OTTOnomy Board of Directors

Gazmend Gjonbalaj


Manager of Research and Development at Bloomberg Law

Gazmend Gjonbalaj manages Research and Development for Bloomberg L.P., where he serves as the Director of Product Applications for Bloomberg Law. Leading by example on multimillion-dollar projects, he manages to motivate his staff and excel at the toughest tasks his division faces. Gjonbalaj’s subordinates refer to him as “a friend,” “an excellent manager,” and “a rare engineer with a great business mind.” Mr. Gjonbalaj graduated summa cum laude from the New York University Stern Business School and Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences. He then went a step further and finished his graduate studies at New York University with a dual degree: Master’s of Science in Computer Science and Master’s of Business Administration in Management of Information Systems. His successful career in the corporate world and financial success has enabled him to give back to the Albanian American community. Today, he works at one of the best companies in the world, and he lives on the Upper East Side of New York City, one of its most prestigious and influential neighborhoods. However, just a decade ago, things were very different.

Steve Batalden


Emeritus Professor, History Faculty & Founding Director, ASU Melikian Center

An historian of Russia and Eastern Europe, Batalden is a specialist on modern Russian religious and cultural history, with research interest in Russian ties with the Orthodox East. As director of the ASU Melikian Center, he directed international development projects in Eastern Europe and Eurasia. The Melikian Center is also home to the Critical Languages Institute, one of the nation's leading summer academies for study of less commonly taught East European and Eurasian languages. His most recent volume, Russian Bible Wars: Modern Scriptural Translation and Cultural Authority (Cambridge U. Press, 2013), won the Association for Slavic, East European and Eurasian Studies 2014 Reginald Zelnick Award for outstanding book in the field of history.

Nesti Gjeluci


Development and Partnerships Officer, Civil Society, German Marshall Fund

Nesti Gjeluci works in Washington, DC at the German Marshall Fund of the United States as Partnership Officer for Civil Society Programs. He has Masters Degrees in International Studies and Public Affairs from the University of Washington, Seattle. He frequently writes and publishes articles in mainstream Albanian newspapers largely as a social critic. He also publishes his translations of articles originally published on First Things, The Catholic Thing, Touchstone Magazine, the Public Discourse, etc. He lives in Alexandria, VA with his wife and two kids. When he has time, he gets on stage to play guitar.

Milena Dragicevic Sesic


Head of the UNESCO Chair on “Interculturalism, Art Management and
Mediation in the Balkans” and Professor of Cultural Policy and Cultural Management and
former President of the University of Arts in Belgrade

Dr Dragicevic-Sesic is Head of the UNESCO Chair on “Interculturalism, Art Management and Mediation in the Balkans” and Professor of Cultural Policy and Cultural Management. She is an expert in participatory approaches for the design and development of local cultural policies. Dr Dragicevic-Sesic has a large experience of policy interventions in South East Europe (cultural policy reform in Montenegro, policies for culture in Romania, Serbia, Croatia, Bulgaria and Macedonia), Caucasus, Central Asia and in Arab countries. Furthermore, she has great expertise in organizational development and capacity-building for local cultural administrations and managers in Europe, the Arab States and India. She works as an expert in Council of Europe programmes, EU research projects, ECF, Pro Helvetia, British Council and OSI. She is also the UNESCO technical advisor for the Ministry of Culture in Albania.

Haki Abazi


Formerly Program Director for the Western Balkans portion of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund’s Pivotal Place program and currently with the Emerging Democracies Institute

Haki Abazi has in-depth knowledge related to civil society and geopolitics in the Balkans and a decade of experience in designing and managing programs to increase citizen participation in decision-making processes in Kosovo, Serbia, Montenegro, Afghanistan, and Indonesia. Prior to

joining RBF in 2007, Mr. Abazi served as director of the Kosovo office for the East-West Management Institute, Inc. His extensive expertise in philanthropy and nonprofit organizations includes coordinating with governments, advocating for corporate social responsibility. His strong leadership and savvy business planning and analytical skills have helped him design and develop programs that support overall sustainable development, build government capacities, and actively engage citizens in building local and national democratic structures. As an analyst for international affairs in conflict and post-conflict settings, Mr. Abazi draws on his in-depth knowledge and work experience related to the Balkan’s civil society community and the geopolitics of the region. He holds a degree in computer sciences and management, and was educated in Kosovo and the United States. Mr. Abazi is fluent in English, Albanian, and Serbian, and also speaks basic Dari.