How does the Bulgarian-American Society (BAS) decide which grantees to work with and how best to work with partners to improve the lives of Bulgarians at home and abroad? BAS is guided by the Board, which includes the Executive Committee and the Board of Directors. The Board is filled with individuals who volunteer their time and are committed to strengthening the friendship between Bulgaria and the United States. Get to know the current Board a little better!
Stanimir Alexandrov, President, has more than 20 years of experience working as an arbitrator and counsel in treaty-based investor-state disputes and international commercial arbitrations. Until August 2017, he was co-leader of the international arbitration practice at Sidley Austin LLP. Since then, he has established his own practice as an arbitrator. Mr. Alexandrov has been recognized as “Lawyer of the Year International Arbitration – Governmental” and “Lawyer of the Year International Arbitration – Commercial.” He is also a Professor at The George Washington University Law School. Before he entered private practice, Mr. Alexandrov was Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs of Bulgaria.
Avis Bohlen, Vice President, was the U.S. Ambassador to Bulgaria and subsequently the Assistant Secretary of State for Arms Control. A career Foreign Service Officer, Ambassador Bohlen has also served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Europe in charge of security issues and the Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Paris. Currently, she chairs the Board of IREX and serves on numerous other boards including the Board of the American College of Sophia. She is also an adjunct professor at Georgetown University.
Jeff Ploetz, Executive Director, has dedicated his career to international development supporting numerous USAID projects throughout the world and especially Eastern Europe. He began his career in development as a Peace Corps Volunteer (PCV) in Bulgaria in 1997, supporting Central Balkan National Park Directorate as his primary assignment while also engaging the local YMCA and orphanage. In 2001, he and a group of other returned Peace Corps Volunteers from Bulgaria reestablished the Friends of Bulgaria and launched a small grants program to support Bulgarian PCVs.
Ken Hill directed Peace Corps programs in Bulgaria, Macedonia and eastern Russia from 1994 thru 1999 and subsequently was Chief of Operations for Peace Corps programs in Europe and Asia. In 2001 he served as acting Chief of Staff of the Peace Corps. Following his retirement in 2001, he was elected to the Board of the National Peace Corps Association and served as its Chair through 2006. During the 1960’s Mr. Hill served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Turkey and held senior posts in the Peace Corps and other federal agencies through the 70s.
Rod Moore served as the first U.S. Ambassador to Montenegro and as Charge d’Affaires of the U.S. Embassy in Bulgaria during a 31-year career as a Foreign Service Officer with the Department of State. He also held numerous other positions in Central Europe and the Balkans, including as Deputy Chief of Mission at U.S. Embassies in Bulgaria and Serbia, as the number two official at the Office of the High Representative in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and as Political-Economic Counselor at the U.S. Embassy in Croatia. Rod also spent three years on the faculty of the U.S. Naval War College and one year teaching at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy.
Board of Directors
Assen Assenov is an Associate Director of the Center for Teaching, Research and Learning at American University, Washington, DC. Prior to that, he was assistant professor in economics at the University of National and World Economy, Sofia, Bulgaria. He earned a Ph.D. in Economics at American University in Washington, DC in 2006 and is an adjunct professor at American University School of International Service. Dr. Assenov co-founded the Bulgarian Community Center and Bulgarian Music Society in Washington DC.
Nicholas Kralev is an author and expert on diplomacy, world affairs and global travel. He hosts the weekly program “Conversations with Nicholas Kralev.” A former Financial Times and Washington Times correspondent, he has traveled around the world with four U.S. secretaries of state — Hillary Clinton, Condoleezza Rice, Colin Powell and Madeleine Albright. He has flown over 2 million miles and visited 84 countries. He is the author of America’s Other Army and Decoding Air Travel. He is also the founder of Kralev International LLC, a consulting and training company in the fields of diplomacy, world affairs and global travel.
Kathy Hoffman Pardew
Kathy Hoffman Pardew worked in education and served in a number of volunteer humanitarian programs in the U.S., Germany, Japan and Turkey. During her husband’s tenure as U.S. Ambassador to Bulgaria, she brought national prominence to women’s health issues through support to the Bulgarian Breast Cancer Campaign. Her efforts encouraged Mammography International to provide specialized training and equipment donations to Bulgarian health centers. She continues to support the Ballet Academy for young people in Marian and the “Baba Program” for daily care of children at the orphanage in Stara Zagora, Bulgaria.
Don Wallace is currently Chairman, International Law Institute and Professor, Georgetown University Law Center, and Of Counsel, Morgan Lewis & Bockius, Washington, DC. Professor Wallace is the author or editor of numerous articles and books, and served as US delegate to the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law and as vice president of the Uniform Law Foundation in Rome. He is former chairman of the international law section of the American Bar Association and has been a director on the Bulgarian-American Society board since its inception.