Valon Xharra was born on July 20, 1979 in the capital of Kosova, Prishtina. He studied one year of German Language at the Prishtina University and on September 2002, transferred to Bard College in the US where he is currently pursuing his degree in Political Sciences.
With the escalation of Kosova conflict in the beginning of 1998, Valon started working for the U.S. Kosova Diplomatic Observer Mission (US KDOM) as a political/field assistant. US KDOM was tasked by State Department to observe and report on various aspects of the increasingly tense Kosova conflict, investigate reports of mass-murders and the escalation of humanitarian crisis. The start of NATO bombing in March '99 found Valon and his family as refugees, fleeing into the mountains of Albania together with several hundred thousand Kosovar Albanians in attempt to escape the ethnic cleansing campaign conducted by the ferocious Milosevic regime. While in Albania, Valon continued to assist US diplomatic efforts in following the Kosova humanitarian crises. After 76 days of bombing, Milosevic succumbed to the demands of the international community, consequently withdrawing all Serb military forces from Kosova. Together with 800,000 Kosovar Albanians, Valon returned to Kosova where he continued to work as a political assistant for the U.S. Diplomatic Office until August 2002.
Valon is also a certified trainer in mediation after studying in the Council of Europe-sponsored alternative dispute resolution seminars. He helped found a "Young Mediators Network" in the Balkans region that will offer the public an alternative to going to court over legal disputes. The "Young Mediators Network" brought together young people from the post-war countries.
Moderator: Session III