wrote book chapters for Brassey’s Central & East European Security Yearbook in 2000 and 2001 and Nations in Transit in 2005. Assenova authored the book “Lessons of NATO Evolution: General Guide to the Debate” published by CSIS Press in 2003. She is fluent in Russian, Bulgarian, English and Macedonian.