President, Belgrade Fund for Political Excellence
Sonja Licht graduated with a degree in sociology from the Faculty of Philosophy of the University of Belgrade, where she also received an MA in Socio-Cultural Anthropology. She was part of the Yugoslav dissident movement from the late sixties, and in the mid-eighties she founded numerous local and international non-governmental organisations, including a number of women’s organizations. Between 1991 and 1995, Sonja Licht was the co-chair of the Helsinki Citizens’ Assembly, a broad coalition of various civic organisations and movements from all European and North American countries. From 1991 to 2003 she was the first Executive Director and then President of the Fund for an Open Society (Soros Foundation) in Yugoslavia (later Serbia), a major donor of a vigorous civil society. Currently, she is the Chair of the Executive Committee of the International Centre for Democratic Transition, and a member of the Advisory Boards of the Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces and the Geneva Centre for Security Policy. In Serbia, she is the Chair of the BOD of “Politika” Newspapers, the Jefferson Institute based in Washington D.C. and Belgrade. She is the Chair of Foreign Affairs Council of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
She is a laureate of numerous awards including International Human Rights Award of the International League for Human Rights.