Our team brings to ABF a wealth of experience in education, nonprofits, government, finance, and publishing both in Bulgaria and abroad. They are passionate, committed individuals who work hard to help the America for Bulgaria Foundation make good on its mission to support the country’s private sector and related democratic institutions. 

ABF team members share our community’s values and vision and work with each organization individually to help create better living and working conditions for all so that Bulgarian citizens can pursue lives of dignity and personal as well as professional fulfillment. 

ABF staff are stewarded in their work by an independent board of directors—American and Bulgarian entrepreneurs and investors whose commitment to Bulgaria’s development spans decades. 

Board of Directors

(Top row, left to right): Lyubomir Lozanov, Marshall Miller, Roderick Moore

(Second row, left to right): Milena Dragijska-Dencheva, Carl Pforzheimer, Melanie Kirkpatrick, Allison Murphy (legal counsel)

(Third row, left to right): Chris Matlon, Anthony Manno, Michael Dunn, Dimiter Voutchev

(Bottom row, left to right): Kenneth Vander Weele, Nancy Schiller, Gail Buyske

Board of Directors

Gail Buyske assumed her role as Chair of the ABF Board of Directors in June 2021. Ms. Buyske is a non-executive director and banking consultant with extensive experience on the boards of directors of banks in over ten countries and on the advisory boards of private equity funds. Gail has also had significant experience in sustainable finance initiatives, including as a board member of several microfinance and small business lenders.

Prior to her current activities, Ms. Buyske’s international banking career included three years in Moscow with the EBRD, where she managed the EBRD’s financial sector business, and 12 years in the International Division of the Chase Manhattan Bank, where her work included positions in Hong Kong and NY-based positions covering Latin America, Canada, Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union.

Ms. Buyske received a B.A. degree from Middlebury College (summa cum laude), an M.P.A. from the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University, and a Ph.D. in political science from Columbia University. She chairs the National Advisory Council of the Harriman Institute at Columbia University and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Scott is Managing Director at Jigsaw, an Alphabet company, where he drives its international engagement and thought-leadership efforts around such topics as AI and geopolitics, online harassment, counter radicalization and repressive censorship. Prior to Alphabet, Scott was among the founding members of Google Ideas. He remains an adjunct fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, where he founded and directed Project Fikra as the Keston Family Fellow.

Previously, Scott served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State in the Bureau of Near East Affairs where he helped conceive and implement the Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI) before being named G-8 Coordinator for the Broader Middle East and North Africa Initiative (BMENA).  His other roles in government include director of governance for the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq from April 2003 to July 2004, and Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of Human Rights and Democracy. Earlier in his career, Scott worked for the International Republican Institute (IRI) where he founded and co-directed its European program from Bratislava, Slovakia and on Capitol Hill. From 1995 to mid-1997, Scott served as IRI’s Resident Program Officer in Bulgaria and has remained engaged in Bulgaria ever since.

Scott has an M.A. in economics and European studies from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies and is a life-member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He currently serves on a number of boards including the International Republican Institute and the Project on Middle East Democracy.

Milena Dragijska-Dencheva joined the ABF Board of Directors in January 2021. Ms. Dragijska-Dencheva is the CEO of Lidl Bulgaria, a position she has held since the supermarket chain entered the Bulgarian market in 2010.

She began her career at the company in 2002 as regional sales manager for the regions of Stuttgart and Karlsruhe, Germany. She continued her professional development at Lidl headquarters, where she held a variety of positions and was responsible for many international projects of Lidl International.

She has a master’s degree in law from Sofia’s St. Kliment Ohridski University, beginning her legal career in 1996 at the law firm Borislav Boyanov & Co. She has an LL.M. degree from the Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen and an MBA in international marketing from Reutlingen University ESB Business School, Germany.

She is a member of the management boards of the German-Bulgarian Chamber of Industry and Commerce, the Association for Modern Trade, and the Council of Women in Business in Bulgaria.

She was named Manager of the Year for 2020 by Bulgaria’s Manager magazine.

Melanie Kirkpatrick is a writer-journalist based in Connecticut and New York City and a senior fellow of the Hudson Institute in Washington, D.C. She is the author of Lady Editor: Sarah Josepha Hale and the Making of the Modern American Woman (2021), Thanksgiving: The Holiday at the Heart of the American Experience (2016) and Escape from North Korea: The Untold Story of Asia’s Underground Railroad (2012).

She also contributes reviews and commentary to the opinion pages of The Wall Street Journal, for which she worked from 1980 until 2009. At the Journal, she was a longtime member of the editorial board.  In 2001, Ms. Kirkpatrick received the Mary Morgan Hewett Award for Women in Journalism. The annual award recognizes a female journalist who has demonstrated commitment, hard work and expanding influence throughout her career.

She received a bachelor’s degree from Princeton University and a master’s degree from the University of Toronto. She was a Gannett Newspaper Foundation Fellow in Asian studies at the University of Hawaii. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, a member of the Advisory Council of the George W. Bush Institute, and a trustee emerita of Princeton in Asia, an internship program in Asia for young graduates of American universities.

