Advisory Board

Prof PhD Zorana Z. Mihajlović

Prof PhD Zorana Z. Mihajlović



Prof. PhD. Zorana Z. Mihajlović


Prof. Dr. Zorana Z. Mihajlovic was born in 1970 in Tuzla (Federation of BiH).

She graduated from elementary and high school in Belgrade, as a valedictorian, and in 1993 graduated with honors (grade 10) from the Faculty of Economics, University of Belgrade. The topic of here graduate thesis included economic development, energy and energy security of Serbia and the European Union.

She earned her master's degree from the same faculty of the University of Belgrade in 1998 with the thesis Opportunities and constraints of the development of energy in Serbia and selected European countries, and then defended her doctoral thesis and earned her doctorate in 2001, also on the topic of interdependence of economic development and energy security. Zorana Mihajlovic was the youngest doctor of philosophy amongst the class who received their doctorate in 2001.

At the same Faculty of Economics of the University of Belgrade, she was promoted to the title of research fellow, and the title of assistant professor, then associate professor, under the criteria of the Ministry of Education and Science, she received at the private University "John Nesbitt", in 2010 and 2011, in order to be appointed tenured professor at this University in 2016.


She began her professional career in the First School of Economics (1993-1995) where she taught political economy, accounting, and economics and organization of companies, and continued in the state-owned company Elektroprivreda Srbije – Elektroistok (1995-2006) where she worked as deputy head of accounting, and then headed the department of planning and analysis.

From 2004 to 2006, she was an advisor to the Serbian Deputy Prime Minister for Energy and Energy Security Miroljub Labus, and during that period (2004-2005) she was a member of the Management Board of Elektroprivreda Srbije. From 2006 to 2010, she was employed at the Nikola Tesla Airport as an advisor to the Director General for Energy Efficiency. In 2010, she got a position at John Nesbitt Private University, where she worked as an assistant professor, associate professor, and finally tenured professor and has taught subjects of Energy Economics and Natural Resources Economics, where she is still employed today. In addition, in 2011-2012, she performed the duties of Pro-rector of this University.

From 2010 to 2012, at the invitation of Republika Srpska Prime Minister Milorad Dodik, and for the purpose of defining the energy development strategy of Republika Srpska, she worked and was his energy advisor.

From 2012 to 2014, she was the Governor of the Republic of Serbia at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).

She is the author and co-author of four books in energy and sustainable development: Energy and Economic Development (2003), Economics of Energy (Strategy, Ecology and Sustainable Development) (2004), Economics of Energy – Strategy, Ecology and Sustainable Development, second amended edition (2010), Renewable Energy Sources (2010).

She has published more than 200 papers on problems and opportunities for the development of the Serbian energy sector and energy security.

She has completed a specialist course in modern anti-corruption methodology, for which she is also certified by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA).

Her political engagement began when she was a student of Belgrade University in the 1990s, which were the darkest years in Serbia's development. She fought and protested in all student and other demonstrations against the then regime of Slobodan Milosevic, and the Serbian radical party, who were responsible both for the sanctions imposed on Serbia, and for the brain-drain, wars, and refugees. She advocated respect for human rights, democratic governance and a fair transition. After the establishment of the expert network G17, in 1999, she became a member, and in 2002, when this network grew into a political party a member of that party as the president of the Savski Venac Municipal Committee for a time and a member of the party's Main Committee.

After the departure of Prof. Miroljub Labus, the founder of G17+ from the party, in 2006, she left the party.  

At the invitation of the then Deputy President A. Vucic, today the president of both SPP and Serbia, in 2010 she joined the newly established political party, the Serbian Progressive Party, to contribute with her knowledge and experience on the path to a more modern and developed Serbia.

After the parliamentary and presidential elections, when Tomislav Nikolic, President of the SPP, defeated Boris Tadic, the then President of Serbia and President of the Democratic Party, SPP becomes the ruling party.

She was appointed Minister of Energy, Development and Environmental Protection in 2012. She is remembered for the new law on energy, social maps in energy, but also for trying to remove the intermediary non-transparent companies RST and Jugorosgaz from the gas procurement cycle, as well as for the new document of the NIS Development Strategy.

