Meet UMD’s 2012 Fall Fellows

The United Macedonian Diaspora (UMD) is pleased to introduce our current International Policy and Diplomacy Fellows working from the UMD office in Washington, D.C. this fall: Ana Donevska David, Milena Furnadziska, Tamar Gzirishvili, and Zlata Unerkova.  Rebecca Sherriffs is our Media/Public Relations Intern based out of Perth, Australia.  Our Social Media Coordinator Milka Trajkova, who interned for UMD this past summer is based out of Skopje and manages Facebook, Twitter, and the UMD’s website.

The UMD Fellowship Program is designed for undergraduate and graduate students interested in current affairs regarding Macedonia and Southeast Europe.  The Fellowship/Internship Program serves as an effective means to introduce and advance a future career in foreign policy, journalism, public relations, human rights, advocacy, government, or the nonprofit sector.

”UMD’s Fellows are some of our strongest assets, and without them we would not be able to carry on the important work of our mission to address the interests and needs of Macedonians in Washington, D.C. and throughout the world,” said UMD President Metodija A. Koloski.  “These young individuals are the future leaders of our communities and UMD is investing in their professional development.”

Ana Donevska David

Ana Donevska David, age 24, was born in Shtip, Macedonia.  After the first two years of high school in Shtip, Ana completed her last two years of high school in Spring Lake, Michigan.  Upon graduation, she enrolled at the New York College of Thessaloniki/ Empire State College where she graduated as valedictorian for the class of 2010, majoring in International Relations.  A few months later, Ana moved to the Netherlands to accept a full scholarship for the European Studies Master’s Program at the University of Twente.  After completing her Master’s degree, Ana moved to the U.S., where she is now a UMD Fellow.  Working at the UMD allows her to incorporate the knowledge she acquired during her formal education with the passion she has for her homeland Macedonia.

Milena Furnadziska

Born and raised in Berovo, Republic of Macedonia, Milena is currently enrolled in a Master’s program in International Business and Administration at Stratford University in Washington, D.C.  In the past, she worked for several non-governmental organizations in Macedonia and abroad.  Milena was an active member of AIESEC, Blue Sky – NGO to the British Council in Macedonia, ECAP, Youth Office, etc. She has a strong interest in promoting positive values, working on projects, and developing ideas.  Milena was an active member of International Amateur Radio Union for more than six years where she represented Macedonia on many competitions around the world.  In 2003, she won the Silver Medal for RUFZ&PED (Computer test) at the World Championship for High Speed Telegraphy in Minsk, Belarus.


Tamar Gzirishvili

Born and raised in the Republic of Georgia, Tamar Gzirishvili graduated summa cum laude from Clark University with honors in Political Science and a degree in Philosophy.  Her honors thesis on the conflicts in the breakaway regions of Georgia, in conjunction with her internship at the Georgian Foundation for Strategic and International Studies earned her significant insight into the politics of the Caucasus region.  In spring of 2010, Tamar completed a Washington Peace and Conflict Resolution Program at American University, where her study on Cyprus conflict was supplemented by field research in Nicosia, Athens, and Istanbul.  During her program at American University, Tamar interned at Nonviolence International in Washington, D.C., where she reported to the Program Director of the Russia program aimed at strengthening civil society in the Northern Caucasus.

Rebecca Sherriffs

Rebecca Sherriffs was born on the 25th of August 1992 in Perth, Western Australia.  She is currently studying at Edith Cowan University completing a Bachelor’s in Communications majoring in Public Relations and Journalism.  Rebecca has a strong passion for travelling and learning about new cultures and recently spent four months studying in China on a journalism scholarship.  Currently, she is in India representing her University on an Ambassador Program for few weeks.  Three years ago, she did not even know about Macedonia but since meeting and getting to know UMD Australia Treasurer Robert Pasquale she has come to value and enjoy the culture, history and people from or with Macedonian heritage.  She is really looking forward to working with UMD and more importantly expanding her knowledge about Macedonia.    


Milka Trajkova

Milka Trajkova, age 19, was born in Skopje, Macedonia and spent her elementary through high school education in Olney, Maryland.  Milka is currently a second year student studying Information Systems and Management at the South East European University in Skopje.  She is also dancing with the Macedonian Opera and Ballet.  Passionate about making a difference, she is intrigued by UMD’s everlasting determination and persevering nature that gives Macedonia a voice outside its borders.  Milka is honored to have the opportunity to work with such a positive and energetic team taking on and learning about the issues that surround Macedonia.

Zlata Unerkova

Zlata Unerkova received her Bachelor of Arts in Government from St. Lawrence University where she graduated Summa Cum Laude with Honors in Government.  During her senior year, she wrote a Senior Honors Thesis in which she examined the strategic decision-making process of a minority group in a divided society in order to establish the prospect for violence in a society.  She presented her Honors Thesis at the 2011 Annual Meeting of the New England Political Science Association. In addition to being a published author, Zlata is a member of Pi Sigma Alpha – the American National Political Science Honor Society.

Zlata has had a diverse work experience, ranging from academia to the private sector, Zlata has worked at the United States Agency for International Development/ Booz Allen Hamilton Inc. “Business Environment Activity” office in Skopje, at the Cabinet of the Deputy Prime Minister for European Affairs, and at the Cabinet of the President of the Republic of Macedonia. While at St. Lawrence, she worked as a Teaching Assistant in the Government Department.  Zlata’s last position was in the NGO sector in Macedonia, serving as Program Associate at the Association for Development Initiatives – Zenith. 

She speaks Macedonian, English, Spanish, Bosnian, Serbo-Croatian, and has studied French, Italian and Latin.   

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