The United Macedonian Diaspora (UMD) – our nation’s leading voice of half a million Americans of Macedonian heritage – is pleased to announce a generous gift from Honorary UMD Advisory Council Member and Macedonia’s first Ambassador to the United States, Ambassador Ljubica Z. Acevska, to create the Acevska Congressional Internship Program (ACIP).
“Since 2004, my husband Joe and I have had the pleasure of watching UMD grow from an organization with a handful of dedicated and passionate college-age volunteers to becoming the leading professional voice for Macedonians in Washington, D.C. with a truly global focus – UMD is inspiring, empowering, and uniting Macedonians, especially our youth, to get involved – and I am pleased to help advance the career development of our youth,” said Ambassador Acevska.
“Having been a Congressional intern in the past and the privilege of being mentored by Ambassador Acevska when I first moved to Washington, D.C. in 2003, I cannot be more thrilled that UMD is creating the Acevska Congressional Internship Program,” said UMD President Metodija A. Koloski
“Ljubica broke multiple glass ceilings when she became Macedonia’s first Ambassador to the United States of America during a very challenging time for the country – many doubted her capabilities, but she proved them wrong time and again and ensured Macedonia had a seat at the table – she’s one of Macedonia’s exemplary diplomats and a role model for me and countless others – a huge thank you from all of us at UMD,” concluded Koloski.
The Acevska Congressional Internship Program will run annually with the goal of attracting Macedonian American students and recent graduates providing them an opportunity to learn about the legislative process by interning in Washington, D.C. with a Member of Congress.
ACIP will create a more civically engaged community by providing a rewarding experience that helps participants learn about the importance of being active in the American civic process. ACIP participants will receive a stipend during their internship, as well as be part of mentorship opportunities and leadership training programs run by UMD.
To learn more and apply for the Acevska Congressional Internship Program, please click HERE.
Macedonian-American Ljubica Z. Acevska was appointed Macedonia’s first envoy, and then Ambassador to the United States tasked with establishing bilateral relations with the U.S., and ties with the IMF and the World Bank. The efforts of Ambassador Acevska, who held one of the most difficult jobs of opening doors for this newly independent young country with an ancient history, have not gone unrecognized – in 2011, UMD honored her with the UMD Macedonian Heritage Public Service Award.
Ambassador Ljubica Z. Acevska served as the Republic of Macedonia’s Representative, and then Ambassador to the United States between 1991-2000. During her time representing the Republic of Macedonia, she successfully established bilateral relations between Macedonia and the United States. She also advocated for the U.S. to send troops as part of the United Nations peacekeepers to Macedonia’s northern border in the early 90s. She also oversaw Macedonia’s membership in the World Bank and International Monetary Fund and served as a Macedonian Delegate to the United Nations General Assembly.
Acevska’s time as Ambassador was featured in the book A Seat at the Table: Women, Diplomacy, and Lessons for the World by Susan Sloan published in April 2020. She has received numerous recognitions, including the Alumni Medalist Award from her alma mater The Ohio State University in 1996 for “international distinction in service to humanity”. Also in 1996, she was named the first Ambassador of the Year by the Women’s Ambassador Foundation. UMD presented her with the 2011 UMD Macedonian Heritage Public Service Award.
After her service as Ambassador, Acevska went on to become a Public Policy Scholar at the prestigious Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. From 2005-2008, she was a co-host of the DC-TV talk show “Conversations,” focusing on international issues. In addition to her current public speaking engagements and international business development consulting work, Acevska is Co-Founder and President of Pencils 4 Kids International, an organization that provides much-needed school supplies to children worldwide. Acevska has served on numerous Boards, and was a founding partner of Gulf Enterprises, which dealt in international trade, consulting, and development in the Middle East.
Acevska was born in Capari, Macedonia. She came to the United States with her family at the age of nine, and grew up in Mansfield, Ohio. Acevska completed her undergraduate and postgraduate studies at The Ohio State University in the field of international studies. She attended Harvard University twice, once at the John F. Kennedy School of Government for a fellowship in Leadership in the 21st Century: Chaos, Conflict and Courage, and later at the Harvard Business School for an Executive Development Program sponsored by the World Bank. She currently resides in Washington, D.C. and Nelson County, Virginia, with her husband, psychiatrist and author Dr. Joseph R. Novello.