Lyubomir Lozanov was elected Director to the Board of America for Bulgaria Foundation in March 2015. For the last 19 years, Mr. Lozanov has been the CEO of Ameta Holding. Prior to that, from October 1999 until May 2001, he held the positions of investment analyst and investment officer at the Bulgarian American Enterprise Fund.

Mr. Lozanov graduated from the Faculty of Economics and Business Administration of Sofia University “St.Kliment Ochridski”, and is currently member of the board of trustees of the university. He is a graduate of the Mathematics and Natural Sciences High School in Vratza.

Christina Lucas joined the Board of Directors of the America for Bulgaria Foundation in January 2023. Ms Lucas has more than 20 years of experience in leadership roles at the intersection of global financial services, insurance, and technology. As President of Envista Forensics, she earned recognition as one of Inc. 5000’s Fastest Growing companies and Great Places to Work in 2021. Prior to this role, Christina worked for AIG from 2012 until 2020 with a career spanning Miami, Tokyo, New York, and Sofia. While living in Bulgaria, she led the AIG Center of Excellence team in 2017 – 2019, earning the team recognition as Best Place to Work in Bulgaria in 2019.

Christina has also worked for two top-tier consulting firms. At Booz Allen, she supported public sector clients in the Washington, DC area from 2004 until 2007. Between 2007 and 2012, she worked at Deloitte’s Washington, Bonn, and São Paulo offices.

Christina holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics in from Georgetown University and a Master of Information Technology degree from American Intercontinental University. She also serves on the Board of Directors of SERVPRO, and is on the Board for the Georgetown University Alumni Association.

Mr. Manno is CEO, President and Chief Investment Officer of Security Capital Research & Management Incorporated, a wholly owned subsidiary of JPMorgan Asset Management. Security Capital has more than $6 billion of assets invested in publicly listed real estate companies. Mr. Manno has 34 years of experience in the real estate investment business. He received an MBA in Finance with honors (Beta Gamma Sigma) from the University of Chicago and graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Northwestern University with a BA and MA in Economics.

In addition to being a Director of the Foundation, Mr. Manno has served as a Director of the Bulgarian American Enterprise Fund since 2000.

Chris Matlon is member of the Board of Directors of ABF since its inception in 2009, including its chairman in the period June 2018 – June 2021. Prior to that, he served as a Director of the Bulgarian-American Enterprise Fund in 2002-2015.

Mr. Matlon is a retired Senior Vice President of Chase Manhattan Bank in New York which included international banking experience in London, Hong Kong, Iran, Lebanon, Australia, and New Zealand. He received his Masters in International Management from Thunderbird School of Global Management and his BA from University of St. Thomas.

Roderick Moore joined the ABF Board of Directors in January 2021.

During his 31-year career (1987–2018) with the US Department of State, Ambassador Moore played a key role in devising and implementing successful policies on behalf of the US in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE). This included 15 years in senior positions at US Embassies and multinational missions. He was posted three times to the US Embassy in Bulgaria: as political officer in 1990–1992, Deputy Chief of Mission in 2000–2003, and Chargé d’Affaires in 2015. Mr. Moore was the first US Ambassador to Montenegro. 

His other overseas postings include a tour as Deputy Chief of Mission at the US Embassy in Belgrade and assignments in Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, North Macedonia, and Haiti. At State Department headquarters, he served as special advisor on anti-corruption and as political-military officer for the CEE region. He is the recipient of numerous State Department awards, the Presidential Meritorious Service Award, and honors from the Montenegrin and Bulgarian governments.

Ambassador Moore taught at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy and the US Naval War College and currently teaches diplomacy for Arizona State University. He has a BA in Russian Studies and international relations and an MA in Slavic Linguistics from Brown University. 

In addition to being a director on the ABF Board, Ambassador Moore is on the Board of the Bulgarian-American Society in Washington, DC. 

Nancy Schiller is President and CEO of the America for Bulgaria Foundation (ABF) since June 2016. Prior to that, after 21 years of service as Managing Director of the Bulgarian-American Enterprise Fund (BAEF) (1992-2012) and the America for Bulgaria Foundation (2008-2012), Ms. Schiller was elected member of the ABF Board of Directors in December 2012 and became its Vice-Chairman in June 2015 until September 2016, when she was appointed president and CEO of ABF.

Prior to Ms. Schiller’s involvement with BAEF and ABF, she worked in commercial real estate development in Chicago and for several not-for-profit organizations in the areas of management, finance, and marketing. Ms. Schiller has an MBA from DePaul University and a BA from the University of Illinois, both in Chicago.

Since 2009, Ken Has been the co-founder and a partner in Creation Investments Capital Management, LLC, a fund management company that manages several specialized private equity vehicles that invest in emerging market financial services companies.

Ken is currently on the boards of 5 financial institutions in Asia and Eastern Europe.

From 2000 until 2009, Ken served as the President of the Investment Services Division at Opportunity International, a global microfinance network. Mr. Vander Weele was responsible for garnering over $1 billion in debt and equity during his tenure. During this period, Mr Vander Weele was involved in forming three microfinance banks in Eastern Europe (Forus Bank-Russia, Opportunity Bank-Montenegro, and Opportunity Bank-Serbia), and Ken served as the board chair of each bank. Between 1991 and 2000, Mr. Vander Weele held various positions within the Opportunity International Network, including Global COO, Regional Vice President for Eastern Europe and Interim CEO.

