EASPD appoints next Secretary General: Maya Doneva
In preparation for the upcoming retirement of its current Secretary General, Luk Zelderloo, the European Association of Service providers for Persons with Disabilities has today publicly announced the appointment of Maya Doneva as its next Secretary General. Ms Doneva will formally succeed Mr Zelderloo on the 1st November 2021, following a brief transition period.
Having worked at both a national level in her native Bulgaria and at a European level, Ms Doneva has 15 years’ experience as a grassroots activist for social inclusion. Ms Doneva is the founder and mentor of the Social Teahouse, a social enterprise which provides long term mentorship and first employment for youngsters raised in institutionalised settings. The Teahouse was one of the first social start-ups in the Balkans and it is currently one of the most awarded enterprises with a social mission in Bulgaria.
For the past 4 years, Ms Doneva has been the CEO of Karin Dom, an early intervention center based in Varna, managing a team of more than 60 employees and 20 volunteers. Within this role she has served as an active EASPD member, contributing to our work to represent the voice of social service providers for persons with disabilities at a European level. Alongside her work at Karin Dom, Ms Doneva has been a trainer for the European Youth Forum since 2015 working on a variety of topics related to youth rights.
Ms Doneva was selected as the next Secretary General of EASPD following a recruitment process that was implemented by an internalRecruitment Committee, comprising of EASPD Members and chaired by the EASPD President Jim Crowe. Her appointment was confirmed via a unanimous approval by the EASPD Board.
James Crowe, President of EASPD, welcomed the news of the selection of Ms Doneva as the the next Secretary General: “On behalf of the Board of EASPD I am pleased to present Maya to our members and to congratulate her on her appointment. As EASPD has grown, so have the demands on our Secretariat in Brussels, and upon our Secretary General. As we set out on the recruitment path for the new Secretary General, we knew we were looking for a special person. I am confident that in Maya, we have found that person.”
Speaking on her appointment Ms Doneva said “It is a great honour and huge responsibility to take over the position of Secretary General of EASPD in these times of post-pandemic recovery. Last year has taught us many valuable lessons, but the most important of all was that we need to be united and together in order to stand for our values and mission. Let's continue building a better world for the people with disabilities and the services that support them.”
Maya Doneva will join the EASPD Secretariat in Brussels on the 1st October and will formally succeed Mr Zelderloo on the 1st November 2021
Note to editors
The European Association of Service providers for Persons with Disabilities is a non-profit European umbrella organization, established in 1996, and currently representing over 17,000 social and health services for persons with disabilities. EASPD advocates effective and high-quality disability-related services in the field of education, employment and individualised support, in line with the UN CRPD principles, which could bring benefits not only to persons with disabilities, but to society as a whole.