European Network of American Alumni Associations - ENAM


Secretary General of the European Network of American Alumni Associations - ENAM.

• Mr. Cugusi, you serve as Secretary General of the European Network of American Alumni Associations - ENAM. Could you please give us some information about the organization itself, its mission and objectives?

The mission of the European Network of American Alumni Associations (ENAM) is to strengthen networking and collaboration amongst its member associations, facilitate their active participation in U.S. State Department alumni community initiatives, and promote common values shared by alumni of U.S. government-sponsored exchange programs the world over. ENAM’s catchment spans 36 countries in Europe and Eurasia, representing more than 300,000 alumni, with membership open to all alumni associations in the region that are recognized by the U.S. Diplomatic Mission in their home country.

• What is ENAM currently focused on and what projects and activities did you plan to organize this year?

Promoting and actively supporting bi and multilateral projects to be submitted to the DOS by our member associations is our priority for this year. The positive outcome of our seven-country initiative “Bright Ideas @ Work” in the area of self-employment is extremely encouraging. The inauguration of an ENAM Chapter in Brussels is also something we can expect to see in the news very soon.

• MAAA has had a very dynamic and successful year. What is your comment concerning our organization's development?

The US Alumni Community of Macedonia has always been one of the pillars of our network. We've had the pleasure to have my friend prof. Atanas Kochov as our Board Member and look forward to seeing one of our next events hosted by your fast growing association.

• ENAM will be organizing elections for new leadership this year. In your opinion, what should be the priorities of the next board?

The greatest achievement of the current board has been the expansion of the geographic coverage of the network. The new leadership should focus on mentoring the newly born organization, strengthening the network and operate in close cooperation with the Alumni Office and the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the Department of State.

• Could you point out what you consider to be your greatest achievement as Secretary General of ENAM?

It was a true pleasure for me to serve as SG of this prestigious international organization since its foundation. I don’t know how good I have been at representing the spirit and the values of the State Alumni Community across Europe and Eurasia, but I can definitely share the one of the many lessons I’ve learned over time as an International visitor and an Alumni leader. While many people today think their actions are insignificant, nothing could be further from the truth. Using little more than our ideas, goodwill and networking capabilities, and our small yet powerful actions can touch the lives of people thousands of miles away and contribute to make the world a better place to live. In few years’ time, as an alumni leader I have seen many of our fellows in the Balkans, Central Eastern Europe and CIS, mobilizing people to defend human rights, fight poverty, and support democratic transition in their respective countries. I have seen their alumni associations raising money to offer scholarships to young graduates and give back to the community what they had received in the past. I have witnessed many busy CEOs devoting their little spare time to mentor young talents. In a few words, I have learned that an alumni association is much more than just a large and powerful PR network. We all should take that into account very seriously and not underestimate the impact of our activity on the society.

Interviewed by Sanja Gichevska- Dokmanovic


Bulding bridges of cooperation
between the United States and Macedonia