From 1975 to 1981, Mr. Vander Weele held various positions at Grant Thornton, CPAs, in their Madison, Boston, Chicago, and US National Office.

From 1981 to 1991, he was the Senior Vice President, CFO and a founding shareholder of Graphisphere Corporation, a graphic arts holding company with private equity shareholders, until it was sold to a strategic buyer.

Ken has also been a founder and the board chair of the Microfinance Centre for Eastern Europe from 1998 until 2006 and the Balkan Financial Sector Equity Fund from 2005 to 2011.

Ken has a PhD in international economics from the Open University, and a BBA in Accounting from the University of Wisconsin. Ken is also a CPA.

Mr. Voutchev is an advisor to the Supervisory Board of Tokuda Bank. Prior to that, from July 1997 until December 2010, he was an Executive Director of the Bulgarian-American Credit Bank (BACB). He also served as Chief Executive Officer of the Rodina Pension Funds (an investment of BAEF). Mr. Voutchev joined the BAEF in 1993 as an Investment Officer and Executive Director of the Kompass lending program of BAEF. In 1997 he was promoted to Deputy Managing Director of the BAEF. From 1991 to 1993 he was Financial Director of Hamoor Investment Group, Kuwait. From 1985 to 1990 Mr. Voutchev was employed by the Lesokomplekt Engineering State Company as an expert in the International Trade Division, and later as Head of the International Trade Division and a Representative of the company in Kuwait.

Mr. Voutchev holds a Master’s degree in Economics from the faculty of International Economic Relations of the University of National and World Economy, Sofia and has studied at the English Language School in Sofia.

A three-time Ambassador, Kenneth Merten holds the rank of Career Minister at the United States Department of State. From January 2019 to January 2021 Mr. Merten was the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Office of the Director General of the Foreign Service. He held the responsibilities of Acting Director General of the Foreign Service from January 2021 to October 2021, after which he served as Chargé d’affaires at the U.S. Embassy in Haiti for six months.  

From January 2017 until November 2018, he was the Acting Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs, with responsibility for Canada, Haiti, Caribbean Affairs and the Office of Policy, Planning and Coordination. He was the United States Ambassador to the Republic of Croatia, from 2012 to August 2015, and prior to that served as the United States Ambassador to Haiti from 2009 to July 2012. He also served as a Deputy Executive Secretary to U.S. Secretary of State Clinton and Secretary of State Rice. He was awarded the 2011 Ryan C. Crocker Award for Outstanding Leadership in Expeditionary Diplomacy for his extraordinary leadership in the wake of the 2010 Haiti earthquake. In serving as Ambassador to Haiti, Mr. Merten oversaw the United States Government’s on-the-ground efforts to provide immediate relief after the earthquake through a presence of 8,000 U.S. military personnel. In the days after the earthquake, he also oversaw the largest evacuation of American citizens since World War II.

Mr. Merten’s overseas assignments include the U.S. Embassy in Paris, the U.S. Mission to the European Union in Brussels, the U.S. Embassy in Bonn at the time of German unification, and four tours at the U.S. Embassy in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Mr. Merten’s Washington experience includes two assignments in the State Department Operations Center, which supports the daily work and travel of the Secretary of State. He also has served in the Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs and on the Cuba Desk and worked for the Special Advisors on Haiti in 1993-1994.

Kenneth Merten holds a B.A. from Miami University in Ohio, and a Masters in Public Administration from American University in Washington, DC. Studies at the Université d’Aix-Marseille in France and at Karl Franzens Universitaet in Austria complement his other academic work. He gave the commencement address to over 10,000 attendees at Miami University in May 2010 and received an honorary Doctorate from the University. In July 2012, Ambassador Merten was decorated by Haiti’s President with the Grande Croix of Honor and Merit, the fourth foreign diplomat to receive that honor in over 200 years of Haiti’s independence. In January 2018 Mr. Merten was awarded the Shandling Humanitarian Award by Sean Penn and his relief organization, CORE (Community Organized Relief Effort), for his work in Haiti.  Also in 2018, Mr. Merten was recognized by Walsh Jesuit High School, in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio as its first Distinguished Alumnus.

Ambassador Merten was born in St. Louis, Missouri and considers Hudson, Ohio his hometown.

Former Directors

After 21 years of dedicated service at the helm of the Bulgarian-American Enterprise Fund (1991-2012), the Bulgarian American Credit Bank (1996-2008), and the America for Bulgaria Foundation (2008-2012), Frank Bauer has decided to retire from those positions effective September 30, 2012.

As President and CEO of the Bulgarian American Enterprise Fund since 1991 until 2012 and President of the ABF since inception until 2012, Mr. Bauer’s familiarity with the cultural, economic, and political landscape of Bulgaria played an important role in the ABF’s ability to successfully select and manage its programs. Mr. Bauer received his MBA with Distinction from the Harvard Graduate School of Business in 1972.

