Official biography
Zeneli Valbona

Valbona Zeneli, Ph.D.

Professor of National Security Studies
Director, Black Sea and Eurasia Program
George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies

Dr. Zeneli joined the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies in August 2011 as a professor of national security studies. She is also the Black Sea and Eurasia program director, overseeing the Marshall Center’s outreach activities in this region. Previously she also served as deputy director for the Central and Southeast Europe program.

Valbona Zeneli is member of the teaching faculty for the Program in Applied Security Studies (PASS), the Program on Countering Narcotics and Illicit Trafficking (CNIT), the Program on Cyber Security Studies (PCSS), the Senior Executive Seminar (SES), and the Seminar on Regional Security (SRS).  She is also involved with Partnership for Peace Consortium of Defense Academies and Security Studies Institutes as a member of the working group on Southeast Europe, and of the security sector reform working group.

Before joining the GCMC, Valbona Zeneli was a professor of international economics at the European University of Tirana from 2009-2011 and associate professor at the New York University of Tirana from 2006-2011. From 2003-2005, Dr. Zeneli has served as chief of protocol and later economic adviser to the Albanian prime minister. Prior to that, she worked as adviser to the minister of economy of Albania from 2002-2003. She has also worked in the private sector advising companies on marketing and international relations. 

Dr. Zeneli holds a doctor of science degree (PhD) in political economy from the University of Studies “Aldo Moro”, Bari, Italy (2011), as well as a postgraduate studies degree on international marketing from Georgetown University, Washington D.C (2006). She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in business administration from the University of Bologna, Italy, where she graduated with honors (2001). Zeneli is also a graduate of the Marshall Center’s Leaders Program in International and Security Studies (2003), and a graduate of the Harvard’s University Kennedy School of Government Executive Education program (2009).

Dr. Zeneli has presented her work at numerous international conferences around the globe and has delivered professional training seminars at the senior level for a variety of government agencies internationally. Valbona Zeneli has published numerous papers and book chapters and is a frequent contributor to international leading magazines, such as The Diplomat, The Globalist, Atlantic Community, among others.

Valbona Zeneli’ research interests extends to various issues of European and Transatlantic security, with an emphasis on Eastern and Southeastern Europe, economic security, international trade and development; good governance and anticorruption, and security sector reform.