Atifete Jahjaga is the first female President of Kosovo and served as Head of State from 2011 to 2016.
Jahjaga was born in 1975. She finished primary and secondary school in Prishtina, where she also completed her studies at the Faculty of Law of the University of Prishtina, In 2000. From 2006 to 2007, she attended a postgraduate certification program in Police Management and Penal law at the University of Leicester in the United Kingdom, and received a Postgraduate Certification in Crime Science from the University of Virginia in the U.S.A., in the year 2007.
Prior to her election as the President of Kosovo, Ms Jahjaga served in the Police force of Kosovo, furthering her career up to the rank of General Lt. Colonel and the position of Deputy General Director of the Police of Kosovo. Currently she is continuing her master studies in the direction of International Relations at the Faculty of Law of the University of Prishtina. In addition to these studies she has attended professional and research programs at the European Centre for Security Studies “George C. Marshall” Germany, at the National Academy of the FBI in the U.S.A. and at the Department of Justice in the U.S.A.
President Jahjaga devoted significant effort to empowering women and supporting the survivors of sexual violence during the war. In this context, in 2012, she hosted the International Women’s Summit "Partnership for Change — Empowering Women", attended by 200 leaders from Kosovo, the Wider Europe, North America, Africa and the Middle East. The discussions led to the adoption of the Pristina Principles which affirm the rights of women to political participation and representation, economic resources, and access to security and justice, and calls for actions to make these principles a reality. President Jahjaga mobilized public opinion in support of the socially stigmatized survivors of sexual violence, included Kosovo in global initiatives on the prevention of sexual violence as a tool of war, and helped to create and establish the necessary legal infrastructure for survivors in order to guarantee survivors their rights.
Ms Jahjaga is the recipient of numerous honors and awards including the Doctor Honoris Causa from the University of Durham (2013), the Leadership in Public Service Award from the Clinton Global Initiative (2014), and the honorary degree of Doctor of Law from the University of Leicester (2015). In addition to her native Albanian, she speaks Serbian and English.
Image via St. Edward’s University