After stepping down as president of ABF and BAEF, the Board of Directors of ABF conferred upon Mr. Bauer the title of President Emeritus of ABF.

Joe Borgatti is Director Emeritus of the America for Bulgaria Foundation since January 2013 after he retired as director of ABF in December 2012. 

Mr. Borgatti continues to be Chairman, Director (since 1996), and member of the Executive Committee of the Bulgarian-American Enterprise Fund and Chairman of its Audit Committee. He has extensive international experience at the senior management level and as a consultant in commercial banking, mining, venture investment and privatization. 

For the past 25 years he has served on the Board of Directors of a U.S. foundation, occasionally as President and currently as Treasurer and Secretary. The foundation supports the efforts of the Ixchel Museum in Guatemala to document, preserve and propagate the weavings of the Maya.

As a member of the American Participant Program, Mr. Borgatti gives lectures and provides privatization seminars to foreign government officials, students, and journalists both in the U.S. and abroad. He has written extensively for publication and also lectured at conferences and courses on privatization at Columbia University and Baruch College in the U.S., and at universities in Bolivia, Mexico, El Salvador, under the programs of USIA. Mr. Borgatti has just written ‘Doing Good Badly’, a book on development based on the experience of the Adela Investment Company, an initiative by some 240 international corporations to spur private sector development in Latin America.

Mr. Borgatti holds a B.A, in History from Harvard College and an M.B.A., with Distinction, from the Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration.

Dr. Daft is an agricultural economist with over 40 years experience conducting research and advising public and private sector clients on matters pertaining to agricultural policy, international trade policy, food and agricultural commodity marketing, and international economic development. He co-founded a prominent agricultural economic consulting firm after serving in the White House as the President’s principal staff advisor and policy coordinator on food and agricultural issues. Dr. Daft’s experience also includes positions in the Congressional Budget Office, the Office of Management and Budget, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, among others. 

He received a B.S. (cum laude) from Ohio State University, an M.S. from the University of Massachusetts, and a Ph.D. from Michigan State University, all in agricultural economics.

In addition to being a Director of the Foundation, Dr. Daft was Chairman of the Board of ABF in June 2015 – June 2018, and served as a Director of the Bulgarian American Enterprise Fund in 1996 -2008.

Brian Dailey joined the ABF Board of Directors in December 2017.  He is a visual artist working in Virginia and Washington D.C.  He returned to art in 2009, after a sixteen-year career at Lockheed Martin Corporation where he was Senior Vice President for Washington Operations. Dailey came to Lockheed Martin from the White House where he served as Executive Secretary of the National Space Council and Special Assistant to the President. In that capacity, he was responsible for formulating and coordinating American space policy.  Prior to his appointment to this position, he was a member of the Professional Staff of the United States Senate Armed Services Committee assigned to the Strategic Forces and Nuclear Deterrence Subcommittee. Dailey also held an adjunct professorship at the US Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California, where he taught courses in the Department of National Security Affairs. 

He received his Masters of Fine Arts (MFA) from Otis Art Institute in 1975, and a doctorate degree in International Relations (PhD) from the University of Southern California in 1987. Throughout the 1970s, he worked and exhibited art in Los Angeles. His current artwork utilizes various media including digital photography and video, sculpture, and painting. Dailey exhibits in the United States and Europe. He also published a book of photographic portraits of the American electorate leading up to the 2012, United States presidential election, entitled America in Color, published in 2014.

Penko Dinev is Director Emeritus effective January 1, 2013 upon resigning from the ABF Board in December 2012.

Mr. Dinev has served on the Advisory Board of the Bulgarian American Enterprise Fund since 1997 until 2008 when he became Director at the America for Bulgaria Foundation. 

Penko Dinev is Manager of US Export Regulations and Security Manager for IBM for Central Europe, Middle East and Russia. He has served previously as the President of the American Chamber of Commerce in Bulgaria. Mr. Dinev has more than twenty years experience in the field of information technologies and management. He is a graduate of Technical University of Sofia.

Lt General (Ret) Michael M. Dunn is a former officer in the US Air Force. He served for 34 years with assignments in Asia-Pacific, Europe, and the US. Of note, he lived and worked in Japan for five years, South Korea for 3 years, Germany for two years. He has traveled broadly in Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia, and South America. He was Chief Executive of an organization of 2,000 people. His last position in the US Air Force was President, National Defense University, Washington DC.

Subsequent to his service in the Air Force, General Dunn was President and CEO, Air Force Association (AFA), Air Force Memorial Foundation, and AFA Veteran Benefits Association, Arlington, VA. AFA’s mission is to educate the public on the importance of a strong national defense and unmatched aerospace power, to advocate for aerospace power and STEM education, and to support the Air Force and the Air Force family. 

He is a Director, Air Force Association, Air Force Memorial Foundation, and AFA Veteran Benefits Association. He is a member, Council on Foreign Relations, New Yоrk City, NY.

General Dunn has a B.S. Astronautical Engineering, US Air Force Academy, CO and an M.S., Systems Management, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA.

Steven Fillo is Director Emeritus of the America for Bulgaria Foundation since December 2017 having served as director since the Foundation’s inception in 2009.