She was then in 2014 appointed Deputy Prime Minister of Serbia and Minister of Construction, Transport and Infrastructure. During her term in this Ministry the following was completed: the construction of the highway - road corridor 10, both the eastern and southern arms, the Milos the Great highway, over 330 km of highways, the construction of the Morava and Fruska Gora corridors, the fast road Ruma-Šabac-Loznica, the first phase of the development of the Nis Merdare Pristina highway, the reconstruction of over 550 km of railways and a further developed airport network, the concession for the most important Nikola Tesla airport, where the value of all projects in the Ministry's portfolio amounted to EUR 16 billion. A particularly important historical reform took place in the construction sector, when, with the adoption of the new Law on Planning and Construction, Serbia introduced electronic building permits, and moved from a shameful 186th to 9th place in the world on the World Bank's Doing Business list. This resulted in over 30 000 new construction sites compared to 1200 that were active in 2012.

In October 2020, she was appointed Minister of Mining and Energy and Deputy Prime Minister of Serbia. In less than two years, the process of energy transition and decarbonization was initiated, and a set of laws in mining and energy was adopted, harmonized with global and European standards, of which especially important are the Law on the Use of Renewable Energy Sources (which, among other things, introduced the institute of the producer-consumer of electricity for the first time and recognized hydrogen as a renewable energy source), and the Law on Energy Efficiency and Rational Use of Energy. The National Energy Rehabilitation Program for Residential Buildings, Family Houses and apartments was launched, which supported households with subsidies from the state and local self-governments to replace old windows and doors, improve insulation, replace boilers or install solar panels. In the first year, about 25,000 households were covered by this program.

She chaired the Joint Group for the Improvement of Business Conditions and Attraction of New Investments in the Republic of Serbia, and was the Deputy Chairperson of the Working Group for the Implementation of the Recommendations from the White Paper of the Council of Foreign Investors, and was a member of the Management Board of the Development Fund from 2014 to 2022.

She performed the work of the President of the Management Board and working groups for monitoring the implementation of projects for the development of the integrated national energy and climate plan of the Republic of Serbia for the period 2021-2030, with a vision until 2050 (within the project Further development of capacities for energy planning, IPA 2017.

In addition, she performed the work of the President of the Council of the Government of Serbia for issuing opinions regarding the operation of thermal power plants and replacement capacities from all energy sources by 2050, and the National Coalition for the Reduction of Energy Poverty. She also chaired the working group for monitoring activities on the realization of the Project for the Construction of Energy Efficiency Facilities at the Military Medical Academy, and was the president of the Coordination Body for Supporting the Monitoring of Project Implementation, Investments in the Reconstruction and/or Construction of Clinical Health Centers from 2018 to 2019.

Along with professional commitment and duties in the Government of Serbia, as a fighter for human and women's rights, prof. PhD Zorana Z. Mihajlovic, in 2014 initiated the establishment of the Gender Equality Coordination Body and headed it from its formation until October 2022. In addition, she was appointed as an envoy of the Government of Serbia for issues of sexual violence in conflicts, as well as a member of the Council of the Government for the Suppression of Domestic Violence.

She initiated the formation of the National Coalition to End Child Marriage and served as co-chair.

She was an initiator of the need to draft a new modern law on gender equality adopted by the Serbian Parliament in 2021, and gender-sensitive language and gender-responsive budgeting since 2015, which has recognized Serbia as an example of great practice globally.

In particular, she addressed and created conditions for a better life of women in the countryside, over 60% of whom do not have regular income or pension rights. Together with the representatives of NALED, she launched the initiative Let's employ a thousand women and in less than three years over 1000 women from rural areas have found jobs.

From 2018 to 2020, she was a member of the World Bank Advisory Board on Gender Equality and Development, which reviews progress in this area at the global level.

As Deputy Prime Minister, she was in charge of coordinating the work of state bodies and the non-governmental sector in relation to the improvement of the position of Roma on behalf of the Government of Serbia since 2015, and since 2017-2021 she was the head of the Coordination Body for monitoring the implementation of the Strategy for the Social Inclusion of Roma in Serbia, performing the work of the national focal point for this area.

Prof. PhD. Zorana Z. Mihajlovic was twice elected Reformer of the Year by the National Alliance for Local Economic Development (NALED). For the first time, she received an award in 2014 for comprehensive reforms in issuing construction permits, and for the second time, the Reformer of 2016 was awarded for a decade-long reforms in this field.

Prof. PhD. Zorana Z. Mihajlovic is the founder of the NGO Women's Government, a member of the European Movement in Serbia, as well as the organization East West Bridge, and one of the founders of the Congress of Serbian-American Friendship. At the end of 2019, she was elected a member of the Employers' Council of the Faculty of Economics of the University of Belgrade, and in August 2021, she was elected president of the Assembly of the National Petroleum Committee of Serbia, which is a part of the world oil federation.

She's the mother of a child.

She speaks English.



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