Educational Achievement Officer
Galina Topalova develops the Trust’s approach toward dropout prevention, high school graduation and access to unversitiy education for Bulgaria’s most impoverished citizens. In that role she performs analysis and evaluation, conducts outreach and designs and manages programs that aim to improve the educational outcomes of Bulgaria’s most disadvantaged children and youth.
Galina Topalova is working with the TSA since its beginning and has been coordinating the High School Scholarship Program, launched by the America for Bulgaria Foundation. Prior to starting work with the TSA, Galina worked for three years with the America for Bulgaria Foundation in the Economically Disadvantaged program. Before this, she was a Program Assistant in the Youth Development Program of the U.S. Peace Corps in Bulgaria. She has served as a member of the National Selection Board for the Roma Memorial Scholarship Program for two mandates. She also has experience with the NGO sector in Bulgaria.
Galina holds a Master in Business Administration degree from the UNWE, Sofia
Learning and Development Officer
Eugenia Volen is the Learning and Development Officer at the TSA. She is responsible for the capacity building and development of TSA’s team and partners as well as for building public trust towards the NGO sector. Eugenia’s program aims at increasing transparency, responsibility, and collaboration among TSA’s partners through a range of tools including internal and external trainings, networking, conducting contests, and developing relationships with other donors. Eugenia is also the manager of the Springboard for School Readiness Program (SSR) – a nationwide TSA initiative that addresses financial barriers to kindergarten participation. She provides strategic direction for the project execution, develops new activities together with the educational team at TSA, leads promotional and fundraising activities, organizes SSR-related trainings for the network partners, and builds relationships with donors, supporters, kindergartens and state institutions.
Before joining the Trust, Eugenia was a financial reporting consultant who advised investment management companies in the United States on meeting their financial, regulatory and investor reporting obligations. Prior to that, as senior audit manager in New York she led numerous internal controls assessments and oversaw the financial audits of large and complex financial services companies. Eugenia’s career with Ernst & Young spanned 12 years and 3 countries, including Bulgaria. Serving a wide variety of industries, Eugenia managed and participated in financial and internal control audits, fraud investigations, due diligence reviews and staff training programs.
Eugenia holds a Master of Public Administration degree from the Monterey Institute of International Studies, and a Bachelor’s degree in Finance and Accounting. Eugenia is a member of the ACCA and holds an inactive California CPA license.
Early Childhood development Officer
(on maternity leave)
Iskra Stoykova supports the development of the Trust’s approach toward early education and maternal health for Bulgaria’s most impoverished citizens. Her responsibilities include outreach and identification of relevant local actors and similar programs of other donors, design and management of projects, and analysis and evaluation of the Trust’s initiatives and the applicability to Bulgarian context of successful models in the field.
Prior joining the TSA, Iskra acquired more than 10 years experience in design, management and evaluation of Roma community development programs implemented in Sofia’s largest Roma neighborhood – Fakulteta. For four years she was responsible for projects that aimed to improve access and quality of education for Roma children at the pre-school and primary level. Throughout the next six years, she managed the Early Childhood Development Program of the Health and Social Development Foundation and focused on the design, piloting and evaluation of integrated model of community-based services for pre-school education, parenting skills training, family planning for adolescents and individual case management for families at risk.
Iskra graduated from the American University in Bulgaria with BA degrees in Business Administration and Journalism and Mass Communication. She also holds a master’s degree in human rights from the University of Sarajevo and the University of Bologna.
Early Childhood development Officer
Maria Evgenieva is responsible for TSA’s project management and evaluation of initiatives in the field of early childhood development. Her work involves networking with local activists and other donors of early childhood programs with a special focus on improving mother and child health and increasing parental involvement and capacity in child development. Maria believes that every child has the right to the best start in life and the chance to develop his/her full potential, as well as no child life should be lost.
Maria has 6 years of experience in the non-profit sector, namely implementing projects and programs in the field of early childhood development. Prior to joining the TSA she worked at “For Mother and Child Health” Foundation as a coordinator and medical consultant and trainer for child birth preparation and child care. She conducted prenatal courses for more than 700 future parents to help develop their skills, attitudes, and knowledge necessary to provide the best environment for protecting the health of their children and encouraging their physical, social-emotional and cognitive development starting with the pre-natal period.
Maria has a Bachelor in Finance degree from the Higher School in Insurance and Finance in Sofia, and a Bachelor of Midwifery from the Medical University in Sofia, where she graduated with summa cum laude.
Family Economic Success Officer
Maria Metodieva focuses on Family Economic Success among disadvantaged groups in Bulgaria. Her commitment is to maximize results for the Trust in this sphere and to help beneficiaries gain the skills and experience they need to find relevant employment and to support their families. The Trust approaches this challenging task by first building and sustaining valuable partnerships with leading businesses, as well as supporting programs that increase the employability of beneficiaries. Equally relevant are community projects and the promotion of legalized neighborhoods and home ownership.
Prior to joining the Trust, Maria served as a Director of the Roma Program at Open Society Institute Sofia. Her areas of expertise include good governance, civil society development, strategic planning, ethnic minority integration, community development, public-private partnerships, and public policies for vulnerable groups.
Maria holds a Master’s degree in Public Administration from the New Bulgarian University. She also sits on the Board of the Bulgarian–American Commission for Education Exchange of the Fulbright Commission, which facilitates the exchange of Bulgarian and American scholars.