Meet the Fellows

Adéla Klečková, Czech Republic
The Role of Cyber Civic Activism in Countering Hybrid Warfare in Virtual Spaces

Adéla Klečková specializes in strategic communications and practices countering hybrid warfare, including the spread of disinformation in cyberspace. She works as head analyst for the Společně pro Česko think tank and as an advisor to the vice-chairman on Committees on Defense and Foreign Relations in the parliament of the Czech Republic. Under the patronage of People in Need, she developed a media literacy workshop for youngsters. Supported by the European Parliament, she developed a manual tackling non-conventional military threats, including public manipulation and cyber attacks. She regularly publishes articles explaining and exploring hybrid threats in Czech, German, and English. Previously, she studied journalism and international relations at Masaryk University in Brno and media communications at Freie University in Berlin. Consequently, she graduated from the Academy for Young Diplomats in Warsaw. She is also an alumnus of the Young Asian Scholars, the Robinson Martin Security Scholars Program, and the CEE HER Mentoring Programme run by GLOBSEC.

Ana Indoitu, Moldova
The Future of Work and Skills in the Eastern Partnership (Eap) Region

With an experience of five years within the civil society sector, Ana Indoitu has substantial expertise in strategic planning, social justice, community development, youth policy, advocacy, and democratic participation. She has graduated law school and entered the bar in 2019. Previously, she was elected vice president of the National Youth Council of Moldova, where she advocated and engaged in the development of youth policy in the country for two years. She runs INVENTO, a non-profit dedicated to social justice and citizens empowerment. She serves as an expert in youth participation, youth policy, strategic planning, project management, and youth empowerment. She has three years’ teaching experience in a national college and university. She is passionate about development, innovation, and education.

Andrea Garaiova, Slovakia/Serbia
Resisting the Tides of ‘Stabilitocracy’: Responses to Democratic Backsliding in the Western Balkans

Andrea Garaiova is the co-founder and executive director of the Center for Policy Innovation, a think and do tank dedicated to harnessing innovation tools and methodologies to help public-sector organizations in the Western Balkans design and deliver human-centred policies that improve people's lives. She has previously served as a consultant at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, focusing on the Ukraine Reforms Architecture program supporting sectoral reforms and capacity building in Ukraine’s public administration. She has spent several years in Kosovo working with think tanks on addressing democratization, civil society development, reconciliation, and public-sector challenges. As a senior project manager at Open Data Kosovo, she led a project aimed at bringing digital solutions to problems faced by Kosovo municipalities. She holds a Master of public policy from the University of Oxford, an Master’s in international peace and security from King’s College London and a BA in European affairs and Central and Eastern Europe from Sciences Po Paris. As a Rethink.CEE Fellow, she will explore local civil society and media responses to democratic backsliding in the Western Balkans and their implications for democracy support in the region.

Anna Melenchuk, Ukraine
To Which Extent Is Digital Participation Inclusive at the Local Level? The Case of Ukraine, Moldova, and Georgia



Anna Melenchuk is a co-founder of the Institute of Innovative Governance, which aims to bridge public innovations and human rights. Her expertise lies in development policies, innovations, digital participation, and gender equality. She is working with the EU institutions to advocate Ukraine’s and the other Eastern Partnership countries’ interests in Brussels. She started her professional career in the United Nations office in Ukraine where she was helping the government to align its work with the Sustainable Development Goals—UN Global agenda 2030.Two years ago, she started advising the European Committee of the Regions on Ukraine’s local development and currently works for a EU-funded project. Together with her team in the Institute of Innovative Governance, she advocates inclusive digital development and analyzes the potential of some public innovations to bring transparency and accountability at local and national levels in Ukraine and the Eastern Partnership countries. She holds a Master’s degree in the East European studies from the University of Glasgow and University of Tartu. A native Ukrainian speaker, she is also fluent in English, Polish, Russian and speaks French, German and Italian.

