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Board of Directors




Mark Kosmo, Chair


Mark is the chair of MAAS/BESA, and has been the co-chair since MAASBESA began in 2006.  He is currently the Chief Financial Officer of the Mentor Group in Boston.   He has lived in Albania working as an independent consultant, worked for the World Bank in Albania and Washington D.C. as an economist, and served as a Professor of Economics at Dartmouth College.  Mark is a past member of the Board of Trustees of the National Albanian-American Council, and is currently on the Board of Directors of Albanian-American Success Stories and the Massachusetts Immigration and Refugee Advocacy Coalition. Mark holds a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Wisconsin, and did his undergraduate degree in Economics and Mathematics at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst.



Sonila Gjata, Vice-Chair


Sonila is the current Vice-Chair of MAASBESA. She has been involved with the society since early 2011, first as an active member of the advisory board and later as one of the editors of MAASBESA’s newsletters and communications.  Sonila is an investment professional currently working for BNY Mellon Wealth Management as a Portfolio Manager. Prior to that, she worked as a Senior Investment Analyst for a boutique Private Equity firm based in Cambrdige, Massachusetts. Sonila holds a Bachelor’s of Business Administration degree from Universita’ degli Studi di Parma, Italy where she graduated summa cum laude with a dual major in Economics and Finance. Sonila is a CFA charterholder and a regular member of the Boston Security Analysts Society. In addition to helping people in need, she enjoys traveling, sailing, and scuba diving.  



Marsilda Hazizaj, Treasurer


Marsilda Hazizaj is a Senior Accountant at Liberty Mutual. Prior to joining Liberty Mutual, Marsilda worked for Deloitte Albania & Kosovo in the Audit and Advisory department. She holds a Bachelor’s of Finance degree from the University of Tirana, where she graduated summa cum laude. Mrs. Hazizaj and her husband moved to Boston to pursue new career opportunities in October 2012. During her spare time she loves to walk around Beantown, travel to new cities and places she has never been and also try the myriad of restaurants and ethnic cuisines in the greater Boston area.


Iris Hoxha, Secretary


 Besnik Bajrami


Besnik Bajrami, currently works as a scientist at Waters Corporation. Previously Besnik was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Harvard Medical School. He also worked as an assistant professor in the Chemistry department at the University of Connecticut where he previously obtained his PhD in Chemistry/Pharmacology and was also the Co-founder of the Albanian Student Association.  Besnik was also the professor for a college level course in Albanian Language at the University of Connecticut.  Currently Besnik servers as an Editor for the journal “Medicus”, an international journal of medical scientists in Macedonia, Albania and Kosovo.



Irida Dautaj


Irida Dautaj was born and grew up in Tirana, Albania where she completed Dental School. After finishing Dental School in Albania, she moved to the United States, where she received her DMD degree from the University of Connecticut Dental School. Irida also graduated from the General Practice Residency program at Harvard University School of Dental Medicine/Brigham & Women's Hospital. Irida enjoys practicing Dentistry in her private practice and also teaching at Tufts Dental School.  In her spare time, she enjoys reading, exercising, and traveling. She speaks English, Albanian, and Italian.



Ada Kokoshi


Ada was the secretary of MAASBESA from 2009-2012, and continues to serve on its Board of Directors.  She is also a past member of the Bashkimi Dance Group who enthusiastically danced in many performances for over 10 years.  She currently works in the finance industry at State Street Corporation in Boston as a Business Development Specialist, and had previously worked for State Street as a Fund Accountant.  Ada graduated from Emmanuel College with a double major and Bachelor of Arts in International Relations and History, and is currently pursuing her MBA at Boston University. 


Adnand Mlika


Adi was born in Shkodra and graduated from the Polytechnic University of Tirana as a Mechanical Engineer and also from the Faculty of Law at Shkodra University.  He worked as an engineer for several years before becoming chief of the National Agency of Privatization Office in Shkodra, and later working as a private businessman in Albania.  Since coming to the USA, Adi worked as a Technician at Sears-Roebuck after graduating from the Bay State School of Technology, and for the past 7 years has operated his own business – Giovanni’s Restaurant – in Woburn.



Nerejda Katherine Prifti


Nerejda was the co-chair of MAASBESA from 2009-2012, and continues to serve on its Board of Directors.  Nerejda is also on the Board of Directors of the Albanian-American Law Society.  She currently works as an in-house counsel for the Stewart Title Guaranty Company, and previously worked for the law firm of Barron & Stadfeld, P.C. dealing with Real Estate Law.  Nerejda holds a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting  from Suffolk University Business School of Management, and a J.D. from Suffolk Law School with a concentration in Financial Services. She lives with her husband and two young and adorable children in Malden.




Ilirjan Qirici


Known to most as Liri, he holds a Film and Television degree from Boston University.  Experienced in video, film, and television production, Liri has written, produced, and directed several short films and over 100 Community TV shows, including his award winning series “What is...?”  Able Vision, another show he helped create, has won several national awards.  Liri is currently writing a feature screenplay and looking to finance his film projects.  In the past Liri also organized many Albanian concerts and events in Boston.