Željko Jovanović is director of the Open Society Roma Initiatives Office. The office supports Roma in making their voices heard and power felt in policymaking. Besides his work with the Open Society Foundations, Jovanovic is a board chair of the European Roma Institute for Arts and Culture and also a member of the European Council on Foreign Relations and the ASPEN Institute.
Before joining the Open Society Foundations in 2006, Jovanovic worked for the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe and Catholic Relief Services. He also led a grassroots Roma organization, a community radio, civic and political campaigns, and mentored and trained managers, advocates, and leaders.
Jovanovic graduated in law at the University of Belgrade and in governance at the University of Oxford. Jovanovic comes from a family of Roma ethnic background that through a belief in hard work, self-determination, and education, moved from multi-generational extreme poverty to the middle class in Serbia.