Stefan Melle – Executive Director

Executive Director since 2006, Journalist and Eastern Europe expert, born. 1970. Bilateral and European projects leader in the areas of strengthening civil society, media, education, social affairs, environment. One of the initiators of the EU-Russia Civil Society Forum (CSF), 2011-2015 member of the Coordination Council and 2014-2017 responsible for the secretariat and project work of the CSF. Co-initiator of the International NGO Platform for Overcoming the Donbass conflict CivilM +. 1988-1994 studied music in Berlin, 1996-2001 studied Eastern European studies / political science in Berlin and Moscow. 1996-2003 freelance and trainee at the Berliner Zeitung, 2003-2006 editor of the Sächsische Zeitung, Dresden. 1999-2001 co-development of the permanent exhibition of the Soviet Special Camp in Oranienburg-Sachsenhausen. 2000 Contribution to the book "Vladimir Putin - the German in the Kremlin" by Alexander Rahr, 2003 Editor of the anthology "Russia on the way to the rule of law? on behalf of the German Institute for Human Rights.

Tim Bohse – Project manager

Political science at the University of Leipzig, studied at the University of Warsaw, graduated with a diploma thesis on the transformation of municipal politics in the city of Kaliningrad 1990-2005. 2005-2008 speaker of the PAUCI Foundation for Polish-Ukrainian Cooperation in Warsaw. Since August 2009 worked at the Center for Historical Research Berlin of the Polish Academy of Sciences.

Roman Elsner – Project managerr

Born 1977. Studied Political Science / Russian Studies / Modern History at the University of Potsdam. Collaboration on the "German-Russian Handbook on Career Entry". 2007-2009 Freelancer atGoethe-Institut at the Volgograd Pedagogical University. 2008-2009 Teaching at the Volgograd State Service Academy. 2010-2012 project coordinator within the project "Professija.DE - German-Russian companies committed to integration and training". Since 2011 coordination of measures in the field of youth policy in the context of the twinning Berlin-Moscow between the Senate Department for Education, Youth and Family Berlin and the Department of Family and Youth Policy of the City of Moscow. Since 2014 Coordinator in the project "Move more! - Promoting youth participation in the regions of Ukraine, Russia and Georgia "- Improving participation opportunities for young people through the training of multipliers.

Current projects:

M18 youth elections in the regions of Russia, Ukraine and Georgia;

Further development of participation opportunities of young people in the regions of Ukraine - Conducting workshops for multipliers: the Youth Forum in the Kiev City Hallv devoted to improving the dialogue between young people and representatives of political and administrative structures.

Andrea Gotzes – Project coordinator

Born 1958, Slavist and Anglistin (studies / doctorate in Mainz), works in the areas of fundraising, newsletters and public relations. At DRA was working as a project manager and was ionvolved in project development. She also works as a specialist author and translator with a focus on history / culture / film.

Judith Kiss – Project manager

Since 2015 project leader of the working group "Environmental and Climate Protection in Eastern Europe". Master in Eastern European Studies, Political Science and Economics at the Free University of Berlin. 2009-2012: Manfred Hermsen Foundation Volunteer and Nature Conservation Program in the Kamchatka Volcanoes Natural Park (Russia), three-year field service on Kamchatka. 2010-2012: translator and tour guide at Explore Kamchatka (Russia). 2012-2014: Project assistant at the "Greifswalder Agrarinitiative" of the Michael Succow Foundation.

Until September 2020 in parental leave.

Maria Slesazeck – Project manager

Born 1981; 2003-2013 master studies of Russian Studies, European Law and Economics in Berlin and Moscow; 2006-2011 Community Certificate "Eastern European Law"; from 2005-2012 volunteer mentor at Xenion - Psychosocial Aid for Politically Persecuted e.v .; 2010 Award of the Berlin Volunteers' Pass for Voluntary Citizenship and Voluntary Commitment by the State of Berlin; February to June 2014 Assistant to DRA management, August 2014 to January 2015 Project Coordinator of the Ukraine project "Empowerment of Human Rights NGOs from Southern and Eastern Ukraine", April 2015 to February 2016 Project Leader of Ukraine Project "Overcoming the Consequences of Warfare Together", since August 2016 project leader of the international project "Overcoming the consequences of war".

Björn Ecklundt – Project manager

Since April 2019 project manager of the Environment and Climate Programme Eastern Europe at the DRA. Between 2009 and 2019 project manager for international environmental and climate policy at the Heinrich Böll Foundation in Berlin. Before that freelancer for event management and science marketing.

