First female president of Kosovo to speak at Colorado State University Nov. 6

Atifete Jahjaga, the first female president of Kosovo and founder of the Jahjaga Foundation, will speak at Colorado State University on Wednesday, Nov. 6, at 5 p.m. in the Lory Student Center Ballroom A. The talk is free and open to the public, but tickets are required and available online at csutix.com

This event is part of the Global Engagement Distinguished Speaker Series, sponsored by the Office of International Programs, and the CSU Sesquicentennial Colloquium.

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Atifete Jahjaga. Photo provided by Colorado State University.

Jahjaga was the Deputy General Director of the Police of Kosovo between 2009 and 2011 before she was elected president in 2011, the youngest elected female president in the world. She served the Republic of Kosovo in that office until 2016.

While president, Jahjaga sought to make the democratic institutions of the country stronger and strengthen relationships with neighboring countries. She also focused her presidency on empowering women and increasing tolerance of Kosovo’s various ethnic groups. With her citizens still reeling from a tumultuous, violent period of unrest, Jahjaga’s presidency had much to overcome and resolve for her young nation.

“I knew I had to prove skeptics wrong and, in the meantime, lift up marginalized and underrepresented citizens by giving them a voice and by fighting for their rights,” she said during a talk at Oxford Union in 2018.

The work of the Jahjaga Foundation focuses four main areas: empowerment of women; the welfare of youth; national security; and regional cooperation. These areas often overlap as work in one will affect the others.

As Jahjaga noted in a 2015 speech to the World Leaders Forum, “There is so much hope for societies that embrace everyone. And without embracing women, especially those who are most forgotten, no society has embraced everyone.”