Bernard Zeneli

Brain Gain Program, Albania
Focus Area(s)
Civil Service
Jona Repishti
Country of Reform
Date of Interview
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Bernard Zeneli describes his experiences as the manager of the Brain Gain program in Albania as well as his perspectives on the history of civil service reform.  The Brain Gain program seeks to identify areas from which expertise is readily available, particularly among the Albanian diaspora, and attempts to bring these people into the public sector.  The government plays a leading role in the project, which is supported by the United Nations Development Programme.  Zeneli outlines the process of applying for a position through the program and some of the benefits received by those with advanced degrees from abroad.  He describes the Soros Program that preceded Brain Gain as well as some of the potential problems created by providing various financial incentives to attract those educated abroad.  He also recounts some of the initial difficulties faced when establishing the program.  There was support from the highest levels, but the program met opposition from some of the lower levels of the administration.  Zeneli characterizes the relationship between the government and the U.N. and Brain Gain’s cooperation with civil society organizations as quite positive.
Audio Available by Request

At the time of this interview, Bernard Zeneli was the manager of the Brain Gain program, an initiative of the Albanian government supported by the United Nations Development Programme that encouraged skilled professionals to return to the country and contribute to its development.  Previously, he was head of the Department of Political Science and Public Administration at the University of Pristina in Kosovo, where he developed courses related to policy making, comparative politics, government and international relations.  He also taught at Northeastern University, the University of Tirana and South Eastern European University in Tetovo, Macedonia.

Donor Relations
merit pay
ranks and grades
pay reform
performance management
capacity building
Not specified