Our team

Activities of Sofia Security Forum are managed by the Managing board.

Yordan Bozhilov is President of Sofia Security Forum and Manager of Programs “South East Europe” and “Black Sea”.

Yordan Bozhilov has earned a Master’s degree in Political science and Law. He has been a long-lasting government official in the Ministry of defense while being in charge of the international activity of the Ministry.

In 2008 he was Chair of the International Managing board of RACVIAC – Center for Security Cooperation in Zagreb, Croatia. He has been at the head of the political cabinet of the Minister of defense during 2010-2013. Yordan Bozhilov has been invited as a lecturer to different forums and has publications in the field of security and defense.



Monika Panayotova, vice-president and  Manager of the Program “EUROPE” /till 14.06.2017/

Monika Panayotova is currently working on her Doctorate on “European security and defense after the NATO’s New Strategic Concept and Lisbon Treaty” at the University of World and National Economy. She has  publications on security and defense related issues, EU policies and CSDP.  From  2014 she is  General Manager of Inno Advisers Ltd., Member of the Executive board of Global Etrepreneurial Monitoring (GEM) – Bulgaria as well as of the Consultative Council of Bulgarian Memory Foundation.

Between 2012 – 2014 Ms. Panayotova  was a Member of the European Parliament.  Before being elected at the EP, she was Member of Bulgarian Parliament and Chairperson of the Committee on European Affairs and Oversight of the European Funds, as well as Member of foreign affairs and defense committee.

Between  2006 – 2008 she worked as a Research Fellow and a Director “Projects and Public communications”, Economic Policy Institute, Sofia, Bulgaria.


Maria Kissilyarska, Manager of the Program “Public events”

Maria Kissilyarska has a Master dergree in Internarional relations from Sofia State University. She has experience of working in non-government organizations.


Marin Dimitrov, Member of the Board.

Marin Dimitrov is a seasoned professional with years of experience in the areas of international economic relations and foreign trade. Between 2011 and 2015 served as Consul General of the Republic of Bulgaria in Los Angeles. Between 2005 and 2011 he acted as Bulgaria Country Manager for a British investment fund. Between 2001 and 2005 he took up the position of Chief Expert at the Bulgarian Ministry of Economy and Tourism, on diplomatic attachment with the Bulgarian Embassy in London as Head of the Economic and Commercial Section. Early in his career, during the period 1995 to 2001, he was selected and appointed as Commercial Officer at the Bulgarian office of Overseas Trade Services.  Master of Arts degree in English Philology with the “St.Kliment of Ohrid” University of Sofia. Post-graduate Executive MBA with the University of Humberside & Lincolnshire, professional qualification in International Relations, numerous specialized courses with the Department of Trade & Industry in UK.


Plamen Ralchev holds a Master s degree in International Relations and PhD in Political Science (Foreign Policy and International Relations). He is Associate Professor at the Department of International Relations, University of National and World Economy. From 2000 until 2007 he has been working as Senior Research Associate at the Institute for Regional and International Studies, Sofia. In 2003 he was visiting fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, Washington D.C. In 2004/2005 he was a Chevening Scholar (FCO/ British Council) at the Department of Sociology at the University of Bristol, UK.

His research interests focus on foreign policy, European politics and security, identity politics, international communications, public diplomacy and information operations. He employs constructivist and post-positivist theories and approaches, researching the irrational character of international relations and international communications, and the influence of subjective social and psychological factors. He teaches comparative European politics, external relations and public communications of the European Union. His international experience and exposure includes scholar publications and participation in various academic, governmental and non-governmental conferences in Southeast Europe, the European Union, US, Turkey and post-Soviet states.


Mila Serafimova, PhD, Coordinator, Media and Communication Program 

Mila Serafimova is an Associate Professor at the National Defence Academy, Bulgaria, Psychology and Leadership Department. She was a reporter and an editor at daily newspapers from 1991 to 1998 and Public Affairs Officer at the Ministry of Defence from 1998 to 2009. She worked on the communication campaigns about Bulgaria,s membership in NATO and the EU. She was a lecturer in Effective Communication at the NATO School, Oberammergau, Germany. Since 2010 till 2012 she was Director for PR at the Ministry of Defence.

Mila Serafimova studied Journalism at Sofia University, Faculty of Journalism and Mass Communication, where she defended her doctoral degree in Media Management. She is graduated from the Defence Language Institute, San Antonio, USA and Defence Information School, George G. Meade Fort, USA. In 2004 she specialized in Leadership Programme of  George C. Marshal European Center for Security Studies.

Assoc. Prof. Mila Serafimova published the books Public Communication Foundations – Media Management, Phenomena Of The Political Communication in Bulgaria, Public Communication Technology, Public Communication Model In Security and Defence and has more than 30 publications in defence public communication.


Assen Kolev, Coordinator, “Integration” Program

Assen Kolev holds a PhD in Philosophy and is expert in the field of inter-ethnic relations and inter-religious relations. Dr. Kolev works on the public policies related to the integration of different minorities, especially the Roma minority. He has a number of scientific publications in the field. He is a member of the Advisory Council on inter-ethnic relations to the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Bulgaria.



Martin Sokolov is a researcher at the Sofia Security Forum. He holds a BA in Politics and International Relations from the University of Hull, the Unite Kingdom, and a MA in International Relations and International Organizations from the University of Groningen, the Netherlands.

Mr. Sokolov has worked as a researcher on various aspects of security at the George C. Marshall European Centre for Security Studies in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, the Centre for the Study of Democracy, and the Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan in Bulgaria.

His research interests include national and international security, realism in international relations, hybrid warfare, and strategic communication.



Ana Milkova is a researcher in Sofia Security Forum. She has graduated from the American University in Bulgaria with a Bachelor degree in International relations & political science and Journalism & mass communications and has a Master degree in International crimes & criminology from the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU Amsterdam).

Her special interests include genocide, the war in the former Yugoslavia, wartime sexual violence, gender issues, psychology of crime, etc. Presently, her concrete areas of research include international crimes and terrorism, the psychological and social causes of such crimes, the psychological and social effects on victims, the war in the former Yugoslavia and the international crimes committed there between 1992 and 1995, etc.

Alex Tanchev – expert

Sevil Boz – expert