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.
first foundations Officer
Iskra Stoykova supports the development of the Trust’s approach toward maternal and infant and well being 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.
Eugenia Volen is the Program Officer responsible for the Early Education portfolio at the TSA. She provides strategic direction for establishing program goals, and oversees the development and implementation of new activities to execute on those goals in keeping with TSA’s values. Fundraising to leverage program impact and supporting the Early Education team’s professional growth are among her core functions. Eugenia also leads TSA’s advocacy and policy change efforts so that all children in Bulgaria can access high quality early education services. Under her leadership, the TSA is making a significant contribution towards evidence based policy-making with respect to affordability and developmental impact of early education for children from disadvantaged communities. Eugenia is also the Program Officer responsible for Learning and Development. In this capacity she designs and implements activities that support civil society organizations to become more transparent, accountable and to adopt a participatory approach towards decision-making.
Before joining the TSA, Eugenia was a financial reporting consultant to investment management companies in the United States and senior audit manager at Ernst & Young 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.