Working on daily basis in supporting the development of the activities of public institutions, our team has gained extensive insight in the specifics of the legislative and the policy making process, enabling us to identify areas for improvement in order to align with European standards and best practices.
We have extensive experience in working with the Parliament of Macedonia in creating and upgrading the Parliamentary constituency relations network and the establishment of the Parliamentary research institute, as well as the Ministry of Economy in designing a policy for fostering corporate social responsibility. We cooperated with the European Commission and Macedonian institutions in analysing and revising the legal framework for donations and sponsorships in public benefit activities, and partner with various civil society organizations to promote legal initiatives aimed at improving the overall legislative framework and public policies.
We have been working on upgrading Parliament’s research and analysis resources, to provide reliable input to the law-making process. Our network and day-to-day activities with Members of Parliament, Parliamentary Committees and the Parliamentary Administration has given us direct access to authoritatively analyse and put forward modalities for improving the transparency and the efficiency of the legislative process.
Executive Director & Researcher
Aleksandar Nikolov is the Executive Director of Zenith and represents the organization.
Before taking on this position with Zenith, Aleksandar worked on public policy creation on the basis of multi-stakeholder consultations and consensus-building, drafting policy programs, strategies and action plans aligned with relevant EU policies – subsequently adopted by the Governments of Macedonia and Serbia in 2007, 2008, 2010 and 2011.
While working with the World Bank Institute, the Human Resources Development Fund, UNDP (Macedonia, Serbia, Kosovo), the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs and the Institute for Parliamentary Democracy Aleksandar has prepared and delivered a number of adult education programs for government officials, Members of Parliament and civil society organizations.
As of 2007, Aleksandar has had extensive cooperation with Macedonia's Parliament and with all Parliamentary political parties, working to strengthen the capacity of elected representatives and party officials, devise and establish the Parliamentary research service, strengthen Parliament’s policy-making capacities, enhance citizens’ participation in the legislative process, and develop Parliament’s Constituency Relations Network.
As a member of a National Expert Team summoned by the UNDP and the European Commission Nikolov was a lead author of the pioneer 2007 Baseline Study on Corporate Social Responsibility in Macedonia based on extensive research. He headed the advocacy activities and policy discussions that resulted in the creation of Macedonia’s National Coordinating Body on CSR and in organizing a number of public policy forums in Macedonia and Serbia.
Natasha Kochova graduated in political science and international relations at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. She acquired part of her formal education in Japan, where she has worked for the Minami-ku ward. Natasha acted as a representative for global awareness of World Vision – UNICEF and worked in the Regional Environmental Center for Central and Eastern Europe.
After her return to Macedonia, she worked in the project unit of the Ministry of Environment and Physical Planning, and on а World Bank project in the Ministry of Culture. Since 2007 she has worked on programs related to the Macedonian Parliament. She provided support to the implementation of the projects "Strengthening constituency relations", "Strengthening the legislative process", "Strengthening the legislative participation of women and minorities in Parliament", "Strengthening the capacities for impartial analysis and comparative research in Parliament" as well as "Strengthening citizen participation in the legislative process".
Zlata Unerkova is a Programme Associate at Zenith.
She received her Bachelor of Arts in Government from St. Lawrence University in the United States. During her senior year at St. Lawrence University, Unerkova wrote a Senior Honors Thesis for which she traveled to Israel and the West Bank to conduct primary research. The focus of her research was the majority-minority relationships in the State of Israel, examining the strategic decision-making process of a minority group in a divided society in order to establish the prospect for violence in the society. She presented her Honors Thesis at the 2011 Annual Meeting of the New England Political Science Association. Zlata graduated Summa Cum Laude with Honors in Government.
In terms of her work experience, she has completed several internships in both the public and the private sector. Namely, she completed an internship at the USAID/ Booz Allen Hamilton Inc. “Business Environment Activity” office in Skopje (2007), at the Cabinet of the Deputy Prime Minister for European Affairs (2008), and at the Cabinet of the President of the Republic of Macedonia (2009). While at St. Lawrence, she worked as a Teaching Assistant in the Government Department (2010).
In addition to being a published author, Unerkova is a member of Pi Sigma Alpha, the American National Political Science Honor Society.
Programme Associate & Researcher
Zorica Ilin is a Programme Associate at Zenith.
Holding a Master in Arts with Honors in International Relations from University of Edinburgh, she completed her thesis on the development of Macedonian nationality and nation building.She also attended New York College in Thessaloniki where she was involved in researching the effect of EU policy on young citizens.
Prior to joining Zenith, she spent two years at the British Red Cross where she was involved in developing humanitarian education initiatives for school-age young people and continuous professional development programmes in human rights and humanitarian law for primary and secondary school teachers. Furthermore, she worked as a community educator with at-risk and special needs young people in Edinburgh, Scotland.
Zorica is a member of the Young International Scotland association which supports international young professionals working in the charity sector in Scotland.
Dushko Todoroski is project coordinator at Zenith.
He received his Bachelor of Arts in Political science at the Faculty of Law "Iustinianus Primus" at the "Ss. Cyril and Methodius" University in Skopje. In 2015, Dushko completed his MA degree in Diplomacy and International relations at the same university. His research areas cover the EU integration process of the western Balkan countries, as well as policies connected with the Chapter 23 – Judiciary and fundamental rights. Prior to joining Zenith, Todoroski was an intern at the EU Info Centre in Skopje.
Marijana Jancheska is project coordinator at Zenith.
Marijana has a Bachelor in Macedonian literature and MD in Cultural Studies. At the moment she is enrolled in Doctoral Studies in the field of Migration and Culture at the Institute of Macedonian literature in Skopje.
Through long-standing cooperation with the NGO sector, she is actively involved in projects for quality education, gender equality and social inclusion of marginalized people. Her previous experience includes developing a methodology for workshops on feminism; alumni of the Academy for youth researchers conducted by the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung - Office Skopje; alumni of the first independent student magazine in Macedonia – Way out; logistical assistant at the International Youth Conference – Krushevo, organized by Youth Alliance – Krushevo; as well as Cultural and Language facilitator at the Peace Corps – Macedonia.