Eglantina Gjermeni, '98
Eglantina Gjermeni was named the Minister of Urban Development for the Republic of Albania in 2015.
She had been a member of Albania's Parliament from 2009-2013, working with the Commission on Health and Social Issues, and then worked as minister of urban development and tourism from 2013-2015.
Gjermeni earned a master’s degree in social work from Grand Valley in 1998 while attending the university as an international student. In 2005, she earned a doctoral degree in social work from the University of Tirana, Albania, the same university where she earned her bachelor’s degree in history in 1990. Gjermeni currently lectures in the university’s Department of Social Work. In 2015, she was promoted to the position of Associate Professor.
A dedicated social researcher, Gjermeni is the author and co-author of numerous articles, studies, and publications addressing social issues, gender mainstreaming in policy making, and women empowerment as concepts strongly related to the social, economic, and political development of her country.
Gjermeni was also successful in heading the Gender Alliance for Development Center for 10 years. The nonprofit organization focuses on gender mainstreaming, EU integration, economic empowerment, governance, gender budgeting, violence against women, education, and the media. She is one of the most outstanding gender balance and social experts in her country.
In the course of her career, Gjermeni has completed successful trainings in Albania and abroad on topics such as gender balance, project management, leadership, women in politics, and social affairs that have been organized by highly reputable international institutions including, but not limited to, the Turin-based ILO Training Centre, the Gender and Development Training Centre in the Netherlands, Central European University in Hungary, Soros Foundation, and Grand Valley State University.
Gjermeni was born in the city of Kruja, located in north central Albania. She is married to Marian Gjermeni and they have two children, Erik and Megi.
She is fluent in English and Italian.
In 2017, Gjermeni received the Distinguished Alumni Award. The Grand Valley Alumni Association presented the annual award at April’s commencement. The award goes to an alumnus who excels in their chosen profession and reflects favorably upon them self, their community, and the university.