About usWho we are

Ketevan Vashakidze


Ketevan Vashakidze is a senior executive with extensive international experience in social change focused organizations.  She has held a variety of management, consulting and teaching positions both in her native Georgia, and internationally. Ms. Vashakidze has been heading Europe Foundation since February 2007, providing it with the vision, leadership and management.  Ms. Vashakidze has consulted on various development issues governments, non-governmental organizations, the World Bank Group, UNDP in South-East Asia, UNICEF in NYC and Bolivia. Ms. Vashakidze has chaired and been active on various public and non-profit boards, among them chairpersonship of GEF that promotes philanthropic work in Eastern Europe, and of the EFN that unites ten partner foundations and data-tanks from the US, Europe, and Eurasia. She has a broad knowledge of sustainable development issues and their relevance to international and national policy, markets and society as she holds advanced degrees in Social and Economic Geography, Environmental Management, and International Development from Columbia, Edinburgh, and Tbilisi State Universities. Most recently, she has obtained TRIUM Global Executive MBA.


Nino Khurtsidze

Vice President

Nino Khurtsidze brings 10 years of experience in international development, providing technical legal assistance to post-Communist states through projects aimed at strengthening the capacity of executive and judicial powers, to promote democracy and the rule of law in their respective societies. Ms. Khurtsidze also has significant project management, strategic planning, and monitoring and evaluation experience, which she gained while working with various international and public institutions. Since returning to Georgia, she worked on issues related to Georgia’s rule of law reforms, provided pro bono services in higher education reform area, and taught at several Georgian institutions of higher education. Previously, Ms. Khurtsidze lived in the U.S. for 12 years, where she worked on various development issues at the American Bar Association, Transnational Crime and Corruption Center, and the Center for Rural Development. Ms. Khurtsidze holds an M.A. in Diplomacy and International Commerce from the University of Kentucky’s Patterson School, B.A. from Western Kentucky University’s Department of Government, and a law degree from Tbilisi State University. She is a Ph.D. Candidate in International Relations at American University’s School of International Service in Washington, DC.

Leila Bagaeva

Grants Manager

Leila began her work at the Foundation as a grants analyst, was later promoted to grants associate, and has been a grants manager since 2003. She graduated from Leningrad Technical Institute with a degree in Biomedical Electronics and also holds a certificate in Basic Financial and Tax Accounting from the Tbilisi Business School. She was a lecturer at Tbilisi Technical College from 1983 till 1999. 

Lela Berdzuli

Program Associate

Lela Berdzuli graduated from Tbilisi State University, faculty of Social and Political Sciences, International Relations. She holds two Masters’ degrees in Transformation in the South Caucasus (Center for Social Studies, TSU) and in European Studies (Aarhus University, Denmark). During her university studies she participated in internship programs of different governmental and nongovernmental institutions of Georgia.
Lela’s interests include EU neighborhood and enlargement policies, especially, Eastern Partnership, Georgia’s European integration and Scandinavian politics and culture.

Nana Gamkrelidze

Program Manager

Nana joined EPF in August 2016. Prior to joining EPF Nana worked in various capacities for international and local non-governmental organizations, including Saferworld, Internews Georgia and World Vision International in Georgia. Nana has experience of management, monitoring and evaluation of local and cross-border projects aimed at the development and empowerment of civil society in Georgia as well as in other South Caucasus countries. Besides, during her time working at Saferworld, Nana gained valuable experience of implementation of community security initiatives in the conflict affected communities of Armenia and Azerbaijan. In past, she also volunteered for Georgian Red Cross Society providing support to emergency response actions in 2008. Nana completed her undergraduate studies at the American University for Humanities in 2010, holding a B.A. degree in Business Administration.

Mariam Kakhelashvili

Financial Manager

Mariam Kakhelashvili graduated from Tbilisi Medical University, Pediatrician Department with honors. In 2003 she was awarded certificate of ACCA (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) Professional Scheme, UK. In 2007 Mariam attended training in USAID Rules and Regulations provided by APVOFM (Washington DC). Previously she worked for Merlin, a British humanitarian organization, as Finance and Administrative Officer. She has also worked as a CFO for Caucasus Airlines, and as a Project Monitor for the Open Society Georgia Foundation. She was also a lecturer in financial accounting at the Black Sea University.

Dika Katsitadze


Dika Katsitadze joined Europe Foundation in 2009. She is a graduate of the Department of West European Languages and Literature from the Tbilisi State University. Dika worked for variety of international development organizations prior joining EPF. Her Professional experience includes working for UNDP Project under the Work Bank’s Institutional Building credit on customs computerization as a translator/interpreter, as a Project Coordinator for USAID Project on NIS Energy Sector Institutional Reform and as a Research Assistant for USAID Project in Egypt. 

Nino Kikodze

Senior Grants and Contracts Manager

Nino Kikodze joined Europe Foundation in 1997.  She graduated from the Tbilisi State University and received additional international accounting training from the Georgian Federation of Professional Accountants and Auditors and Ernst&Young. Nino worked in the various international organizations such as UMCOR, World Bank and Mitsubishi Motors before she began to work in the Foundation. She has been promoted several times from Administrative Assistant to her current position as Senior Grants and Contracts Manager. 

Mariam Kobalia

Program Manager

Mariam Kobalia joined Europe Foundation in 2010. She is a PhD candidate in Sociology at Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University (TSU), and holds an M.A in Social Sciences from Center for Social Sciences (CSS) and B.A from TSU with a major in English language and Literature and minor in Social Work. Ms. Kobalia previously worked with IREX’s (International Research and Exchanges Board) Internet Access and Training Program (IATP) and besides, she has a year of working experience in the banking sector. In addition , Mariam cooperates with different organizations as a volunteer with great pleasure. 

Nino Sutidze

Program Coordinator

Nino Sutidze joined Europe Foundation in 2007. Before taking the position of a Program Coordinator , she served as a Program Associate. Nino graduated from Tbilisi State University in the Department of English Language and Literature in 2005 and is currently doing her Master’s Degree in Public Administration, under the joint program of the Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University and German University of Public Administration Speyer.
Previously she worked in the private sector and was also involved in translation projects. She has undergone various trainings and courses to enhance her professional skills and competences in project management and public relations.
Nino’s interests include EU’s External Relations, specifically its Neighbourhood Policy and Georgia’s European Integration. She also has keen interest in methods of communication in various sectors.
In her free time, Nino enjoys reading and watching films

Mariam Vardanashvili

Grants and HR Manager

Mariam Vardanashvili joined EPF in January 2015 to support the Foundation’s grants management team. Mariam holds a BBA from the Caucasus University’s School of Business and has also completed the CU’s semester abroad program at the Upper Austria University of Applied Sciences. Prior to joining EPF, Mariam worked at the USAID-funded project Policy, Advocacy and Civil Society Development in Georgia (G-PAC) implemented by East West Management Institute (EWMI). Mariam is a strong believer in lifelong learning and has completed several professional development courses focusing on management, marketing, and corporate social responsibility.

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