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LIHT Sonja
President, BFPE
Sonja Licht is the president of the Belgrade Fund for Political Excellence (BFPE). She founded BFPE in 2003 in order to create an organization that will continuously work on capacity building of people active in public life, politicians in the first place. BFPE pays a special attention to the empowerment of women, youth and minorities active in politics and civil society. It is the principal organizer of the Belgrade Security Forum.

Ms. Licht holds an MA in Socio-Cultural Anthropology from the Faculty of Philosophy, University of Belgrade. She was part of the Yugoslav dissident movement from the late sixties. Between 1991 and 1995 was the co-chair of the Helsinki Citizens’ Assembly. From 1991 to 2003 she was the CEO of the Fund for an Open Society (Soros Foundation) in Yugoslavia (later Serbia). From its inception in July 1999 she was the head of the Task Force of the Bratislava Process (established to support the democratic opposition of Serbia), and member of the Group of Eminent Persons of the Council of Europe in 2010 that authored the report: ‘Living Together: Combining Freedom and Diversity in Europe of 21st Century’.

She has been a board member of numerous reputable international and local organisations, and laureate of numerous awards including the Pro Merit Medal of the Council of Europe, the Star of Italian Solidarity, French Legion of Honour and the Order of Merit of the President of the Federal Republic of Germany. She was a Richard von Weizsacker Fellow of the Robert Bosch Academy in 2015.