Five senior researchers, nine PhD holders,
four MAs, thirteen altogether, is the team, not hired on a permanent basis.
Dissertation writers and students are also volunteering in the ISIS activity.
Ambassador Valeri Ratchev
Ambassador Extraordinary and
Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Bulgaria to the Republic of Iraq and Councillor
to the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Bulgaria Valeri R. Ratchev has
presented his Letters of Credence as Ambassador Extraordinary and
Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Bulgaria to the Republic of Iraq on
March 22, 2006.
This is the first diplomatic post of
Valeri Ratchev. At this rank he arrived after 30 years military career from
the position of Deputy Commandant of ‘G. S. Rakovski’ Defense and Staff
College and Dean of National Security and Defense Faculty. He served also
as a Deputy Director for Defence Planning at the Ministry of Defence,
Deputy Director of the National Security Studies Centre, editor-in-chief of
the MoD’ professional bi-monthly Military Journal and on a variety of
positions as a commanding and staff officer in the Bulgarian Armed Forces.
For his service he has been decorated with Medal for Distinguished Military
Service (II and III classes) and many other signs as well as with a
personal combat arm.
In the period 2009-2013 he served as
Chief of the Political Cabinet of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the
Republic of Bulgaria.
Since 2013 he is Associate of the
Center for Management of Security and Defense of the Bulgarian Academy of
He has earned a B.S. and M. A. in military
art in the Artillery Academy in Shoumen, Bulgaria and Artilery College in
Sanct Peterburg (Leninigrad) and obtained qualification in international
relations and security from the U.S.-German George C. Marshall European
Center for Security Studies (Garmish-Partenkirchen), the Institute for
International Relations in Rome (Italy), and the University of Michigan
(Ann Arbor, USA).
His area of expertise includes
international and national security issues, defense transformation and
force planning, civil-military relations and crisis management. On those
issues he has published and lectured in Bulgaria, Europe and USA.
Valeri Ratchev is Senior Research
Associate of ISIS. His affiliation with the Institute is since 1995.
Velko Attanassoff, PhD is holding an
honorary dual master degree - Master of Arts in National Security Studies
(Middle East Regional Studies) and Master of Science in Defense Analysis
(Low Intensity Conflict) from the Naval Postgraduate School (NPS) in
Monterey, CA, USA.
Since 2012 he is Ph. D in
International Relations of Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridsky”.
He is Senior Research Associate with the
Institute for Security and International Studies (ISIS) in Sofia, Bulgaria
and also lectured “Contemporary Islam” in the International Security M. A.
Program of the International Relations Department of the Law School at the
Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridsky”.
His research interests are in the
field of Islamic activism and collective action (i.e., revolutions,
rebellions, and social movements) in Muslim societies.
He worked on EU Multipart project
and the Sofia University project “Post Conflict Rehabilitation – the
building of security partnership and the EU Role”, and also on his PhD
thesis, focused on religious activism in the Balkans and the consequences
for the regional security. His important publications are: “Bosnia and
Herzegovina—Islamic Revival, International Advocacy Networks and Islamic
Terrorism” (Strategic Insights, Volume IV, Issue 5 (May 2005); “The Case of
Afghanistan” in Cultural Awareness – New Educational Standards, New
Security (Sofia University Press, 2008).
Velko Attanassoff served as the Deputy Head of the Embassy of the Republic of Bulgaria
in Beirut, Lebanon from 2011 till 2016.
Research Associate, Institute for Security and International Studies since
Programs, Centre for National Security and Defence Research – Bulgarian
Academy of Sciences, http://cnsdr.bas.bg
Editor, Information & Security: An International Journal, http://infosec.procon.bg/,
Director, Center for Management of ecurity and Defense, Bulgarian Academy
Minister of Defense in the 88th Caretaker Governmemt
of Bulgaria, 13
March – 29 May, 2013.
in electrical engineering (1982), Air Force Academy, Bulgaria
(1989), N.E. Zhukovsky Air Force Engineering Academy, Moscow
studies (1994), U.S. Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell Air Force Base,
Academy of Sciences: Senior Researcher, current; 2002 – 2005, 1995-1998
Rakovski” Defence and Staff College: Chair, Defence Management Department;
2005 – 2008
of Defence: Director, Armaments Policy (May – Sep 2001); Director, Defence
Planning (1998 – Apr 2001)
Force: field assignments (1982-1986), Assistant Professor - Air Force
Academy (1989-1992), Joint assignment (1992-1994)
Main field of specialization:
policy and planning, security sector reform (primarily from organizational
management perspective, with focus on planning, resource management, and
and defence R&T management
and defence economics, defence industrial base
Current research interest:
capability-oriented planning for the
defence and the security sector (planning under uncertainty, complexity)
transformation in partner countries (with experience in Bulgaria, the
Western Balkans, Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, and
Petyo Valkov is an ISIS Research
Associate since 2011. He graduated the International Security M. A. Program
of the International Relations Department of the Law School at the Sofia
University “St. Kliment Ohridsky”. In 2008 he obtained a postgraduate
qualification in Accounting, Control and Analysis of Corporate Activity
from the Academy of Economics “D. A. Tzenov” and a Master degree in 2007 in
National Security Studies from National Military University.
