Cohort 2018-2019

Aurora Birbilaj

Ms. Aurora Birbilaj has a diverse professional experience ranging from private corporations, to public entities and civic society. Ms. Birbilaj worked as a project manager with many youth organizations in Albania and Sweden. During her career, she faced systemic problems, which drove her towards looking for new non-conventional solutions. For this reason, in addition to her BSc and M.Sc in Finance and Accounting from University of Tirana, she pursued M.Sc. in Business Administration and M.Sc. in System Dynamics in Sweden, as an Erasmus Mundus Scholar. Upon her return to Albania, Ms. Birbilaj went further to explore project management and work dynamics from a different angle and worked for private corporations in construction and banking. Ms. Birbilaj believes that in order to drive societies towards sustainable change, we need to change minds and we can only do that by changing the education system towards teaching curiosity, human values and a sense of commitment. Interests: Education, sustainability, project management, societal change, gender equality, food (in) security.

Host Institution: StartEd, New York, NY. Starting in December 2018

Executive Education Program: Leading Product Innovation, Harvard Business School, Cambridge, MA

Aurora Puriqi

Ms. Aurora Puriqi has finished her Bachelor and Master studies in Hydro-technical Engineering at the Polytechnic University of Tirana in 2016. During the first year of her career, she conducted a 6 months internship at Fichtner GmbH and Co in Germany, as a scholarship holder of German Business Internship Program for Western Balkan Countries as well as a 5 months research project as an invited visiting student at ETH University in Zurich. After getting back to Albania, Ms. Puriqi started working for GIZ (The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit), firstly as an intern at the Integrated Solid Waste Management Project and later on as a Junior Expert at the Energy Efficiency Project.

Host Institution: SKANSKA in Boston, MA. Starting in December 2018

Executive Education Program: Negotiation and Leadership Managing Complex Technical Projects, Harvard Law School, Cambridge, MA

Andon Qirushi

Mr. Andon Qirushi has over 7 years of working experience as a civil engineer. He is currently an employee of Mane TCI Construction Company since 2015, in charge of several assignments such as project management, quality assurance, contract implementation monitoring, new project analysis etc. Furthermore, he has been a professor at Metropolitan University in Tirana. He owns an Engineering Bachelor’s Degree from Swansea University in UK and a Master’s Degree from University of Bologna in Italy.

Host Institution: DPR Construction, Phoenix, AZ. Starting in January 2019

Executive Education Program: Leading Change in Complex Organizations, MIT, Boston, MA

Edian Mece

Mr. Edian Mece is a young architect, urban planner and urban enthusiast. He is currently working at the Urban Planning Department at the Municipality of Tirana. His professional experiences include working as an architect in Milan, Italy and Tirana, Albania before starting working the public sector. A strong advocate of public space, he is also an invited professor at the Faculty of Architecture at the Polytechnic University of Tirana. Mr. Mece has been dealing with planning and design at different scales, having worked in the Tirana General Local Plan, Tirana 030, and various urban design projects. He is extremely passionate about architecture and urban planning and is currently exploring innovative and sustainable approaches to modern urbanism.

Host Institution: Civic Design Center, Nashville, TN. Starting in January 2019

Executive Education program: In process

Gentian Xhaxhiu

Mr. Gentian Xhaxhiu has attained a Master Degree in “EU Business Law” and has successfully completed the Annual Programme of the School of Political Studies of the Council of Europe. He holds an Executive Diploma from the School of Public Affairs of Paris (Sciences Po) in Management and Public Policy and has successfully completed the Annual Executive Program of the International Centre for European Studies (Berlin). As of 2011, Mr. Xhaxhiu has covered many duties within the Albanian public administration and is currently Head of Unit for Territorial Cooperation in the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs, in charge for the coordination of the regional cooperation Programs funded by the European Union. He is a lecturer in the School of Public Administration, delivering the modules related to EU funding, team building and public speaking.

