I joined the FXB Center for Health and Human Rights at Harvard University, in September 2012, as a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow.
I have worked on Roma and minorities issues since 1999 in various grassroots, national and international environments. I served as a social worker in Roma communities, as youth worker and trainer for young people belonging to minority groups, and as observer of elections in West Balkans. From 2001 to 2004 I have coordinated European projects, including the “Roma and the Stability Pact in South-Eastern Europe” and “Roma use your ballot wisely,” of the OSCE/ODIHR. From 2005 to 2012, I was the Executive Director of Romani CRISS, a leading NGO that defends and promotes the rights of Roma in Romania.
I completed my PHD focusing on early childhood development of Roma children at the Faculty of Political Sciences, University of Bucharest in 2012. My research was coordinated by Prof. Dr. Iulia Motoc.
My Roma heritage
I grew up near Bucharest, surrounded by very few Roma families and friends, extensively exposed mostly to the Romanian culture. I started to become aware of my ethnic identity immediately after the Romanian Revolution, when my father became one of the first activists involved in the start up of the so called “Roma movement” in ’90s. In the activists’ environment, I learned about my heritage, but also about the inter-ethnic conflicts and anti-Roma violence that occurred in Romania. Being a Roma is an important part of my personal identity puzzle that sometimes becomes the center of it, other times it becomes vague, narrow due to the heritage losses of my ancestors, of myself.