Petyo Valkov was appointed
(2013-2017) as First Secretary at the Embassy of the Republic of Bulgaria
in Skopje, Macedonia, responsible for political affairs and NGOs.
Currently, he is a Special
Coordinator for the Non-Governmental Sector during the Bulgarian Presidency
of the Council of the European Union whereas continuing working on his PhD
thesis at the Law Faculty of Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridsky” on the
role and activities of the Albanian factor in Macedonia and its impact on
the regional security and EU integration of the country.
His research interests are in the
field of national and regional security, international conflicts,
international relations theory, and the NGO activities in the Balkan region.
Mira Kaneva (Ph.D.) is an ISIS
Research Associate since 2011. Assistant Professor at the Department of International
Law and International Relations, Faculty of Law, Sofia University ‘St.
Kliment Ohridski’; seminars in: ‘International Relations’, ‘Theory of
International Relations’, ‘Foreign Policy’, “International Negotiations’
and course of lectures on “Power in Modern International Relations” within
the M.A. program “Cultural Liaisons and Geopolitics of the EU”.
She holds two Master’s degrees – in
International Relations and in Law. Her Ph.D. thesis covers the theoretical
issues of soft power and, more specifically, their practical implementation
in unconventional forms of diplomacy. Her interests encompass issues such
as diplomacy, foreign policy analysis, international security, global
governance, international regimes, international law and ethics.
Member of International Studies
Association since 2011.
Some of her publications are: The
Broader Implications of Soft Power in International Relations: Seminar
Diplomacy. In: “Fulbright International Summer Institute – 2012. Ph.D.
STUDENTS’ FORUM: Dialogues in the Field of International Relations,
Security, Human Rights and EU Studies” (Editor-in-chief: Kostadin Grozev;
Reviewed and compiled by Mira Kaneva). University Research Complex for the
Humanities ‘Alma Mater’, University Press ‘St. Kliment Ohridski’, Sofia,
2013, pp. 74-87. Other (in Bulgarian) on: international agreements as a
result of or a process of international negotiations and the role of soft
law (2012); EU soft power (2012; 2014); hard power in international
intervention – its legality and legitimacy (2013); public diplomacy and
Yanko Yordanov is an Associate
of ISIS since 2009.
He is a Ph.D. student at the
International Law and International Relations Department of the Faculty of
Law at Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski”. He holds a Bachelor degree
in International Relations and a Master degree in International Security from
the same faculty.
He has completed the Basic Course in
Diplomacy at the Diplomatic Institute to the Bulgarian Ministry of Foreign
Affairs and the Professional Course in Foreign Policy of India at the
Foreign Service Institute to the Ministry of External Affairs of the
Government of India.
Since 2009 he has been working for
the UN and Cooperation for Development Directorate of the Ministry of
Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Bulgaria.
His research interests are in the
fields of China’s foreign policy, EU-China relations, China-India
relations, UN peacekeeping etc.
His important publications are: 1)
„Bosnia and Herzegovina in Chinese Foreign Policy”, in “Democracy and
Security in Southeastern Europe” Magazine, Volume 2, Issue 8/9, Sarajevo,
2011; 2) „Multipolarity or Multilateral Cooperation – the New Emerging
Powers` Dilemma”, International
Relations Magazine, n 2, Sofia, 2012,; 3) “China’s energy policy and its
external dimensions”, in Ph.D. Students’ Forum: Dialogues in the Field of
International Relations, Security, Human Rights and EU Studies, University
Research Complex for the Humanities “Alma Mater”, University Press “St.
Kliment Ohridski”, Sofia, 2013. 4) He is among the researchers working on
Sofia University’s Research Complex for the Humanities “Alma Mater” project
under the name of “Centers of Power in International Relations, Their
Interaction and the Polarity Issue in the XXI Century: Implications for the
Security Policy of EU and Bulgaria”.
Ivo Tsekov (b. 1981) is an M.A.
in International Relations, M. A. in International Security and PhD holder
in International Relations at the Law School of Sofia University “St.
Kliment Ohridsky”. His research interests are in the fields of nuclear
deterrence, security and cyber security policy. Assistant Professor at the
Department of International Relations of the Law School of Sofia University
“St. Kliment Ohridsky” and Associate of ISIS since 2016.