Datum: 2.12.2011 0:00:00
Irena Hadžiabdić was born in Zenica in 1960. She completed elementary and grammar school education in Zenica, after which she graduated from the Belgrade Faculty of Law. She completed her postgraduate studies in Great Britain in the field of EU Policy, Law and Management. She has continued her professional training in the field of elections for a number of years through various educational programs in the country and abroad. She started working as a law trainee in a lawyer’s office, and later she worked as a graduate lawyer in the Constitutional and Legal Department of the Ministry of the Interior in Zenica (Criminal Police Department for State Security – CSB Zenica).
From 1997 to 2001 she worked by turns in the Elections Department and the Democratization Department of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in Travnik and Zenica.
In 2001 she was appointed as Executive Director of the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES). She actively participated in creating of the Association of Election Officials of BiH (AEOBiH), whose elementary task is improvement of elections in BiH and professional training of election officials. Until her appointment as a member of the Central Election Commission BiH, she was Executive Director of the Association of Election Officials of BiH (UIZBiH), headquartered in Sarajevo.
International election experience:
2002 – 2007 she was a member of the OSCE ODIHR expert team (Elections Department of the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe) and assessed success of elections and work of the electoral administration in several states: USA, Albania, Spain, Romania, Bulgaria, Canada, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Island, and Portugal. She is indexed in the election experts list of the OSCE ODIHR and the UN. As an IRI observer she monitored elections in Kenya in 2007, and with NDI in Egypt in 2011 and Algeria in 2012.
She has published several articles and papers regarding elections in BiH in professional publications, and she was the executive Editor-in-Chief of the publication ”Izbori” (“Elections”). In the period from June 2011 to September 2012, she was president of the Association of European Election Officials (ACEEEO). From January 2010 to September 2011 she was President of the Central Election Commission of Bosnia and Herzegovina. At the moment she chairs the Audit Board of the World Association of the election management bodies (A-WEB).
In 2013 she received the international award for exceptional achievements in election management.
In her private life, she is married and the mother of a grown-up son.