For almost two years now, Code for Romania has been growing due to the immense work put in by our volunteers. Amazing minds coming together and developing the best way to deliver digital solutions meant to solve societal problems. Experts, specialists, academics, developers, Romanians living home or abroad have gathered around a single common goal: to make home a better place to live in. It is thanks to them that today we have a functioning 500+ volunteers organisation and we wish to celebrate their efforts by inviting you to meet them individually and see for yourself how great they are.
Bogdan Ivanel’s LinkedIn profile can be quite intimidating. His academic career took him through such institutions as the University of Oxford, Utrecht University, SciencesPo Paris and UC Berkeley. Today, his job states: Co-founder & Managing Director of Code for Romania.
Having a PhD in International Law, with a strong focus on human rights, humanitarian law and matters of statehood, Bogdan has always been preoccupied with the continuous improvement of the relationship between a state and its citizens. Today he is working on that from the civil sector. “I worked for a decade in the fields of International Law and Conflict Studies and did research in war zones all over the world, so starting up Code4Romania might seem quite a big change of scenery. It indeed is, but on the other hand, I’ve always been connected and worked closely with the NGO sector even as a researcher. So, the decision to put academia on hold and return to Romania to help Code 4 grow came naturally. And I like to think I grew along with it, a little bit at a time. No matter how long the days (and nights) are, I can honestly say, it is a deeply fulfilling experience. The best part: I met so many amazingly passionate and dedicated people along the way and I am proud of working by their side.”
He usually says that he is the only person at Code for Romania not working in his field of expertise. However, after a decade of working in academia, doing research in war/conflict zones or working for international tribunals, he returned to help grow Code for Romania from an idea he and a few friends had in January 2016 into a strong organisation.
“I’ve had this obsession for a long time: currently, we have — by far — the best human resource in this country’s history. We have Romanian specialists at the highest level in any field we can imagine. The problem is that most of them no longer live in Romania, they are living abroad, and even the ones still located in the country are not connected to the decision making process. These specialists are a completely ignored resource”, says Bogdan in an interview, discussing how the idea for the organisation came up.
“So far so good on this new managing gig: we managed to build one of the strongest movements and NGOs in Romania and to effectively put Romania on the global civic tech map,” adds Bogdan.