Ministry of Agriculture, Regional Development and Environment
Svetlana Zhekova has more than fifteen years of progressive professional experience in environmental policy making and implementation. She has started a civil service career in 1999 as member of the Bulgarian EU accession negotiation team at the Ministry of Environment and Water. Since 2004, for more than a decade Ms. Zhekova has represented her country in the Council Working Party Environment as Counselor on environment and climate change at the Permanent Representation of Bulgaria to the EU in Brussels. Consequently, Ms. Zhekova was entrusted with the position of Minister for Environment and Water in the Caretaker Government of Bulgaria, which held the office from August to November 2014. Until March 2016 she was Deputy Director General for the Operational Programme Environment (OPE), where her main responsibilities included managing the processes of preparation for the new programming period and approval of OPE 2014-2020, project assessment and grant aid contracting. Ms. Zhekova’s professional expertise in the environmental field is supported by an academic background in international economic relations, as well as a number of international specialisations and vocational trainings.