THE CIVICS is a pan-European non-profit organisation, founded in 2021 by three professionals with extensive background in democracy development and civic education. It is supported by partners in different European countries and advised by stakeholders, philanthropies, experts, and civic education agencies in Europe.

Meet the Team

Portrait picture of Caroline Hornstein Tomic, Co-founder and managing partner in Zagreb

Caroline Hornstein Tomić

Co-founder & Managing partner

Co-founder & Managing partner | ZAGREB

Caroline Hornstein Tomić, PhD is Senior Researcher at the Institute of Social Sciences Ivo Pilar in Zagreb specializing in high-skilled and return migration, diaspora and identity politics, post-socialist transformation processes in Southeast Europe, and civic education. Besides engaging in academia and the civil sector – as Co-Founder and Managing Partner of THE CIVICS, Co-Founder and Management Chair of the Zagreb based foundation Wissen am Werk / Znanje na djelu, Board member of the European Forum Alpbach Foundation, Member of the Networking European Citizenship Education (NECE) Advisory Board – she has also worked in the public sector as Operative Division Head at the German Federal Agency for Civic Education (2016 – 2018). Caroline is based in the SOE region since 2000; from 2001 until 2005 she served as Resident Representative of the Konrad-Adenauer-Foundation in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Portrait picture of Anja Ostermann, Co-founder and managing partner in Bonn

Anja Ostermann

Co-founder & Managing partner

Co-founder & Managing partner | BONN

She is a comparatist, historian and Germanist (University of Bonn/ University of St Andrews). She has been managing the education and event agency labconcepts in Germany since 2005. Her focus is on consulting on educational strategies and networking in the field of European civic education. In addition, she develops concepts for dialogue and participation formats on topics from politics, education, media and science. Since 2019, she has headed the funding and qualification program for rural areas “MITEINANDER REDEN – Gespräche gestalten – Gemeinsam handeln”. In 2021, she co-founded THE CIVICS Innovation Hub and now heads the Hub in Bonn as one the three managing partners.
Louisa Slavkova

Louisa Slavkova

Co-founder & Managing partner

Co-founder & Managing partner | SOFIA

She is an Advisory Board member of the European Network for Civic Education NECE. In 2016 Louisa was a Ronald Lauder Visiting Fellow at the Institute for the Study of Human Rights at Columbia University, NYC. From 2013 to 2016, she was programs manager at the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR). Prior to joining ECFR, Louisa served for two years as an adviser to Bulgaria’s former Foreign Minister Nickolay Mladenov (currently Research and Analysis Director at the Anwar Gargash Diplomatic Academy). Before that, she worked with the German Federal Agency for Civic Education (bpb). Since 2013, she is the founder and executive director of the Sofia Platform Foundation based in Bulgaria, a non-governmental organization working in the field of historical and civic education. She is the author and editor of several books and publications on foreign policy, democracy development and civic education. Louisa is the co-author of an upcoming textbook on civic education in Bulgaria. In 2021, she co-founded THE CIVICS Innovation Hub and now heads the Hub in Sofia as one the three managing partners.

Rumyana Hristova

Project manager

Project manager | SOFIA

Rumyana holds a BA in Public Relations from Sofia University St. Kliment Ohridski. She has experience in project management, project coordination, account communications and administration in various industries, such as media, travel, and tech. Apart from her professional background, she has undertaken several voluntary and creative initiatives, related to preservation of the architectural heritage in Bulgaria, event coordination, and art management. She has experience in documentary cinema production, with emphasis on crisis, human rights, and cultural identity in terms of globalisation.

