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American Councils for International Education Mourns Zdenka Nikolovska

January 18, 2024


It is with profound sorrow that we announce the passing of our esteemed colleague and dear friend, Zdenka Nikolovska.

Zdenka, who served as the Country Representative for American Councils for International Education in North Macedonia since 2015, left an indelible mark on our organization, embodying the values of dedication, innovation, and compassion. Zdenka’s tenure with American Councils was marked by an unwavering commitment to fostering global understanding and educational exchange. Her vivacious nature and passion for facilitating student programs between the United States and North Macedonia were evident in every initiative she undertook. A Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study (YES) Abroad host mother before she joined American Councils, Zdenka played a pivotal role in bringing young American high schoolers to experience life in Macedonian households, as well as sending Macedonian youth on transformative journeys to the United States.

Zdenka brought a wealth of expertise to her role. With a Master's degree in Public Policy and Management from the University of Pittsburgh, she held certifications as a Certified Management Consultant (CMC), a Project Management Professional (PMP), and a Strength Deployment Inventory (SDI) Facilitator. Her multifaceted skill set was instrumental in shaping and advancing our programs.

From 1997 to 2005, Zdenka proudly served as Program Manager with Peace Corps Macedonia, managing program development, training, and supervision of over 125 Peace Corps Volunteers. Zdenka developed projects aligned with Macedonia's needs, created individual assignments, and maintained ties with Macedonian officials for program support and information exchange. Her leadership as the Chief of Party for the United States Agency for International Development e-Schools Project from 2005 to 2008 showcased her dedication to advancing education in Macedonia.

American Councils Board with Zdenka
Zdenka leading the American Councils' Trustee delegation in October 2023 to meet with President of North Macedonia, Stevo Pendarovski.

In the face of her personal health challenges, Zdenka displayed remarkable resilience and optimism. Zdenka's passing leaves a void in our hearts and in the international education community. Her legacy as a mentor, coach, and advocate for the potential of every individual will continue to resonate within American Councils and beyond.

We extend our deepest condolences to her family, especially her supportive husband and beloved daughters, and to the countless friends and colleagues who were touched by her warmth and generosity. As we mourn the loss of Zdenka Nikolovska, we celebrate the enduring impact of her contributions to the field of international education and the lives she enriched along the way.

May she rest in peace, and may her legacy inspire future generations to pursue their dreams with the same passion and dedication.