Mr. Fillo served as a Chairman of the Bulgarian American Enterprise Fund from 1993 – 2008 upon which was Chairman Emeritus and Director. Previously a Partner of Warburg, Pincus, Mr. Fillo was a member of its Operating Committee and managed a group of Partners, Officers and other professionals who invested approximately $300 million in twenty companies.

Mr. Fillo served as a Director of the John & Mary R. Markle Foundation, Inc., a $150 million foundation concentrating in the application of information technology to various educational, social, and medical issues and has served on the Development and Investment Committees as a Cornell Trustee for Cornell University. In addition, Mr. Fillo was a Trustee of the Princeton Symphony Orchestra and was a member of its Executive Committee. Mr. Fillo received his B.S. from Cornell University and M.B.A. with High Distinction from the Harvard Business School where he was a George F. Baker Scholar.

Mr. Harlan is Director Emeritus effective January 1, 2015 after retiring from the ABF Board of Directors in December 2014.

In addition to being a Director of the Foundation, Mr. Harlan has served as a Director of the Bulgarian American Enterprise Fund since 2000.

Mr. Harlan is Chairman of the Castle Harlan Executive Committee and a member of the Executive Committee of CHAMP, an affiliate of Castle Harlan. Mr. Harlan is currently a director of Associated Packaging Technologies and United Malt Holdings. Mr. Harlan is a member of the Board of Overseers of the Weill Medical College and the Graduate School of Medical Sciences of Cornell University. He is also Chairman of the Clinical Affairs Committee of the Board of Overseers, Vice Chairman of the Medical College’s successfully completed $750 million Capital Campaign and Co-Chair of the Policy Board of the Cornell Physicians Organization. Mr. Harlan is President of the Garvan Institute (Australia) U.S. Charitable Trust. Mr. Harlan is a director and a member of the Executive Committee of the Harvard Business School Club of Greater New York, and formerly a member of the Dean’s Advisory Council of Harvard Business School for five years, Vice President and member of the Executive Committee of the Harvard Business School Alumni Association, and for six years was a member of the Harvard Business School Visiting Committee.

Mr. Harlan is a Trustee of the New York City Citizens Budget Commission, director of the Foundation for Art & Preservation in Embassies (FAPE), and Co-Chair of the New York Region of BENS (Business Executives for National Security). From 1969 to 1995, he was Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of The Harlan Company, Inc., a real estate investment banking and advisory firm. Mr. Harlan began his career at Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette, where he was a Vice President and Stockholder. A graduate of Cornell University with a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering, Mr. Harlan has a Masters with Distinction and a Doctorate from the Harvard Business School.

Gary MacDougal has served as Co-chair of the Board of Directors of the America for Bulgaria Foundation since its inception until June 2015.

As a CEO, Mr. MacDougal built a small engineering company into a Fortune 1000 multinational; he has also been a US Delegate to the United Nations, the General Director of New York City Ballet, and has served as Chairman of the Illinois Governor’s Task Force to move people from welfare to work. He is the author of ‘Make A Difference: A Spectacular Breakthrough in the fight Against Poverty’ (St. Martin’s Press) and of articles in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, Harvard Business Review and other publications. Mr. MacDougal has served as Chair of the Russell Sage Foundation, and the Illinois Republican Party. He has also served as a Trustee of the Casey Foundation and as a Director of eight New York Stock Exchange listed corporations. Mr. MacDougal is the founding Chairman of the Bulgarian American Enterprise Fund and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Gary MacDougal received his Master’s Degree in Business with distinction from Harvard University and his Bachelor of Science degree in engineering from UCLA.

Mr. Miller, a Washington, D.C., international and environmental lawyer, was appointed a director of the Bulgarian American Enterprise Fund by President Bush in 1992 and reappointed by President Clinton and President George W. Bush. He has held senior positions at the Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Labor, Department of Justice, and other governmental agencies. He is also the author or editor of over a dozen books on various subjects, including Bulgaria during the Second World War (Stanford Univ. ’75), and has been an editor with the Yale Law Journal and Armed Forces Journal. 

He has studied at Harvard, Oxford, Heidelberg, and Yale, and has lectured at universities and institutions all over the country.

Carl Pforzheimer has served as Co-chair of the Board of Directors of the America for Bulgaria Foundation since its inception until June 2015.

Mr. Pforzheimer is Manager of Carl H. Pforzheimer & Co. LLC and was Manager of CHIPCO Asset Management LLC. He was President of the Carl & Lily Pforzheimer Foundation for twelve years and on its board for 45 years. He also served on the Harvard Alumni Association in several capacities as Director, Vice President and President. He has been active in not-for-profit management and in fundraising for over 60 years on behalf of Harvard University in addition to a dozen not-for-profits including Visiting Nurse Service of New York, Lincoln Center Institute, UrbanGlass, New York Public Library, Pace University, Horace Mann – Barnard School, ACLS, the American Academy of Arts & Sciences and the National Humanities Center. Mr. Pforzheimer received his AB from Harvard College and his MBA from Harvard Business School.

