In preparation for the upcoming retirement of its current Secretary General, Luk Zelderloo, the European Association of Service providers for Persons with Disabilities has today publicly announced the appointment of Maya Doneva as its next Secretary General. Ms Doneva will formally succeed Mr Zelderloo on the 1st November 2021, following a brief transition period.
We part with sadness with Maya, but also with optimism about the future policies that Maya will be able to implement for people with disabilities and the opportunities for even bolder decisions and projects from the position of European leader. We wish Maya to continue to work dedicatedly for the future of children and people with disabilities in Bulgaria!
For the past 4 years, Ms Doneva has been the CEO of Karin Dom, an early intervention center based in Varna, managing a team of more than 60 employees and 20 volunteers. Within this role she has served as an active EASPD member, contributing to our work to represent the voice of social service providers for persons with disabilities at a European level. Alongside her work at Karin Dom, Ms Doneva has been a trainer for the European Youth Forum since 2015 working on a variety topics related to youth rights.
Ms Doneva was selected as the next Secretary General of EASPD following a recruitment process that was implemented by an internal Recruitment Committee, comprising of EASPD Members and chaired by the EASPD President Jim Crowe. Her appointment was confirmed via a unanimous approval by the EASPD Board.
Until the election of a new Karin Dom executive director, the role will be taken by Borislava Cherkezova, who currently holds the position of Director of Advocacy, International Partnerships and Training at Karin Dom.
James Crowe, President of EASPD, welcomed the news of the selection of Ms Doneva as the the next Secretary General: “On behalf of the Board of EASPD I am pleased to present Maya to our members and to congratulate her on her appointment. As EASPD has grown, so have the demands on our Secretariat in Brussels, and upon our Secretary General. As we set out on the recruitment path for the new Secretary General, we knew we were looking for a special person. I am confident that in Maya, we have found that person.”
Speaking on her appointment Ms Doneva said “It is a great honour and huge responsibility to take over the position of Secretary General of EASPD in these times of post-pandemic recovery. Last year has taught us many valuable lessons, but the most important of all was that we need to be united and together in order to stand for our values and mission. Let’s continue building a better world for the people with disabilities and the services that support them.”
Our partners also share their joy and faith in future successful projects and cooperation:
Jens Jorgen Pedersen, Head of programme THE VELUX FOUNDATIONS
“Good luck in Bruxelles and looking forward to celebrating the new Karin Dom and the manifestation of a new era for the work in Varna.”
Rafal Szakalinis, Expet, The Velux Foundations
“I would like to thank you, and of course your great team, for all the hard work done so far. I have no doubts that further implementation of the project will still go smoothly even without your presence in the place. It has been a real pleasure to co-operate with you and I hope to see you in Varna before your departure (I plan to visit the project in August).”
Tamar van Gendelen, Pogram director Kahane Foundation
“Thank you for writing and congratulations on being invited to such an interesting and impactful position!
I can imagine how your expertise will contribute greatly to the work of EASPD and that many partners who you have been working with in the past years, like Kahane Foundation, will continue to learn from your work once you are in Brussels.”
About the EASPD
The European Association of Service providers for Persons with Disabilities is a non-profit European umbrella organization, established in 1996, and currently representing over 17,000 social and health services for persons with disabilities. EASPD advocates effective and high-quality disability-related services in the field of education, employment and individualised support, in line with the UN CRPD principles, which could bring benefits not only to persons with disabilities, but to society as a whole.
Good luck, Maya and many new challenges!