Executive Board


Franci Demšar, NAKVIS (Slovenia)

Born in 1960, graduated in Physics at the University of Ljubljana, Master of Biophysics at the University of Zagreb and PhD in Physics at the University of Ljubljana in 1987. During his professional career, he has worked as a researcher (scientific councillor) and higher education teacher (full professor) as well as manager. In his 17-year managerial career, he worked as State Secretary at the Ministry of Science and Technology, Minister of Defence, Ambassador to the Russian Federation, and the Director of the Slovenian Research Agency. As regards his international experience, he was vice-president of the European Science Foundation and a member of the International Academy of Engineers.

Vice President

Olgun Cicek, YÖDAK (North Cyprus)

Having 28 years of extensive experience and broad networking in Europe, Mediterranean, Middle East, Far East and in the USA, Prof. Dr. Olgun Cicek is an international expert on Quality Enhancement and Accreditation within global higher education.

He serves as Vice President  for CEENQA, Executive Board Member of IQA and YÖDAK. He is an international reviewer and evaluator on internal and external quality assurance and accreditation processes for program and institutional level for many quality assurance agencies within Europe and worldwide. He is also serving as an advisory board member, accreditation committee member and international strategic council member for some agencies while participating in Quality Assurance related projects within the European Commission as well as World Bank.

Executive Board Members

Stefan Handke, ACQUIN (Germany)

Stefan Handke is professor of Public Management at the Hochschule für Technik und Wirtschaft Dresden – University of Applied Sciences (HTW Dresden). Until 2019 he was the managing Director of the Accreditation, Certification and Quality Assurance Institute (ACQUIN) in Germany and General Director of the ACQUIN branch KAZ-ACQUIN in Kazakhstan. Before, he worked as a political scientist at universities in Hagen and Hannover. He holds a PhD in Public Policy. Since 2012 he works in the field of quality assurance. Stefan was elected as the treasurer of CEENQA for the second time, he was member of the ENQA board (2018 till 2019) and is still member of the ACQUIN appeals and complaints commission (since 2020).

Jolanta Silka, AIKA (Latvia)

Jolanta Silka is the Deputy Head of the Latvian Quality Agency for Higher Education/Academic Information Centre. She holds a master’s degree in Legal Linguistics and master’s degree in Educational Management. Her previous work experience includes a senior position at the Ministry of Education and Science and at educational institutions as well. She has considerable experience in higher education policy development and implementation. She has contributed to the development of quality assurance in Latvia, to drafting regulatory enactments and methodologies. Also she has participated in a number or higher education related projects (both as manger and expert) and represented Latvia in the Bologna Process Follow-Up Group.

H. İbrahim Durak, TEPDAD (Turkey)

Dr. H. İbrahim Durak is the General Secretary of the Association for the Evaluation and Development of Medical Education Programs since 2010 and works intensively for  TEPDAD’s national and International Accreditation missions. He has organized over two hundreds courses, speeches and workshops on accreditation, curriculum development, assessment and evaluation, program evaluation, skills training, instructional design, simulated patient and education. Dr. Durak has nearly thirty peer reviewed articles published in national and international literature.

Simona Lache, ARACIS (Romania)

Simona Lache is director of the Accreditation Department of the Romanian Agency of Quality assurance in Higher Education (ARACIS) and professor at Transilvania University of Brasov, Romania. Since 2008 she holds the position of vice-rector for quality evaluation and, since 2012, also for internationalization. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Precision Mechanics, a European Master in Energy Management and Mechanical Engineering and a Doctoral degree in Mechanical Engineering.

Simona has an extensive expertise in quality assurance of higher education, for instance as an international reviewer (IEP-EUA, ENQA, FINEEC), as member of the Steering Committee of IEP- EUA (since 2019) and member of the Label Committee of ENAEE (since 2015). Simona works with ARACIS as expert evaluator since 2007 and holds the position of executive board member since 2015. She was involved as quality assurance expert/ project manager in several projects dealing with the development, implementation, and external evaluation of HE system, the development of different policies and methodologies in the field of QA of HE, as well as to develop transnational cooperation between universities and enterprises, fostering entrepreneurship, open innovation, etc.

Benjamin Muhamedbegović, HEA (Bosnia and Herzegovina)

Benjamin Muhamedbegović is an Assistant Director for Quality Assurance in the Agency for Development of Higher Education and Quality Assurance Bosnia and Herzegovina (HEA BiH) since 2009. He has 17 years’ experience in the area of higher education reforms in B&H. From 2004 to 2009 he was a Senior Officer for licensing of higher education institution in the Ministry of Education and Culture of RS. Last 12 years he was involved in a number of projects related to the QA, and in creating a documents and procedures for QA system in B&H which is a very complex due to constitution of the State. He is also a president of The Committee for quality assurance of the Agency, a permanent body of the Agency, with a task to conduct activities of internal quality assurance of the Agency and designing the Agency’s SAR annually in accordance with the II and III ESG groups.

Muhamedbegovic has a PhD in a food science and technology and is involved in teaching processes at the University of Tuzla as professor of Food packaging. Previously he worked in a food industry. Besides the area of quality assurance in higher education, he is involved in the process of HACCP (and halal) certification in food industry as a consultant and auditor.