Edlira Gjoni is a communications professional and political activist in Albania. She is actively involved internationally as a communications expert, known for her advocacy for women’s rights and her respected presence in the media. In addition, Gjoni has conducted training and research in both communication and political participation in her country. As a political activist, Gjoni is the co-founder of a political party and was a member of Parliament-candidate in 2013. Gjoni’s professional focus is to strengthen both youth and women’s leadership potential in not only Albania, but in the rest of the Western Balkans region. She seeks to enhance women’s political participation in Albania and their active participation at all levels of government.

Gjoni was one of the four recipients of the 2019 McCain Institute Catalyst Grant, which she used to deliver four leadership training programs to locally elected officials in Albania. Two hundred Albanian women participated in these training, including 20 of the 51 women mentioned in Gjoni’s book “Women Can.”  Program participants attended weekly trainings in character-driven leadership, helping them to craft Leadership Action Plans. The program was awarded the distinction of “Gender Champion” by the Albanian Embassy of the Netherlands. Furthermore, many of the women Gjoni has trained have become a force for social change within Albania – some being elected to public office and others being profiled on major Albanian news networks.

Placement Organization: The Office of Nashville Mayor David Briley

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