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May 17, 2010
Board of Trustees Parts with Deputy Chair, Elects New Members

Andrey Delchev, Deputy Chair of the AUBG Board of Trustees, stepped down from the governing body after 15 years as a trustee. The auditorium in the Balkanski Academic Center will bear the former trustee’s name in recognition of his service. At an official naming ceremony on May 15, 2010, AUBG community members and friends of the University expressed their appreciation of and gratitude for Delchev’s work. 

Andrey Delchev served on the AUBG Board of Trustees for five terms and acted as its deputy chairman for the past nine years. He is a managing partner in Eurolex Bulgaria OOD, a legal consultation company. The company’s activities include consultation services for international finance institutions, such as the International Monetary Fund, World Bank, and EBRD, as well as big infrastructure projects in energy, roads, airports, and harbors.

Delchev has also served on the Board of Directors of SOS-Kinderdorf Bulgaria and of Help for Charity in Bulgaria Foundation. His professional experience includes serving as Head of the Legal Department of the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Bulgaria and arbitration judge in the International Commerce Arbitration Court as well as working on a great number of legislative, administrative, and corporate projects.  Since January 1999 Delchev has chaired the Bulgarian Petroleum and Gas Association.

Meglena Kuneva, Julian Popov, Thomas Higgins, Ronald D. Vanden Dorpel, and Nikolay Rumenin, AUBG Class of 2007, were elected Board members at the official Board meeting on May 14-15, 2010 in Blagoevgrad.

Ms. Meglena Kuneva is a Bulgarian lawyer, diplomat, and politician. In April 2010 she was appointed counselor to Siim Kallas, Vice President of the European Commission and Commissioner for Transport. Until then she had been European Commissioner for Consumer Affairs, a post she assumed in January 2007 at the time of Bulgaria’s accession to the European Union.

In 2002, Meglena Kuneva was appointed Bulgaria’s first Minister of European Affairs in the government of then Prime Minister Simeon of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha and Chief Negotiator for the EU accession process. Her political career started in 2001 when she was elected Member of the Bulgarian Parliament, becoming deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs. Her academic background is in law, with a particular emphasis on environmental issues and on human rights.

Before devoting herself to politics full-time, Ms. Kuneva was a Senior Legal Advisor to the Bulgarian Council of Ministers.

Among the many accolades she has received are Maltese Ordine pro Merito Melitensi (2009); European of the year, awarded by "European voice", for promoting consumer rights in digital environment and European Commissioner of the year, awarded by “European agenda” (2008); Gold distinction of the Atlantic Club of Bulgaria and Order of the Star of Italian Solidarity (2005); Order of Prince Enrique, Portugal (2004); Legion d’Honneur, France (2003); and Order of Civil Merit, Kingdom of Spain (2002).

Mr. Julian Popov is a noted Bulgarian journalist, writer, philologist, and political analyst who has lived in London since 1994. Popov works as a consultant in institutional development, public relations, and educational policy. His clients include the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the European Commission, the British Open University, the European Climate Foundation, the European Association of Distance Learning Universities, among others.

Popov is the honorary secretary and treasurer of the British non-profit organization Friends of Bulgaria, as well as the chairman of the Board of Directors of the Bulgarian School of Politics and of the Managing Board of the Elizabeth Kostova Foundation. In 1990, he became Executive Director of the New Bulgarian University (NBU). He is also a founder and served briefly as Director of the NBU School of Management, established jointly with the Business School of the Open University (UK). Since 1995, Mr. Popov has been a Member of the Board of Trustees of the New Bulgarian University.

Popov is the author of English Bulgaria, or Switzerland in the Balkans (2004) and the novel Island of Mists (2006) as well as of numerous articles on education, politics, and literature. He has also translated and published Russian poetry from the 1930s. Mr. Popov holds an MA degree in Literature from Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski.”


Mr. Thomas Higgins is an investment banker, development professional, and entrepreneur, who has been living and working in Bulgaria for the past 17 years. In 2005 Mr. Higgins co-founded and became Co-Managing Partner of the Balkan Accession Fund (BAF), a EUR 110 million private equity and mezzanine finance investment fund primarily focused on helping successful Bulgarian and Romanian companies expand in the region. Mr. Higgins is also Chairman and lead shareholder of JobTiger and EastiSoft. Mr. Higgins initially came to Bulgaria in 1993 as an MBA Enterprise Corps Volunteer, sponsored by USAID.

From 1993 to 2005 he was employed by the Bulgarian-American Enterprise Fund (BAEF) where, in 1997, he became Managing Director and Chief Investment Officer. There he developed extensive experience investing in and developing Bulgarian small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). He also has extensive experience as Executive Director in charge of SME and hotel lending at the Bulgarian-American Credit Bank (BACB).

Mr. Higgins has held significant leadership positions in the Bulgarian business community, which currently include Board Member of AmCham Bulgaria, Financial Director and Board Member of the Confederation of the Employers and Industrialists in Bulgaria, Co-Founder and Board Member of the Bulgarian Business Foundation for Education.  Mr. Higgins previously worked with Coopers & Lybrand and Equitable Life in New York. He is an MBA graduate from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and received a B.Sc. degree in Finance and Management Information Systems from the University at Albany – summa cum laude.

Mr. Ronald D. Vanden Dorpel is a U.S. senior education development official who has held several important positions at American higher education institutions. Mr. Vanden Dorpel was the Senior Vice President for University Advancement at Brown University, USA, between 2002 and 2010. At Brown, he led the University’s $1.4 billion comprehensive campaign, which exceeded its $1.4 billion goal in May 2009, and oversaw an operating budget of $22.4 million.

Before that, he served for 15 years as Vice President for University Development and Alumni Relations at Northwestern University. During his tenure at Northwestern, he planned and implemented the institution's highly successful $1.56 billion comprehensive campaign (1997–2002), which raised over $700 million in gifts for the endowment and over $390 million in gifts for new construction and renovations.

Prior to his appointment at Northwestern, Mr. Vanden Dorpel served in senior development positions at Yale (from 1983 to 1987) and at Brown (1979 to 1983).

He holds degrees from Ohio State University and Brown University. Mr. Vanden Dorpel served as a regular officer in the United States Air Force (USAF) from 1971 to 1976, and continued in the USAF Reserve until his retirement as Lieutenant Colonel in 1993.

Mr. Nikolay Rumenin is the new President of the AUBG Alumni Association, succeeding Petar Svarc, ’02. Mr. Rumenin has been a Financial Controller in the Marketing Department of the Heineken/Zagorka Brewery in Sofia, Bulgaria since January 2009 after working as a financial analyst at Landmark Property Bulgaria, a real estate company in Sofia, Bulgaria for a year.

He graduated from AUBG in 2007 with a degree in Business Administration with a concentration in finance and human resource management and a minor in Economics. While at AUBG, Mr. Rumenin worked on several research projects involving the pharmaceutical and petroleum and fuel industries.