Host Institution: YIVO Institute for Jewish Research, NYC, NY. Starting in December 2018

Executive Education Program: “Emerging Leaders” by Harvard Kennedy School, Cambridge, MA

Joli Delimeta

Ms. Joli Delimeta is an electrical engineer, currently in charge of Solaron shpk, a local solar EPC she founded in 2015 to help business and industry reduce their electricity expenses by installing a photovoltaic system. Apart from her expertise in renewables, she is also an energy auditor and, through the same company can undertake ESPCs – energy savings performance contracts. Past working experiences include: design and implementation of distribution power systems in commercial and industrial buildings, deployment of a mobile communication network, and retrofit of data and combat systems in navy ships. She has vast experience in managing engineering projects. She likes to read on psychology, is passionate about the outdoors, and finds hiking and photography an excellent way to detach from her work at the office or on site. Ms. Delimeta earned her Bachelor of Engineering at Dalhousie University in Halifax, N.S., Canada in 2008.

Host Institution: SunPower Corp. in Richmond, California. Starting in January 2019

Executive Education Program: Product Management, UC Berkeley, Berkeley, California, PMP Exam Training & PMP Exam, San Francisco, CA

Zerina Bruci

Ms. Zerina Bruci started her career as part of the Ministry of Economy in shaping the framework for the first special Economic Development Areas in Albania. She has served as a Country Coordinator for the Center for International Development (CID) at Harvard University for the project “Building the Capability to Implement a Growth Strategy in Albania”. Lately, Ms. Bruci has been involved in the field of innovation and innovation policy. She has been a CEMS consultant in Ernst and Young, Düsseldorf, Germany and is the author of the study “The Triple Helix Model of Innovation: The opportunities and challenges for Albania” in collaboration with GIZ, Albania. Ms. Bruci holds a double bachelor degree in Economics & Business Administration with the highest Distinctions and MSc in International Management from the University of Cologne (Germany) and Vienna University of Economics and Business (Austria), as a DAAD scholarship holder. She is a motivated and driven young professional committed to advance her expertise in the field of innovation and economic development and contribute to Albania’s development.

Host Institution: Plug and Play, Silicon Valley, CA. Starting in November 2018.

Executive Education Program: A Cutting Edge of Development Thinking, Harvard Kennedy School, Cambridge, MA

Denis Cenaj

Mr. Denis Cenaj, is a Network Security Engineer with over 9 years of work experience on private sector. Graduated from Polytechnic University of Tirana in Computer Engineering he has participated in various international programs including DAAD Software Engineering, Computer Science and Research Cooperation program in Bansko Bulgaria 2013. He started his career at ABCom offering solutions and support for business grade clients. In 2014 he joined Teleperformance Albania (certified best place to work 2018) as an IT executive, directly involved in IT security and technical integration of IT infrastructure with other world class, fortune 500 companies. Being very passionate about technology and innovation and with a proven track record of excellent and successful small projects with companies and not limited to Europe and US, he founded Netsapiens INT, an innovative, B2B focused, managed service provider offering IT security solutions and support to companies globally. He believes that the best strategy for Albania to further succeed and develop is to follow the Estonian approach in becoming a hub of technology and innovation. Denis enjoys most of outdoor activities like hiking, skiing and team sports.

Host Institution: DPR Construction, Orlando FL. Starting in June 2019

Edon Simaku

Mr. Edon Simaku is a target-oriented professional with a broad experience in international sales, market analysis, risk management, energy efficiency and renewable. He has studied Sciences of Economics in Greece and has been working in different companies and environments ever since. Some of those experiences consist in energy audit systems especially to HVAC and Renewable on National Project Facilities, Technical Standards and Specifications. Others are related to Master Planning, feasibility concept, cost and tariff calculations. MIP Professional Internship Program is the next step to further enrich his skills and develop his career.

Host Institution: ABB Corporate Research Center in Raleigh, North Carolina and Windsor, Connecticut. The center delivers leading-edge technologies and innovative solutions to ABB power and automation businesses.

MIP will provide an opportunity not only to expand my knowledge, as well as to convey the experience gained in the USA to KESH and therefore also in Albania.

