Zherka, Ilir

Ilir Zherka, the Executive Director of the National Conference on Citizenship, is a life-long civic engagement activist. Under his leadership, NCoC is working with partners throughout the country to strengthen civic life in America. NCoC is also playing a central role in developing the Service Year exchange. The exchange is an online, technology platform that will help to dramatically increase the number of national service positions. Previously, he was the Executive Director of DC Vote, where he created and led a coalition of 100 non-profit advocacy organizations focused on promoting full DC representation in Congress. Ilir also co-founded the National Albanian American Council. NAAC successfully advocated for U.S. intervention to stop ethnic cleansing in Kosovo.

Ilir gained political experience working in the Clinton Administration and on Capitol Hill for Congressman George Miller. He has taught emerging leaders at Georgetown University and is an associate with the Human Systems Dynamics Institute. In addition to his professional accomplishments, Ilir has served as an advisor to four Democratic presidential campaigns. He was also an elected member of the Democratic National Committee.

Ilir is the author of Winning the Inside Game: the Handbook of Advocacy Strategies. As a recognized community leader, he was selected to join Leadership Greater Washington and has received numerous awards, including the Exponent Award, the Whitney M. Young Jr. Leadership Award, and the John F. Kennedy Public Service Award. Washingtonian magazine featured Ilir in an in-depth profile in April 2012, describing him as a “chief strategist” and a “cool tactician.” For his work at DC Vote, October 26, 2012 was named “Ilir Zherka Day” in the District of Columbia.

Ilir graduated with distinction from Cornell University and received his law degree from the University of Virginia.

Posts by Zherka, Ilir

  • Q&A with Ilir Zherka: Building a Culture of National Service (03.10.15 )

    By Alex Parkinson, Researcher, The Conference Board, and Ilir Zherka, Executive Director, National Conference on Citizenship Evidence is mounting to show young people want to donate their time to communities through service. For example, according to the 2014 Millennial Impact Report, “Millennials are building a culture that knows how it feels to contribute to a […]

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