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Economist article highlights work of alumnus

  • man on commencement stage, in gown

Posted on December 21, 2017

An article in the December 14 Economist highlighted the work of Erion Veliaj, Grand Valley alumnus and mayor of Tirana, Albania.

Veliaj was elected Tirana's mayor two years ago after holding an Albanian prime minister's cabinet post. Since that time, he has led the city through a resurgence that the Economist called unlike any other city in Europe.

From the Economist: "A quarter of a century ago, Tirana was more capital village than capital city. Under communism it was a backwater of 200,000 people. Until 1991 private cars were banned, there were few shops and virtually no entertainment. Now (partly thanks to boundary changes) it is home to 1m people—more than a third of Albania’s population. The city generates half of the country’s GDP, says Mr Veliaj."

Veliaj spoke at a Grand Valley's commencement ceremony in April 2017 and he received an honorary degree. He earned a bachelor's degree in political science in 2002.