Martin Kirbach

Project assistant

Project assistant | BONN

Martin holds an MLitt degree in Security Studies from the University of St Andrews, Scotland and majored in International Relations and Human Geography during his undergraduate studies in the Netherlands and semester abroad in Morocco. He has a particular interest in the post-Soviet space as well as the SWANA region, identity politics and the field of Urban Studies. Aside from pursuing his second MA degree in Development Policy Martin was also a part-time lecturer at the Cologne Business School, lecturing about entrepreneurial culture and intercultural competencies. With his expertise and enthusiasm, Martin is supporting THE CIVICS team in the CIVIC SCOUTS and Young Climate Professionals project as a project assistant in the Hub in Bonn.
Portrait picture of Maja Kurilic, Project manager in Zagreb

Maja Kurilić

Project manager

Project manager | ZAGREB

She holds a Master’s degree in Public Policy from the Central European University in Budapest and a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of Zagreb. During her studies, she took part in academic and cultural exchanges in the USA and Poland. Before joining THE CIVICS in its Zagreb Hub in March 2021, Maja worked in public sector consulting, focusing both on project preparation and on the implementation of projects funded by the EU funds. Maja has over three years of formal working experience, complemented by seven years of active involvement across the non-governmental sector and academia through volunteering, internships or freelance arrangements. Maja’s primary area of expertise is policy analysis, project management and policy writing.

Magdalena Lipovac

Project assistant

Project assistant | ZAGREB

Magdalena holds a Master’s degree in English and pedagogy from the University of Zagreb. She has experience in international projects concerning social entrepreneurship, vocational guidance, and connecting the education system with the world of work. Prior to turning to project management, she worked as a business English lecturer and a primary school English teacher. Outside of work, Magdalena has also been actively involved in voluntary work providing support to long-term unemployed women for several years. In February of 2023, she joined THE CIVICS’ team in the Zagreb hub.

Portrait picture Alla Petrova.

Alla Petrova

Project assistant

Project assistant | BONN

Alla holds a Master´s and Bachelor´s degree in International Relations from the universities of Eichstätt and St. Petersburg respectively. Alla has gathered experience in the spheres of international event and project management in UNHCR and UNIDO in Vienna. She is particularly interested in peacebuilding and human rights protection. Currently she is also a human rights volunteer in the Shalom for Justice and Peace working group. In March 2023, she joined THE CIVICS team as project assistant in the Bonn hub.

Portrait picture of Sabrina Räpple, Project manager in Bonn

Sabrina Räpple

Project manager

Project manager | BONN

Sabrina holds a bachelor’s degree in regional studies of Latin America with economics from the University of Cologne (Germany) and studied one semester abroad at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (Brasil), strengthening intercultural competences as well as multilingualism. She has experience in cultural and event management and operated two years as a project manager at the education and event agency labconcepts in Bonn, focusing on sustainable project management. She was involved in projects in the field of European political education as well as education in the field of sustainable development. Since July 2021, she has been supporting THE CIVICS as a project manager in the Hub in Bonn.

Portrait picture Darija Sesar-Petrić.

Darija Sesar Petrić

Project manager

Project manager | ZAGREB

Darija holds a Master’s degree in Law from the University of Mostar. She spent a year as an exchange student at the University of Granada. She was a trainee in the European Parliament in Brussels and the OSCE Secretariat in Vienna. Her professional experience includes working as an administrator in the EU Info Center in Mostar, a liaison officer in the Central European Initiative in Trieste, a sustainability consultant in a Zagreb-based NGO, and expert advisor at the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and Naval Architecture of the University of Zagreb. Darija’s primary interests are education, human rights and sustainable development. In March 2023, she joined THE CIVICS team as a project manager in the Zagreb hub.

Portrait picture Leonie Sichtermann

Leonie Sichtermann

Project coordinator

Project coordinator | SOFIA

Leonie holds a MA in Peace and Conflict Research from Goethe-University in Frankfurt am Main (Germany) and studied politics and sociology (BA) in Eichstätt (Germany) and Brussels (Belgium). She is project coordinator and assistant at the Sofia Platform Foundation in Sofia (Bulgaria), an NGO that focuses on history and civic education. Previously, she was focusing on social and political transformation processes in fragile contexts. Leonie is co-editor of publications in the field of civic education. Since the beginning of 2022 Leonie is project coordinator at THE CIVICS Hub in Sofia and mainly involved in the project CIVIC SCOUTS.