Holds a master’s degree for Russian Studies, Modern History and Law from Humboldt and Freie University of Berlin. Studied in Hamburg, Berlin and Moscow. Followed by interdisciplinary remote studies of environmental sciences (infernum) at the university of Hagen and Fraunhofer Institute for Environmental, Safety, and Energy Technology UMSICHT.

Anja Kretzer - Project manager

Russian and French studies (teaching and MA) at the University of Konstanz with stays abroad in Lyon and in Moscow. 1998-2001: cultural assistant at the Institute of Foreign Relations in Stuttgart and subsequently consultant for cultural issues on behalf of the Robert Bosch Foundation in Klaipėda / Lithuania. From 2001 to 2011- Project Leader for "Youth and School" at the German-Russian Forum e.V. in Berlin. Between 2004 and 2006 supporting the establishment of the German-Russian Youth Exchange Foundation. Since 2011, both freelance and part-time employed as a project and funding manager.

Since June 2018 head of the project "INCLUSIVE - promoting the participation of people with disabilities in cultural life".


Irina Bukharkina – Project coordinator

German Studies at the State University of St. Petersburg, MA "Eastern European Studies" at the FU Berlin (core subjects: culture / sociology). Semester abroad at the University of Kansas, USA and the Ruprecht-Karls-University Heidelberg. Since 2010 coordinates several projects at the DRA, including the project "Professija.DE - German-Russian companies committed to integration and training". Organized the photo exhibition "Middle-class Russian-speaking entrepreneurs in Germany" and was involved in the area of public relations. Since May 2015 coordinator of the Civil Society Youth Education Project in Ukraine, Russia and Georgia "Move more!".

Currently is on parental leave.

Angelina Davydova – Project coordinator

Born in 1978, since 2007 employee of DRA Berlin and St. Petersburg. Project Coordinator of Journalists Exchange, EU Study Weeks, Environmental Festival Moving Baltic Sea, Russian-German Office for Environmental Information (RNEI). 1995 - 2000: studies at St. Petersburg University of Economics and Finance. Since 1999 working as a journalist for various Russian media (newspapers "Kommersant", St. Petersburg Times, magazines "Expert", "Ekologija i Pravo" ("Environment and Law"), cooperation with international media (BBC, DeutschlandRadio, Public Broadcasting Service 2006) Fellow of the Reuters Foundation's journalism program at Green College / Oxford, since 2008 observer at the United Nations International Climate Change Negotiations (UNFCCC).

Yuliya Erner – Project coordinator

Studied Political Science at the Otto Suhr Institute of the Free University Berlin, PhD at the Humboldt University Berlin (BGSS) on "The Role of the Political Elites in Stabilizing a Defective Democracy in Ukraine ( 1991-2012). Has been actively involved in various civil society and academic cooperation projects with the Ukraine, Russia, other post-Soviet states and Poland, i.a. as an honorary employee at the student NGO Trialog e.V. Worked at the Initiative Central and Eastern Europe (IMOE e.V.) worked. Since 2017 has been working in the project "Dialogue for understanding and law: European NGOs working together for conflict management in the Donbass" at DRA e.V.

Jasper Kruse – Project coordinator

Born in 1988, studied Integrated European Studies (IES) with a cultural-historical focus on Eastern Europe / Russia at the University of Bremen - final thesis on the DIY hardcore / punk scene in Izhevsk, Udmurtia. During and after graduation various internships and engagement in civil society, often with Eastern Europe. Since March 2017 has been working at the DRA as coordinator for the DRA project "Independent Resources for Civil Society!" and involved in fundraising.

Kirsten Heyerhoff - Project coordinator

Born in 1990, masters degree in cultural management in Weimar, Bachelor of Arts Management at the University of Passau, both majoring in Slavic Studies. After a Voluntary Social Year in Pskov / Russia at a special education school followed several stays in Eastern Europe, ia. through internships at the Goethe-Institut Novosibirsk and at the Ukrainian-German Cultural Society "Thought Roof" in Chernivtsi / Ukraine. 2016/2017 executive director assistant at DRA e.V. Since June 2018 project coordinator at DRA e.V. responsible for the project "INCLUSIVE - Promoting the participation of people with disabilities in cultural life" and The Autumn Talks 2018 organiser.