Clara Volintiru, Romania
Democratic Resilience in Central European Cities: Economic, Political, and Social Drivers



Clara Volintiru is associate professor in the Department of International Business and Economics at the Bucharest University of Economic Studies. She has a PhD from the London School of Economics and Political Science in government studies. She has been involved in various international research projects in the field of behavioral studies, good governance, informal exchanges, and political economy. Her research is focused on Central and Eastern Europe and the European periphery. She has worked for international organizations such as the World Bank, the European Commission, Eurofound, and the European Committee of the Regions. Her recent publications appeared with Oxford University Press, Palgrave Macmillan, Routledge, Rowman & Littlefield, and Peter Lang, and in peer-reviewed journals such as European Political Science Review, Eastern European Politics, Research & Politics, Acta Politica, or CESifo Economic Studies.

Edit Zgut, Hungary/Poland
Autocracy Beneath the Radar: How Orban's and Kaczynski's Regimes Use the Tools of Informal Power to Escape EU Scrutiny?   

Edit Zgut is a Hungarian political scientist based in Warsaw. She is a guest lecturer at the University of Warsaw, Centre for Europe where she teaches Central European cooperation within the European Union. She is a PhD student at the Graduate School for Social Research in the Polish Academy of Sciences, and her main field of research is democratic backsliding in Hungary and Poland and the constraining role of the EU. She is also a fellow in a regional project entitled DemocraCE, facilitated by Visegrad Insight. She previously worked at Political Capital research and Consultancy Institute in Budapest as a foreign policy analyst. She also has been teaching international relations at Pázmány Péter Catholic University in Hungary. Prior to joining Political Capital, she worked as a foreign policy journalist at various media outlets in Hungary. She is a political commentator frequently appearing in the Hungarian and international media. She earned her M.A. in political science from Eötvös Loránd University and learned journalism at Bálint György Journalism Academy in Hungary.

Katsiaryna Shmatsina, Belarus
Digital Silk Road: Where Geopolitics Meets Cyber





Katsiaryna Shmatsina is a foreign policy analyst at the Belarusian Institute for Strategic Studies. Besides Belarusian foreign policy, her research interests include the great-power competition between the United States, China, and Russia, and how it affects the CEE region. Previously, she worked for the American Bar Association where she managed the democratic-governance and rule-of-law projects developed in cooperation with the United Nations Development Program. She also served as a pro bono local expert on Belarus for the World Bank’s Doing Business and Women, Business, and the Law reports. She was awarded a Think Visegrad fellowship in 2019 and the Civil Society Leadership Award from the Open Society Foundations in 2015. She holds a Master's in international relations from Syracuse University, New York and a law degree from Belarusian State University. During her Rethink.CEE Fellowship, she will research the strategic interests at the core of China’s Digital Silk Road Initiative and its potential geopolitical implications for the CEE countries.

Marko Pankovski, Macedonia
Institutions at the Forefront: Mapping the Entry Points for Authoritarian Influence in the Western Balkans



Marko Pankovski is a researcher at the Institute for Democracy “Societas Civilis”—Skopje since 2016. His research interest revolves around the relationship between the foundations of good governance, public-administration reform, and European security and foreign policy. Previously he worked as a research assistant (intern) at the Department of Security, Strategy and Leadership at the Swedish Defense University, Stockholm where he was a part of a project exploring the European and U.S. considerations toward the conflicts in Ukraine, Iraq, and Syria. He is active within the youth sector, most notably as a member of the Governing Board of the National Youth Council of Macedonia (2017-2019). He holds a Master’s degree in peace and conflict studies from the Department of Peace and Conflict Research at Uppsala University, Sweden.