In addition to being a Director of the Foundation, Mr. Pforzheimer served as a Director of the Bulgarian American Enterprise Fund since 1996.

Valentin Braykov is member of the Sofia Bar Association since 1976 and founded and manages his legal office in Sofia, Bulgaria. Mr. Braykov has written extensively for academic law journals on civil law matters and is a licensed and certified agent on intellectual property matters. He serves as Honorary President of the British-Bulgarian Law Association and is Legal Advisor to the British and Belgian Ambassadors in Bulgaria.

In addition to being a Director of the Foundation, Mr. Braykov has served on the Advisory Board of the Bulgarian American Enterprise Fund since 1997.


Director, Project Compliance
Asya Asenova has over 10 years of management experience in international donor environment with a focus on financial and operational management of NGOs. Her previous professional development includes grant financial management, monitoring and control under different types of funding institutions and a good knowledge of the implementation of International Development & Assistance Programs.

Prior to joining ABF Ms. Asenova has worked with the U.S.-based NGO Counterpart International, Inc. under the USAID-funded Bulgaria Community Fund and Social Enterprise Program. She was also part of the Phare Transition Team with the Representation of the European Commission in Bulgaria responsible for monitoring the utilization of the pre-accession financial support of EU for Bulgaria.

Asya holds a degree in SME management and a Bachelor Degree in Political Science and International Relations from the Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski”. She has further undergone specialized trainings in accounting, public procurement, financial control, grant administration, project design and management.

Chief Financial Officer
Ms. Kourteva is a certified public accountant with over 10 years of experience in the field of finance and accounting and internal controls. Prior to joining the ABF, she was a Senior Manager with KPMG performing various consulting and audit engagements, primarily for international financial institutions. 

She received a B.A. (summa cum laude) in International Studies and Accounting and an M.B.A (magna cum laude), both from Mount St. Mary’s University.

Executive Director
Desislava Taliokova has been ABF’s Executive Director since its inception in the beginning of 2009. Prior to joining ABF, she was Manager of the Bourgas Office of the Bulgarian-American Credit Bank. Previously, she was coordinator of a long-term US technical assistance program that helped Bulgaria’s transition to a market-oriented economy. 

Ms. Taliokova is a MSc in Foreign Service from Georgetown University in Washington, DC. She is also a graduate of Sofia University in English and American Studies.

Impact Assessment and Evaluation Assistant

Ekaterina Anguelova joined the America for Bulgaria Foundation in April 2022. Prior to that, she worked as a grants coordinator for St. Martin-in-the-Fields Charity, London, and did a traineeship at the Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion of the European Commission. She also has previous experience in the sphere of social work.

Ekaterina holds an MA in Anthropology and Religious Studies and an MSc in Policy Evaluation, both from the University of Aberdeen. She volunteers in initiatives related to environmentalism and civic engagement.

Program Officer, Developing and Retaining Human Capital

Elena Hadjisotirova joined ABF on February 1, 2017 as a Program Coordinator for our new program – the “ABF Education Academy”. Elena has seven years of experience working for the Institute of International Education (IIE) as their local consultant in Bulgaria and was in charge of the Bulgarian Young Leaders Programs organization on the ground. Ely has significant experience with all ABF-funded programs with the IIE, as she has been involved since 2009. Prior to her work with IIE and ABF, Elena worked for UNICEF office in Bulgaria and for the UNICEF Regional office in Geneva. She holds a Bachelor’s degree from Sofia University and a Master’s degree in Human Development from the University of Maine, USA.

Communications Director

Hristina Ninova joined the America for Bulgaria Foundation (ABF) in November 2019. Prior to that, Hristina worked in corporate communications for U.S. companies in Bulgaria, as public affairs advisor with the Bulgarian government and as part of the Protocol Office of the U.S. Embassy in Bulgaria.

Hristina holds a BA in English and American Studies from Sofia University, including a one-year print journalism-focused scholarship program at the University of Wisconsin, United States. Her MA is in European Union Studies from the University of Exeter, UK.

Director, Impact Assessment and Evaluation
Ms. Tzankova has an engineering background and worked as a research associate for prestigious IT institutes in Sofia for 15 years. She was a member of the team who developed the first Bulgarian microprocessor system. Ms. Tzankova worked for another 16 years for the U.S. government as the Director of the Program Office of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Mission in Bulgaria. In that capacity, she contributed to the successful implementation and completion of the USAID assistance program in Bulgaria by overseeing the planning, budgeting, designing, monitoring, implementation, and evaluation of the entire portfolio.

She received an M.S. in electronics and a PhD in Computer Sciences from the Technical University in Sofia.

Impact Assessment and Evaluation Officer
Ivo Bossev joined the America for Bulgaria Foundation in February 2014. His previous professional experience includes working in the area of social and marketing research as part of academic research teams and international polling agencies.

Ivo has a BA in Sociology and MA in Political Sociology from Sofia University. He is also a graduate of the International Program for Development Evaluation Training (IPDET) of the Independent Evaluation Group of the World Bank and Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada.

Technical Assistant
Konstantin Rangelov joined ABF as technical assistant in September 2014.  Prior to that he has worked in the Bulgarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and KPMG.

