Of Albanian nationality, Mihallaq Qirjo holds a PhD in applied ecology and has been involved in the environmental field since 1990. He was appointed head of the REC’s country office in Albania in 1994. In this role, he is involved in the design and implementation of environmental programmes and projects at national and regional level, with a focus on the development of environmental policies and institutions, capacity building, education and awareness raising. He is also a lecturer in ecology at Tirana University’s Faculty of Natural Sciences. He was appointed acting deputy executive director for environmental policy in September 2016.