Maka Meshveliani has more than 12 years of experience in civil society development, women's empowerment, election monitoring, political analysis, public opinion research and advocacy. As a Senior Fellow at Elections and Political Processes team of National Democratic Institute (NDI), she works on strengthening capacity of civil society organizations in various countries, and advises on various aspects of election monitoring, including gender responsive observation. In addition, Maka contributes to the disinformation portfolio of NDI and provides analysis of effects of disinformation and misinformation campaigns on elections, including on women and other marginalized communities. Prior to joining the NDI global team of Elections and Political Processes, Maka Meshveliani worked on gender equality and inclusion aspects of NDI’s international election observation mission for 2019 presidential elections in Ukraine. She managed the gender equality program at United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Georgia Office in 2016-2018. Her portfolio covered the policy development, advocacy and grass root organizing contributing to women’s empowerment in politics and economy. Having held various positions at international intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations, Maka has contributed to the electoral, constitutional and media reforms in Georgia, and coalition building, grass-root organizing and advocacy efforts by civil society organizations. Having won the Andi Parhamovich Fellowship hosted by NDI in Washington DC, she analyzed the communication tactics for advancing women’s political participation agenda. To help Tbilisi recover from flooding in 2014, Maka initiated and managed the most successful crowdfunding campaign in Georgia raising $80,000. Maka is the winner of multiple awards and stipends, including the Chevening scholarship and Leadership Academy for Development by Stanford University|CDDRL and The Economic Policy Research Center (EPR). She holds a LLM in International Human Rights Law from University of Essex, and BA in Law from Tbilisi State University.
Jana (Darejan) Javakhishvili is a clinical psychologist who has been working in trauma research, training and treatment since 1995. Since 2002 she has been heavily engaged in the field of conflict transformation as a facilitator for peace building processes in Georgia and the South Caucasus. Jana works with the Foundation Global Initiative on Psychiatry – Tbilisi, directs Institute of Addiction Studies (Addictology) at Ilia State University. She is a co-founder and teacher at the two innovative masters programs in the same university: Mental Health Masters Program (functional since 2012) and Addictology Masters Program (starting in 2015). In June 2013 she was elected as a president of the Georgian Society of Psychotrauma, since July of the same year she became a Board of Directors Member and Secretary of the European Society of Traumatic Stress Studies (https://www.estss.org/about/board/ ). She is a Contact Person for the Dart Centre for Journalism and trauma in the South Caucasus (http://dartcenter.org/staff). She is a co-author and co-editor of a number of books and scientific articles in Georgian, Russian and English published in Georgia, Armenia, England, Norway, Russia and the United States.
Eka Chkonia is an associate professor of psychiatry at Tbilisi State Medical University and a clinical director of the central university hospital “Tbilisi Mental Health Centre”. Since 1999, she has carried out and leaded more than ten collaborative research projects with German, Swiss and Britain colleagues in clinical and social psychiatry and published more than 50 scientific articles in the high ranked medical journals (e.g. Schizophrenia Bulletin, European Neuropsychopharmacology, Plos One, etc.).
She has been awarded with JFDP Junior Faculty Development Program Fellowship at Rutgers University (US, 2010) and Alberto Vilar Medical Internship at the General Hospital (AKH) in Vienna in 2003 and 2012.She has received research grants from the Royal society, Volkswagen Foundation, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL), The National Centre of Competence in Research (Swiss National Science foundation) and from other national and international foundations. Dr. Eka Chkonia is a president of the Society of Georgian Psychiatrists and an ECNP ambassador in Georgia.