Edon Simaku

Kestrina Ramallari

Mrs. Kestrina Ramallari is a financial analyst with extensive experience and management skills. After obtaining a Master of Science in Financial Markets and Banking, she worked for a diverse range of important institutions in Albania, until she decided to be part of a governmental institution. Working as a financial expert at the Albanian Investment Development Agency (AIDA), has given her a great deal of experience and helped for better understanding the foreign markets and the dynamism these markets offer. During her years in this job, she has successfully served some important foreign investors that have had a prodigious impact in the economy of the country. Apart from the experience in the financial markets, Ms. Ramallari has developed her managerial and analytical skills in European Policies. She successfully completed a 4 months executive training program at École Nationale d’Administration (ENA) in Paris and Strasbourg and was one of the top five selected public servants who earned the right to attend an Executive Education Program in Management and Public Policy at SciencePo in Paris and College of Europe Bruges. Kestrina’s varied background in accounting, university teaching, risk management, public policy and public governance, provided the perfect foundation for a financial analyst. When she isn’t working, Kestrina donates much of her free time to several outdoor activities. She enjoys her leisure time by indulging a fascination with bicycle through forests and loosing herself in the world of books.

Host Institutions: AON, Miami, Florida. Starting in June, 2019

Klaudia Cenomeri

Highly driven and passionate architect with a high level of creativity, Ms. Klaudia Cenomeri is graduated in Architecture and Urban Design at Polis University, Tirana (Albania). Staying always in the design field she experienced working in diverse architectural, sustainable and interior projects.


She started working as part of the team for the renovation, extension and interior project of Bank of Albania headquarters in Tirana, being part of the design team and the supervising team during the construction process. Working next to a professional team of engineers and designers for all stages of the project gave her the opportunity to further develop her skills as a young professional.


After she completed her work in BOA, she started to work on a private studio where approached design at a different level, preparing architectural designs for the full completion of commercial, public and residential projects, creating a closer approach with the market. Being always challenging to herself she worked in Abetenim (Ghana) as a project supervisor for a sustainable prototype of a school project, where experienced humanitarian design and sustainable building techniques working also alongside the local community. Recently she took the initiative to create a new office focused on interior design and innovation space planning.


Always looking for a balance she believes an architect should try to think innovatively and about where to look for solutions.

Klevin Delimeta

Mr. Klevin Delimeta finished his Bachelor studies in Computer Engineering at Epoka University in 2015. During his studies he volunteered at Njerez te Humbur organisation on creating their Database Management System. Furthermore, he joined Tibo IPTV company where he advanced his abilities on Software Engineering and acquired experience on IPTV’s infrastructure. During his time at Tibo he also was a part-time professor at Leonardo Da Vinci Educational Center where he held programming courses. These courses enforced and further crafted his engineering skills. Following Tibo he then joined Communardo GMBH as a Software Engineer, which is his most recent position where he developed and maintained different apps for Atlassian Cloud and Data Center ecosystems.

Host Institution: Inbenta, Foster City CA. Starting in June 2019

Rezarta Kadaifciu

Rezarta Kadaifciu is a Software and App-i Developer with 5 years of experience in IT private sector.

Rezarta completed her Ph.D in Computer Science at the University of Natural Science in Albania. She also holds a master’s degree in “Economic Informatics”. Rezarta started her career working for Wolters Kluwer and Find Limited. This led her to the world of software development. She has since worked with several global companies, including Corvallis (Italy) and Lufthansa Industry Solution (Germany). These have increased her capacity to work with a variety of disparate technologies and programming languages, including TIBCO, Java, and Cobol. Indeed, she was ostensibly one of the first female TIBCO developers in Albania. She currently remains certified in TIBCO Administration and Integration Boot Camp, being able to provide her services to clients like HAMBURG SUD.

She is currently leading IT initiatives (both software development and big data management) at RAD Science in a full-time capacity, as well as working with Richard D. Roberts, Ph.D (Co-Founder at RAD Science, Principal Scientist at Aspiring Minds, Author of a dozen books) on test content for European markets.

Having worked with so many foreign companies Rezarta has learned the importance of cross-cultural competence (coincidentally one of several competence assessments RAD Science is moving beyond prototyping). It does not hurt that she is also highly proficient in the Albanian, Italian, Spanish, English and German languages.

Host Institution: RAD Science Solution, Philadelphia PA. Starting in June 2019