Ivana Stefanovic has worked in the field of rural development in Serbia since 2006. She was part of the group which established the first five Local Action Groups (LAGs) in Serbia, based on the principles of the LEADER Programme. The network of her associates and colleagues covers Italy, Hungary, Romania, the Balkans and Greece. She also runs her private consultancy company.As Ivana has experience of working with local authorities, she uses her contacts and expertise to make connections between rural people, helping them to improve the quality of their lives. Combining her educational background with her grass roots work experience, she is active in connecting people from Serbia with other European citizens, in preparing local and regional policies, and then overseeing their implementation in specific rural areas and rural communities.Ivana’s areas of expertise include: employment in rural areas;; how to add value to local products; development of rural tourism; diversification of the local economy; the Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance (IPA)of the EU. She has a master in International Relations and Political Sciences.