Оperating accountant
Krassimira Vangelova-Chocheva joined America for Bulgaria Foundation in September 2015 as an operating accountant.  Prior to that, she worked for nearly 15 years for the Bulgarian-American Enterprise Fund.

Krassimira holds a Master’s degree in Finance from the University of Veliko Tarnovo “St. Cyril and Methodius” and a Bachelor’s Degree in Industry Management (Entrepreneurship) from the University for National and World Economy in Sofia.

She is a graduate of “Hristo Botev” High School in Dupnitsa where she has specialized in mathematics and English language.

GDPR Manager
Kristina Kosheva joined America for Bulgaria Foundation in June 2018 as GDPR Manager.

Kristina is a Certified Internal Auditor (CIA) with more than 12 years of experience in internal audit and internal control, risk management, business processes, compliance and forensic. Prior to becoming part of the Foundation’s team, she was manager at KPMG Bulgaria where she was responsible for conducting advisory and audit projects for Bulgarian and international companies operating in various industries.

Kristina holds a Master’s degree in Finance and a Bachelor’s degree in Public Administration from the University of National and World Economy in Sofia.

IT Manager
Krum Karadakov joined the America for Bulgaria Foundation (ABF) in September 2017. Currently, he is a student of Informatics at the New Bulgarian University in Sofia.

Prior to joining the Foundation, Krum Karadakov worked in the field of online marketing at Bright Marketing Research as a project manager. Together with his studies at the University, he began practicing as a web developer and participating in various projects assigned by Bulgarian and foreign clients. His passion for technology led him back to an online marketing company where he worked as a web designer.

Program Director, Business Enabling Environment
Lenko Lenkov holds a M.A. in History from the Sofia University; his interests were focused on Bulgarian and European history between WW I and WW II. For a short period he worked for the State Agency for Bulgarians Abroad, before joining the Free and Democratic Bulgaria Foundation and building up extensive experience in project development and management in the areas of civil society, journalism, human rights, children and youth protection and development.

Program Director, Business, Entrepreneurship, and Technology
Nadia has 17 years of experience in investments and banking. She was an investment manager in hotels and tourism at the Bulgarian-American Credit Bank and before that at the Bulgarian-American Enterprise Fund. She has a major in International Relations from the University of National and World Economy in Sofia.

President and CEO
Nancy Schiller is President and CEO of the America for Bulgaria Foundation (ABF) since June 2016. Prior to that, after 21 years of service as Managing Director of the Bulgarian-American Enterprise Fund (BAEF) (1992-2012) and the America for Bulgaria Foundation (2008-2012), Ms. Schiller was elected member of the ABF Board of Directors in December 2012 and became its Vice-Chairman in June 2015 until September 2016, when she was appointed president and CEO of ABF.

Prior to Ms. Schiller’s involvement with BAEF and ABF, she worked in commercial real estate development in Chicago and for several not-for-profit organizations in the areas of management, finance, and marketing. Ms. Schiller has an MBA from DePaul University and a BA from the University of Illinois, both in Chicago.

Facilities Manager
Orlin Vutov joined the America for Bulgaria Foundation as a technical assistant in April 2013.  Prior to that he worked at Speedy Express Delivery Services.

Program Director, Media Development
Business Enabling Environment

Petya Dyulgerova joined ABF in January 2022 as Program Director, Media Development. Prior to joining ABF, she served as a project manager for Bulgaria and North Macedonia at the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom.  In her project’s portfolio was the Black Book of Government Waste in Bulgaria, which collects (video) stories of investigative journalists about inefficient spending of the taxpayers’ money.

Petya is a Marshall Memorial Fellowship of the German Marshall Fund of the United States. In addition, as a visiting fellow of the Robert Bosch Foundation, she attended the Carl-Friedrich Goerdeler Kolleg for Good Governance. During her European studies master program Petya was awarded a fellowship of the German Hertie Foundation. She is passionate about civic education, media freedom and international politics. Petya is fluent in German, English and Russian.

Program Director, Good Governance
Business Enabling Environment

Radostina Mihalkova-Tosheva joined ABF in February 2022 after she worked for 18 years as a rule of law expert at the US Embassy in Sofia. In this capacity she facilitated the signing and implementation of several bilateral agreements in the criminal justice sector and helped promote professional exchanges among practitioners in the law enforcement, judiciary and the NGO community.  Prior to that Radostina has been part of the team of a USAID-funded project for strengthening Bulgaria’s judiciary, including through piloting training and electronic case management initiatives. Radostina has masters’ degrees in Law and in International Relations from the Sofia University St. Kliment Ohridski.

Technical Assistant
Rossen Arsov joined the America for Bulgaria Foundation as a technical assistant in September 2009. Prior to that he worked as a technical assistant at the Bulgarian American Enterprise Fund.

Publications Director
Sylvia Zareva is an editor and writer with over a decade of experience in publishing and higher education. She started her career at Scholastic, the US publisher of the Harry Potter books, and went on to edit for New York University Press and Harvard University Press, among others. Her writing portfolio includes news, fiction, and publicity copy for web and print. She has a BA in journalism and political science from the American University in Bulgaria and an MA in European history from New York University. Sylvia is fluent in English, Spanish, and Bulgarian.

