MFC Board of Directors currently consists of seven Directors, selected through a nomination process involving MFC member organizations. Read more about how the Board is composed and managed in our Association Principles.
Lucija Popovska – MFC Chairwoman of the Board of Directors
Chief Operations Officer, Software Group, Bulgaria
Lucija is a seasoned international development management professional with over 15 years of experience in managing operations across Europe, Central Asia, Africa and the Middle East. She has been focused on housing and housing micro-finance, capital mobilization, new product development and market entries, as well as complex integrated solutions targeting the bottom of the pyramid. Lucija has extensive experience in development management and multi-stakeholder relations, from different type of organizations among which not-for-profits, governments, corporates and financial institutions. In 2018 she was elected for Chairwoman of the Board of Directors of the Microfinance Centre.
Cristian Jurma – Board Director
General Manager, SC Vitas IFN SA, Romania
Cristian Jurma is the General Manager of Vitas Romania – a nonbank financial institution headquartered in western Romania and a Global Communities entreprise. He has a strong practical experience in microfinance and has been working in the field since 1998, fulfilling over time different top management positions with different microfinance institutions.
Izabela Norek – Board Director
Manager, CoopEst, Belgium
Izabela Norek is the Manager at CoopEst, an investment company which provides financing to sustainable, socially rooted microfinance organisations in Central and Eastern Europe and the Caucasus. She has long-term work experience in business development and microfinance, covering such areas as general management, project management, strategy, quality standards, fundraising, impact assessment, operation of networks.
Alisher Akbaraliev – Board Director
Executive Director, Association of Microfinance Institution, Kyrgyz Republic
Alisher Akbaraliev is a microfinance expert with 16 years of experience providing technical support to financial institutions throughout Central Asia. He is establishing relationships with relevant stakeholders in Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Kazakhstan, including government organizations, NGOs, and partner organizations. Well-versed in financial management and loan oversight, and has developed products to fit the needs to potential clients, including new deposit technologies and Sharia lending and involved in researches on country level, like the financial ombudsmen model for the Kyrgyz finance market and financial literacy issues in Kyrgyzstan (2014-2016).
Paul Kalinauckas – Board Director
Founder Chief Executive, BCRS Business Loans, UK
Paul Kalinauckas is a skilled Board Member and Chair of the Board of Responsible Finance, the UK Association for MFIs. He is also the Access to Finance Champion on the Board of his Local Enterprise Partnership as well as an Executive Director on the Board of BCRS Business Loans in his role as Chief Executive. He was the Chair of the Fair Finance Consortium in the West Midlands, UK and has undertaken training in running meetings, facilitating, coaching and chairing discussions.
Samir Bajrovic – Board Director
Director, Microcredit Foundation SUNRISE Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Samir Bajrovic has over 12 years of managerial and practical experience in microfinance and sustainable development. He has been involved in implementation of numerous complex projects in the country and abroad, providing consultancy to major international development agencies and banks such as: World Bank, EBRD, GiZ, USAID, etc.
Through his professional work Mr. Bajrovic has gained extensive knowledge of the SEE countries legislation and institutions. He also possesses thorough knowledge of EU regulatory framework.
Currently, Mr. Bajrovic is a Director of the Microcredit Foundation SUNRISE Sarajevo, and a member of the Assembly of the Association of Microfinance Institutions – AMFI in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Sanavbar Sharipova – Board Director
Board Member, IMON International, Tajikistan
Sanavbar has an over 25 years of professional experience of which the first nine years have been spent in community organizing and social development works focused on youth, poverty reduction and empowerment of women. The last fifteen years spent on progressive management experience with decision making and supervisory responsibilities in the areas of business development, marketing, human resources management and development, accounting and financial management.
Grzegorz is a microfinance specialist with significant field experience gained at Fundusz Mikro, a microfinance institution based in Poland. As director of the MFC he has designed regional and country specific access to finance programs which address the needs for financial and non-financial services among low-income people and micro-entrepreneurs in Europe and Asia.
Katarzyna oversees the Centre’s programs in the area of financial inclusion and responsible finance. In the years 2005-2014, she served on the Steering Committee and then the Supervisory Board of Social Performance Task Force and took an active role in developing sector standards on responsible finance (Universal Standards for Social Performance).
Responsible Finance Expert
Ewa is the program manager for the SPM, managing action research projects on social performance innovation and customer protection. She works with a wide range of stakeholders on developing and pilot testing new tools and solutions, setting standards and documenting the experience of practitioners in attempts in delivering on microfinance promise in the CEE and NIS regions and beyond.
Responsible Finance, Program Manager
Kinga has been working in MFC since September 2011. Prior to that, she worked in Technical Secretariat for Cross-Border Cooperation Program Poland – Belarus – Ukraine and Pontis Foundation, Slovakia where she was responsible for managing projects related to development assistance, democracy promotion and development education mostly in the Western Balkans and Central and Eastern Europe.
Research, Program Manager
Justyna manages research projects and is the author of the annual publication on the state of microfinance industry in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. She also conducts market research studies in the demand for microfinance products (credit, savings, microinsurance), access to finance and the use of financial services, indebtedness, using a variety of research techniques (focus group discussions, in-depth interviews, questionnaire-based surveys).
Aleksandra Sinikka Karabon
Aleksandra has joined Microfinance Centre in August 2019. She is responsible for all of the communications-related activities, both external and internal; she also prepares and implements the overall communications strategy for MFC. Translating complex ideas into simple words – that is her idea of a powerful communication. She studied Finnish Philology and International Relations – Intercultural Communications at the University of Warsaw, Sciences Po Lyon and University of Helsinki. In her free time she likes to play the piano. Feel free to contact Aleksandra on MFC communications-related issues!