Mirela has a BA in psychology and educational sciences from the Babes-Bolyai University (Cluj-Napoca, Romania), an MA in EU integration policies and a PhD in international cooperation and sustainable development from the University of Bologna (Italy). Mirela started to volunteer for social causes in her home city (Sibiu) when she was a teenager. In 2004 Mirela became a Soros Foundation fellow with Pro Vobis, the National Volunteer Center, where she developed a training department for volunteer managers. Currently Mirela co-ordinates a regional project (including Romania, Serbia, Albania, Armenia, Georgia and Azerbaijan) aimed at strengthening the coordination of civil society organisations to lobby collectively for a continuum of community-based care for vulnerable children in the Wider Black Sea area. In line with her genuine commitment for social activism, Mirela is now the President of ARCADIA, the first Romanian professional association with a specific focus on the field of international development. Mirela is a research-oriented person and her research interests include: civil society development, coalition-building, Romania's status as a donor country, and Romania’s relations with the developing countries (from the 70s to the present). Mirela loves reading, storytelling, travelling and writing about her trips.