M. & M. Ivanaj Foundation Institute Structure

Executive officers:

Drita Ivanaj – President and Treasurer
Pertefe Leka – Vice President
Diana Shehu – Secretary

Development Manager:

Ida Shehu


The M. & M. Ivanaj Foundation Institute relies on the skills, good will and effort of a number of volunteers within the country and abroad.  The Institute encourages greater volunteerism in the country and is always looking for interested people who want to share their ideas and time in order to help achieve its mission.  Please check out our “Want to help?” section for more details about how you can become a volunteer.

Board Members:


Drita Ivanaj, with BA’s in Science and Economics, is a Certified Computer Professional, who has had two full time careers: in business management and large contracts administration for the international conglomerate of FIAT, and in information systems and large computer operations at Columbia University in New York.  Ms. Ivanaj is the founder and President of The Martin and Mirash Ivanaj Foundation in New York, and the M. & M. Ivanaj Foundation Institute in Tirana (Albania), which promote Albanian education and culture.  She has been an active member of many professional organizations, and has served as Advisory and Board member of AAWO (Albanian American Women Organization) in New York City and a Consultant to, and a Trustee of NAAC (National Albanian American Council) in Washington, DC.


Perteve Leka was educated at Shkodra’s ‘Pedagogic Institute’, graduated in Linguistics & History there and at the Faculty of  Philology and Literature in Tirana where she was also an Instructor for School Methodology in Literature and Albanian Language, overseeing 14 night schools for this program. After retiring from the Albanian school system, she continued her pedagogical activities as an English Instructor at English-Albanian “Phoenix” School in Tirana, applying contemporary and Montessori methods for 5-6 year old children, and as a Trainer at “Lexo” School of young Teachers for pre-schooling. She has received an Award from Albania’s Ministry of Culture for her effective role in educational impact of pedagogical studies, and an Honorary Award as a Teacher from the “Order of  Naim Frasheri”.  For over a decade she has been a Freelance Journalist for newspapers “Drita” and  “Kosova” in Tirana, and Illyria in NYC, while being actively involved as Vice President of the M. & M. Ivanaj Foundation Institute.


Diana Shehu, graduated in the Faculty of Mathematics at the University of Tirana, has taught Mathematics and Physics throughout the years at Albania’s high schools. After retirement, she continues to maintain her activity as a private instructor, coaching high school students in her fields of expertise.  She is the Secretary of the M. & M. Ivanaj Foundation Institute in Tirana since its inception and an active member of its Planning Board for over 15 years.


Aferdita Prroni, graduated in the Faculty of Philology, Tirana and Faculty of Law. Ms. Prroni is the Founder and Executive Director of the Human rights in Democracy Centre (2002), a domestic NGO that promotes and protects human rights in Albania, with special focus for the promotion and protection of women’s rights.  Prior to 2002, Ms. Prroni was engaged in several projects carried out by human rights organizations operating in Albania.


Ani Rizo graduated from the University of Tirana with a degree in Economics.  Since the year 2000 she has been working as an Economist at a private firm called V.T. E. Trading.

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