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Award-winning journalist, historian and political commentator and author of McMafia
A former BBC Central Europe Correspondent, Misha is best known first for his coverage of the collapse of communism and the wars in Yugoslavia for which he won the coveted Sony Gold Award for Broadcasting Excellence, and then for his path-breaking work on the rise of the global mafia.
Misha is the author of four best-selling books, The Rebirth of History: Eastern Europe in the Age of Democracy; The Fall of Yugoslavia; The Balkans: 1804-1999; and McMafia: Seriously Organized Crime. He has written for all major British and European newspapers and is a regular contributor to the New York Times, the New York Review of Books, and the New Yorker.
The major diplomatic actors working on the Balkans and trans-national organised crime, including the Foreign Office, the State Department, the FBI and other law enforcement agencies at the highest level, continue to consult him regularly.
Misha is a distinguished Fulbright scholar; he is a former fellow of the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars in Washington as well as having worked as a visiting research professor at the London School of Economics. He has an honorary doctorate from the American University in Bulgaria.
He is the Founding Director of SEE Change, an NGO which completed a two-year project developing cross-border cooperation between multi-ethnic municipalities in Kosovo, Serbia and Macedonia.
During this project, Misha started researching the rise of the shadow economy since the fall of communism and the advent of globalization. The research took him all over the world and McMafia: Crime without Frontiers was published earlier last year in New York, London and Toronto. It has already become an international bestseller and is being translated into over 30 languages. For the research, Misha interviewed key players in global crime, including gangsters involved at most levels of mafia activity from Colombia to Tokyo and from Johannesburg to Moscow.
In his electrifying talks which include some astonishing footage of the mafia at work, Misha is able to place the rise of the shadow economy within a much broader political and economic context – demonstrating its relationship to major security services, the banking and financial industries and the integral part that organized crime plays in most ordinary consumers’ lives.
As a speaker Misha’s greatest skill is explaining complex but compelling issues in an exciting way based on a wealth of first-hand experience during major global events of the last thirty years and a mountain of research. His presentations offer a lively and – when appropriate - humourous look at the world we live in, and are not to be missed!
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