Sefer Selimi

Democracy Lab

Founder and Executive Director of Democracy Lab. He holds a BA in Business Administration from South East European University (SEEU) and a MSc in Diplomacy and International Relations from the International University of Struga. He is a 2016 alumnus of the Community Solutions Program, a U.S. department of State leadership program implemented by IREX. Over the course of his career he has worked as project manager for different local NGOs, implementing projects in the fields of transparency and accountability of local government.

Sefer held the position of Development Officer for the department of Local Economic Development and Project Implementation of the Gostivar Municipality between 2013 and 2017. He also spearheaded the inception of the Gostivar Municipal Youth Council where he serves as Senior Coordinator. In early 2015, he also founded Youth Empowerment Platform, a local youth empowerment NGO.

Under his leadership, Democracy Lab has grown into a significantly relevant actor in North Macedonia and a trusted partner in regional projects. During the course of 3 years, the organization has implemented over 12 relevant projects in anticorruption, countering and preventing violent extremism, democracy building and media mentorship.

The organization has established the Youth and Community Center in Gostivar, which serves as a safe and open space for all Gostivar residents, provides community programming to Gostivar’s youth, and offers a rent-free community room available to any community member wishing to bring positive change to Gostivar. During the first year of its operation, the center has had over 7000 visits and more then 200 events, meetings and activities. Sefer participates often on TV debates and shows as a political analyst and opinion maker, covering topics related to democracy, Euro-Atlantic integrations, International Relations and security.

Sefer’s rich experience makes him very well-versed in relations between international development agencies and local institutions. He is committed to fostering sustainable cooperation and partnerships to make tangible change in local communities in North Macedonia and the region.