Our Staff

Zvezdana Kovac
Executive Director

Zvezdana Kovac was named Executive Director of the CDRSEE in September 2014. Before joining the CDRSEE, Zvezdana worked as a journalist and an editor for more than 20 years and served in leadership roles in various TV stations across the region. After moving to Greece, she served as project manager of several NGOs. She joined the CDRSEE in 2011, first serving as the project manager for the JHP's Montenegrin edition and then as Editor-in-Chief and co-host of the current affairs TV talk show Vicinities.

Zvezdana graduated from the Faculty for Serbo-Croatian language and Yugoslav literature at the University of Montenegro; her mother tongue is Montenegrin which allows her to understand the languages in the region. In addition, she is fluent in English and Greek.

Antonis Hadjiyannakis
Programme Adviser

Antonis completed his BA in Business Administration in Kavala, Greece and his MSc in International Conflict at Kingston University, England. During his studies he did research on minorities in the Balkans. After completing his studies he worked for the Stability Pact for Southeast Europe in Thessaloniki and was an electoral observer with the OSCE travelling throughout the Balkans. Before resuming his duties at the CDRSEE in 2011, he was Special Advisor to the Secretary General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in Athens. Antonis is fluent in Greek and English, has a good command of German and basic knowledge of French.

Ruth Jennifer Sutton
Development Officer

Ruth has a BA in Philosophy & Politics and an MSc in Education for Sustainability and Social Change. Her thesis was on participative teaching methodologies in Southeast Europe. She is an instructor in social sciences at a tertiary education college, focusing specifically on service learning and she is also a qualified English teacher and a teacher trainer.

Since 2009 she has been a co-director of 'REAP' (Roma Empowerment and Action Project) and has previously worked for the European Parliament and an international humanitarian aid and development organisation, as well as a brief stint in print journalism. She is a native English speaker and speaks Greek.

Ioannis Kakavakis
Financial Officer

Ioannis holds a B.Sc in Economics and a M.Sc degree in Economics and Econometrics. He has practiced Econometrics for more than 15 years. His main areas of expertise are data analysis and formation of econometric models. Prior to his career in econometrics he has worked as a financial analyst in the private sector for various firms. He speaks Greek and English and has a basic knowledge of French. He became part of the CDRSEE team in May 2017.


Apostolia Gougousi
Project Manager

Apostolia holds a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) and an M.A in Politics and Economics of Contemporary Eastern and Southeastern Europe. Upon the completion of her studies she became a member of the Law Bar Association of Thessaloniki. She has previous international experience gained through working for the Legal Protection Unit of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Cyprus, as well as for a Law Firm in Istanbul.  Apostolia speaks fluently Greek, English and Turkish, and has a limited working proficiency in French and Italian.