Elene Gagnidze

  • How would you describe your professional journey so far? What is your background, and what sparked your interest in currently working to support political innovation?

I was born and raised in Georgia, a country with a rich and diverse political history. My educational journey began at Tbilisi State University, where I pursued my bachelor’s degree in law. It was during this time that my interest in the field of political innovation began to take shape.

To further deepen my knowledge and expertise in international affairs, I embarked on a path that led me to earn degrees in public international law from two different universities. One of these institutions was located in Salzburg, Austria, which marked the beginning of my professional career with ties to Austria.

For more than three years, I worked as a senior lawyer, but I never felt a complete sense of fulfilment in my role. It was during this period that I received a scholarship opportunity that led me to Vienna, where I pursued my second master’s degree in Human Rights. This educational endeavour proved to be a pivotal moment in my journey, as it ignited my passion for human rights and political innovation.

Subsequently, I had the privilege of joining the team at ECoD where I was able to leverage my background and skills. This experience not only allowed me to apply my legal expertise but also provided me with the chance to cultivate my abilities as a project manager. Working with ECoD has been a fulfilling and enriching experience, as it has enabled me to contribute to political innovation and further expand my knowledge in this critical area.

  • What is your first memory of politics?

My earliest political memory dates back to the Rose Revolution in Georgia in 2003. As a child, I vividly recall the events of that time, and I experienced a deep sense of belonging and connection to this historic moment in our country’s history. The atmosphere of change, hope, and unity during the revolution left an indelible mark on my consciousness, and it played a significant role in shaping my interest and passion for politics and political innovation. It was a pivotal moment that instilled in me a sense of civic engagement and a desire to contribute positively to the political landscape of Georgia.

  • Name a must-read political book.

How Change Happens by Duncan Green.

  • Which historical figure would you most like to meet? What would you ask them?

I’d really love to meet Eleanor Roosevelt. Her dedication to human rights has had a huge impact on me. I’m sure I’d have a ton of questions for her – it’s hard to narrow it down to just one.

  • What’s your favourite part of your job? Why is that?

My favourite aspect of my job is the opportunity to be involved in a wide range of projects and to connect with fascinating individuals. Being a part of these diverse initiatives gives me a sense of purpose and fulfilment. It’s incredibly rewarding to feel that I contribute to something substantial and impactful, knowing that it has the potential to bring positive change to people’s lives. This feeling of significance and the prospect of making a meaningful difference is what makes my job truly enjoyable and worthwhile.

  • What’s your favourite movie?

I have to admit picking just one favourite movie is a tough task for me. There are so many incredible films out there, each with its own unique charm and appeal. That’s why I’d like to share my all-time favourite series instead, which is “Doctor Who.” It’s a series that never ceases to amaze me, and I find myself coming back to it time and time again for its endless excitement and storytelling depth.