Sylvia joined ABF in February 2018.

Digital Marketing Consultant
Tsanislav Genchev joined the America for Bulgaria Foundation in September 2020 as a Digital Marketing Consultant.
Tsanislav is also an experienced Human Resources and Marketing expert. He gained his HR and Marketing experience by working with both corporate and non-governmental organizations.
Tsanislav holds a Bachelor’s degree in Financial Management and Marketing from VUZF University. He is also a founder of a youth organization, supporting the personal and career development of young people in Bulgaria.

Marketing Specialist
Tsvetana Kasabova joined the America for Bulgaria Foundation in October 2010 as a Receptionist responsible for the daily management of incoming communication and administration of the office, as well as for assisting with the preparation of events.

As of the beginning of, 2014 Ms. Kasabova is part of the Communication Team of ABF as a Communications Assistant. Her previous experience includes internship positions in different Bulgarian media.

Tsvetana holds a Bachelors degree in Mass Media and Communications from the Faculty of Journalism at the Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski” as well as a Masters degree in Electronic Media Production. She is also a graduate of the French Language School in Varna.

Senior Accountant

Vanya Grigorova works for America for Bulgaria Foundation as Senior Accountant since September 2015. She has over 15 years of professional experience in the field of accountancy. Prior to joining America for Bulgaria Foundation she has worked for almost 10 years for Bulgarian-American Enterprise Fund. Before that she has worked as an accountant for different companies operating in the field of real estate, film distribution and tourism.

Vanya is a graduate of University of Economics-Varna in Accounting and Control.

Program Officer, Business Enabling Environment
Victor-Asen Asenov joined the America for Bulgaria Foundation in November 2021. Before that, he worked as an organizational coordinator in the NGO sector focused on sustainable urban development, improving the urban environment, making municipal governance more transparent, and involving citizens in municipal decision-making processes.

Victor-Asen graduated from Leiden University with a BA in International Studies (cum laude), specializing in Europe. There, he became part of a team of student consultants for the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs as part of his curriculum. He is also a passionate volunteer who takes part in various initiatives for improving our living environment.

Violeta Milusheva joined America for Bulgaria Foundation in March 2023 as an accountant. Previously she was member of the internal audit of expenses global unit at the US Embassy in Sofia for 10 years and prior to that worked at the BACB financial department for 15 years.

Violeta has a major in Accounting and Control and a minor in International Economic Relations both from the University of National and World Economy in Sofia.

Program Director, Business, Entrepreneurship, and Technology
Violeta Nedeva joined the team of the America for Bulgaria Foundation (ABF) in July 2011 as a Program officer for Agriculture, Forestry and the Environment and was promoted as Program Director for Agriculture in December 2014. Prior to that she worked at the European and International Projects Directorate at the Ministry of Environment and Water (MoEW) of Republic of Bulgaria and dealing with management of EU funded infrastructure projects in the waste water sector. Before that, Ms. Nedeva worked at the Bulgarian-American Credit Bank in Sofia.

Ms. Nedeva received her Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Engineering from the University of Chemical Technology and Metallurgy (Sofia) and holds a M.Sc. in Environmental Protection and Sustainable Development from the University of Chemical Technology and Metallurgy (Sofia) in collaboration with the Queen’s University of Belfast (UK), the Free University of Brussels (Belgium) and the International Technological University UNESCO (Paris, France). She is also a graduate of the Institute for Postgraduate Studies – Division at University of National and World Economy in Global Management and Leadership in partnership with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University.

Program Director, Cultural Heritage and Nature Tourism
Yuliana Decheva joined ABF in January 2014. Prior to that, Yuliana gained experience as Marketing and Events Assistant in PR Agencies, NGOs and cultural organizations in Bulgaria and the UK. While studying, she has been volunteering for various corporate, sports and cultural events.

Yuliana has a Bachelor’s Degree in Advertising at New Bulgarian University and a Master’s Degree in International Events Management at London Metropolitan University.

Program Officer, Business, Entrepreneurship, and Technology
Zlatina Baleva joined the team of the America for Bulgaria Foundation in May 2017 as an expert “Private Sector Development”. She has gained serious experience as a business consultant in EU funded innovative projects in the field of agriculture, food and rural development. She has also worked as a project manager at the Bulgarian Association of Agricultural Producers, where she has participated in various seminars and practical training programs in Europe and the United States, including the Cochran Fellowship Program of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Zlatina Baleva has received her Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration at the Faculty of Economics, Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski “, and then continued as a Master in Strategic Management at the same faculty. In 2016 she completed an International Master’s Degree Program in Agribusiness and Entrepreneurship at the Agricultural University in Plovdiv in cooperation with the University of Missouri.

Office Manager
Zhenya Mincheva joined the America for Bulgaria Foundation in November 2017 as an office coordinator.

She has held a number of administrative positions at different companies. In 2012-2014, she worked in design and launched her own fashion line.

Zhenya has received her Bachelor’s degree in Journalism at the Shumen University in 2010. She studied English and French at the Foreign Language High School in Shumen.