zUZAna palovic/BA, MS, PhD
Central Eastern Europe and Migration Expert
“Who rules Eastern Europe commands the heartland, who rules the heartland commands the world” - Sir Halford Mackinder, the founding father of geopolitics
Dr Palovic is a Central Eastern European and migration expert. Born behind the Iron Curtain, her family fled the Communist regime as political refugees before becoming naturalized citizens in Canada. Born in the ‘East’ but raised in the ‘West’, Zuzana's hybrid identity allows her to implicitly understand and embody the perspectives of both worlds. Zuzana considers herself to be lucky to be alive at this point in history. Hoisted at the cusp of change, she feels the planet is at its most accelerated societal evolution yet.
None better personified then in her native heart of Europe, the epicenter of transformation, regime change and condensed history. It is the experience of originating from this very legacy, at the crossroads of two colliding civilizations, that enriches her personal outlook. An understanding that gave rise to her deep commitment to help bridge East and West, by identifying and mapping points of convergence.
Her professional expertise builds upon her extensive academic research on the aforementioned geopolitical context. However, Dr Palovic's work delves deeper than that of most CEE experts. Dubbed by the author as the ‘final frontier of transition’, Zuzana’s research explores ‘mental revolution’. Arguing that top-down political, economic and institutional change is ultimately dependent on the evolution of the individual. If there is not a ‘freeing of minds’ then the newly freed societies of Europe’s border will remain ‘democracies without democrats’, echoing the words of visionary Tomas Masaryk, the 1st President of Czechoslovakia.
Zuzana’s greatest strength is her cosmopolitan identity. She is fluent in English, French and Slovak, having lived in 9 countries and across 4 continents. Her global-scope is further strengthened by her international education. Dr Palovic holds a Bachelor’s degree from Southern Illinois University in the USA, a Master’s degree in migration from the University of Amsterdam in Holland and a PhD from the University of Surrey in the UK.
Together, these components provide her with strong foundations that she leverages in her consultancy work. Her organic communication, networking and persuasion skills complement her academic training and knowledge. Her wide ranging international exposure, unique pedigree and ability to understand both Eastern and Western perspectives, allows her to recognize blind spots and anticipate points of tension. Helping her clients to easily align perspectives across diverging industries, governments, cultures and nationalities to mutual benefit.
Her motto is: win-win.