Marina Grinfeld - Project coordinator

Studied classical philology (diploma and MA) at the State University of St. Petersburg and MA "Eastern European Studies" at the FU Berlin (core subjects culture / sociology). Many years of experience in project management in Russia, especially in the field of digitization of cultural institutions, museums, archives and libraries. Collaboration on the development of regional electronic encyclopaedias in various regions of Russia, including St. Petersburg. Since June 2018 she has been working as a coordinator at DRA e.V. in the project "INKULTUR - Promoting the participation of people with disabilities in cultural life".

Liliia Ahdhomeladze – Project coordinator

Graduate of the Faculty of Social Sciences and International Relations of the Dnepropetrovsk National Oles Gonchar University.  Master European Studies at the University of Passau. Since 2018 coordinateor of the projects within the Civil Solidarity Platform at the DRA.

Nora Korte - Project coordinator

Born in 1986. Studied literature, communication and political science with East European focus in Berlin, Copenhagen and Moscow. During the studies worked in public relations and event organization. Tutor of the study program "German Studies Russia" at the Moscow State Institute of the International Relations (MGIMO). Headed the office of the German-Russian Forum e.V. at the German Embassy in Moscow and coordinated various projects in the field of education at the alumni network "Hallo Deutschland!". At the DRA, she is in charge of the project "Move More!" the youth elections "M18" in Ukraine, Russia and Georgia.

Diana Neverovska - Project coordinator

Studied German and English at the University of Foreign Languages in Gorlovka, Ukraine. 2013-2016 Part-time master's program at the Technical University of Kaiserslautern "Sustainable Development Cooperation" / master's thesis on "The Energiewende der Ukraine - The Need for Reorientation. 2002-2010 participation in various charitable projects in China, Brazil and Russia. 2012-2016 office assistant at Radius Solutions Ltd. From October 2016 to 2018 work on the Ukraine project "Overcoming the consequences of war" at DRA e.V. Since 2008 working on the project "Environment and Climate Programs Eastern Europe".

Syuzanna Galstyan - Project coordinator

Studied Pedagogics and English at the Gyumri Pedagogical University, as well as MA, "Global Studies" at the University of Leipzig and the University of Vienna. 2012-2014 Project staff member, Youth in Action, Erasmus + at the Youth Initiative Center NGO (Armenia). 2016-2018 Project assistant at the Theodor-Heuss-Kolleg, a program of the Robert Bosch Stiftung and MitOst, 2018 project assistant at Transparency International and trainer at "Global Education for Young Europeans". Since February 2019 trainer in the Development Policy Exchange Program within the framework of the German-Armenian School Partnership. Since May 2019 coordinator of the DRA  project on Civil Society Youth Education in Ukraine, Russia, Georgia and Armenia.

Anna Emelianov - Project coordinator

Studied German (Bachelor) in Tashkent, Uzbekistan and Eastern European Cultural Studies (M.A.) at the University of Potsdam. Since 2017 cooperation with DRA in the field of educational travel program development. Since August 2018 member of the project "Transition Dialogue" and coordinator of the educational travel program for an international exchange of skilled workers.

Constanze Anthes – Accountant

Born in 1964, trained accountant, since 1996 employed at the DRA as an accountant. Accountant at several companies.

Ludmila George – Accountant

Born 1952.
Since 1998 accountant at DRA.

Maria Mutjewa – Accountant

Born 1978, studied sociology at the Universities of St. Petersburg, Bielefeld and Magdeburg (1995-2003), doctoral thesis on the topic "Migration of Highly Qualified Persons" (2004). Graduated from the Business School in St. Petersburg (2000), later specialized in financial management in NGOs in Berlin. Currently, sociology and Russian language Associate Professor, leads educational projects for bilingual children. Active at the DRA since 2015. Since August 2017 also supervises the Marion Dönhoff volunteer program.

Rasmus Kriest - Head of Digitalization and Data Security

Born in 1996. Studied European studies focusing on Eastern Europe and social movements at the University of Bremen. Engaged in voluntary non-formal European education since graduation. More than five years of digitalization and new work experience, especially with nonprofit organizations. Since 2019 head of digitization and data security at the DRA.

Giorgi Kikodze – Volunteer

Studied agricultural and natural sciences in the second course at the Agricultural University of Georgia. Volunteer at DRA. Has participated in several projects in different areas. Worked as a chess teacher for disadvantaged children and refugee children in the Caucasian House. Worked as a digital archivist at the Soviet Research Laboratory. Voluntarily helped the "Tbilisi Hamkari" movement in various activities.