Olena Babakova, Ukraine/Poland
The Challenges and Opportunities of Immigration for the CEE countries



Olena Babakova is a freelance journalist and political analyst. She graduated from Taras Shevchenko National University in Kyiv, studied at the Graduate School for Social Research PhD program in Warsaw, and received her Ph.D. in history at Białystok University. In 2011-2016 she was an editor at the Polish Radio External Service, and later a permanent contributor to Krytyka Polityczna (Warsaw, Poland) and European Pravda (Kyiv, Ukraine). Her research interests include migration politics in the EU states with special emphasis on Poland and other V4 members, Polish-Ukrainian relations, politics of historical memory, and cultural diplomacy. Since 2017 she is project coordinator at the WOT Foundation (Warsaw, Poland), working on training and capacity-building projects for media professionals, local governance members, and human rights defenders. As Rethink.CEE Fellow she will elaborate the topic of how the intensive migration processes in 2010s have already influenced and will transform the political landscape, economy, and identity discourse in Poland, the Czech Republic, Croatia, Estonia, Ukraine, and Moldova.

Pavel Hanchuk, Belarus
Fostering Resilience Against Hybrid Threats in Eastern Europe



Pavel Hanchuk is an analyst in the information technology sector and a freelance contributor on security and foreign policy matters. As the Armed Forces Reserve captain, he possesses considerable experience in the defense domain. His professional background is in international security cooperation, arms control, threat analysis, and risk assessment. Over the course of his academic career, he has concentrated his research on the role of international organizations in conflict resolution, political risk analysis and early warning. He completed professional training programs in information analysis (Belgrade, Serbia) and crisis management (NATO School Oberammergau, Germany). He holds Masters in EU international relations and diplomacy studies from the College of Europe (Bruges, Belgium), a postgraduate degree in finance and a specialist’s degree in international relations in the military sphere from the Belarusian State University. During his Rethink.CEE Fellowship he will research the mechanisms of fostering resilience against hybrid threats in Eastern Europe.

Rados Musovic, Montenegro
Civic Engagement for the Further Democratization of Western Balkan Societies



Rados Musovic is a policy practitioner and a civil society activist from Montenegro. He has worked with civil society organizations in the Western Balkans, Turkey, and the United Kingdom. He focuses on EU enlargement policies and democratization of the enlargement and neighborhood regions. He is a member of the governmental operative body in charge of implementing and overseeing the strategy for informing citizens on Montenegro’s EU accession. Additionally, he is the country consultant for Montenegro within the European Endowment for Democracy. He is a lecturer within the Advance program in european law and economics at the Riga Graduate School of Law (Latvia) and supports several think tanks in in southeastern Europe as a policy researcher. He is a permanent member of the EU-Montenegro Joint Consultative Committee in the European Economic and Social Committee. He holds an Masters in international and European politics from the University of Edinburgh, a Bachelors in journalism from the University of Montenegro and a postgraduate certificate in European Union law and economics from the Riga Graduate School of Law. He is a recipient of the U.K. Foreign and Commonwealth Office Chevening Award. Under the Rethink.CEE Fellowship he will focus on understanding how civic engagement can enhance further democratization of Western Balkan societies.

Weronika Grzebalska, Poland
Assessing the Gender Politics of Re-Militarization in Central Europe

Weronika Grzebalska is a sociologist and independent analyst whose work focuses on militarism, security, right-wing politics, and gender in Central Europe. Her Ph.D. project, which she will defend at the Polish Academy of Sciences in 2020, seeks to explain the emergence of paramilitary organizing amid structural demilitarization in post-1989 Poland. She has published extensively on gender, militarism, and war, authoring the book Gender of the Warsaw Uprising (in Polish, 2013), and contributing to Gendered Wars, Gendered Memories (Routledge 2016), Gender: War (Macmillan Interdisciplinary Handbooks 2017). She has also worked on gender and illiberal right-wing politics, contributing to academic journals, policy volumes and media outlets. She was a fellow at the Trajectories of Change Program of the ZEIT-Stiftung, a Kosciuszko Foundation fellow at Clark University (United States), member of the FEPS Young Academics Network, and a president of the Polish Gender Studies Association. She currently lectures on militarism and war at the American Studies Center and the Gender Studies program in Warsaw. As a Rethink.CEE Fellow, she will analyze the gendered implications of changing national defense policy and civil-military relations in post-2014 Central Europe.