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THE COURAGE TO BE A WOMAN IN SCIENCE Interview with Prof. Poliya Katzamunska


Dr. Polya Katsamunska received her BA (Hons) in English and Bulgarian Languages from “Konstantin Preslavsky” University, Shoumen, BG (1995) and her MD in International Business from “D. А. Tsenov” Academy of Economics, Svishtov, BG (2000). She was awarded PhD in Public Administration from the University of National and World Economy, Sofia, BG in 2006, where she is currently a full-time professor at Public Administration Department, Faculty of Management and Administration.

She is one of the most prominent scholars of public administration in Bulgaria and has published in several highly regarded books and journals that have been well received internationally. She has been invited to lecture at prominent universities in Western Europe, Latin America and the United States.

Dr. Katsamunska serves as a member of the International Commission on Accreditation of Public Administration Education and Training (2013-2019), (2020-Present), which is based on the standards set jointly by the Division of Public Administration and Development Management of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN/DPADM) and the International Association of Schools and Institutes of Administration (IASIA). She has participated in a number of accreditation programs offered by the most prominent schools and departments all over the world. She is also a principal representative and member of NISPAcee Network of Institutes and Schools of Public Administration in Central and Eastern Europe in Bratislava, Slovak Republic.


Prof. Poliya Katzamunska is the first Bulgarian woman who was Awarded the 8th Venus International Women Awards (VIWA 2023) from the Governing Council of the Venus International Foundation, Chennai, India receiving the prestigious award “Outstanding Woman Researcher in Public Administration”.

How to present such personality? During the interview I realized that some persons couldn’t be described in a traditional way. So, we will publish some of the topics of our friendly conversation. This is not the standard procedure to present this outstanding woman in the shape of an interview.

I tried to discover her personality as a scientist, a leader, a woman, a mother, a partner…

First steps in science…

From Lovech to the global stage.

She finished the high school with English in the beginning of 90`s. She pursued her education completing bachelor’s degree in English and Bulgarian Languages from Konstantin Preslavsky” University, Shoumen. Her second degree in International Business plays a main role in her academic career. To the question Why in academic environment, she said “It was a destiny!”, and in a simply and modest manner she began her story.

“I am proud to be a product of the past Bulgarian Educational system! … Every beginning is hard and unclear especially for the young woman. One of the reasons to reject the first invitation from Prof. Popov to become his assistant.”

She describes herself as a strong and ambition woman, and her aim to prove herself was the main reason to continue with the academic career.

“My parents let me to find my way by myself!”

The next step: How to pursue my academic career and meanwhile to be a mother and a spouse?

“Without of the support of my family I couldn’t complete all of that!”, and her secret: “Conversation… To keep the traditions and family values… To be a role model for my child…

"Exactly the motherhood was my stimulus for professional and personal growth!"

The Challenges to be at the Global stage in science

Dr. Katsamunska serves as a member of the International Commission on Accreditation of Public Administration Education and Training (2013-2019), (2020-Present), which is based on the standards set jointly by the Division of Public Administration and Development Management of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN/DPADM) and the International Association of Schools and Institutes of Administration (IASIA). She has participated in several accreditation programs offered by the most prominent schools and departments all over the world. She is also a principal representative and member of NISPAcee Network of Institutes and Schools of Public Administration in Central and Eastern Europe in Bratislava, Slovak Republic.

“In professional and in personal aspects such position is a huge responsibility, and I have to meet all the standards! Science could be an open door for some of us to the world, but I feel better myself here in Bulgaria. The thought to escape wasn`t never a dilemma for me!”

Her passion…

As a professional to teach and to be among the young persons…

In a summer to watch the sea from the balcony of our small apartment…

But the main priority is my family!

India – unknown destination

In her modest way Polya talk on her election for the award “Outstanding Woman Researcher in Public Administration”. “It was a fall of 2022, and I received an email from India with the preposition to participate in the election for the 8th Venus International Women Awards (VIWA 2023) from the Governing Council of the Venus International Foundation. Till nowadays I haven`t a professional relation with Indian institution. So, I fulfilled the form for participation prepared my CV and the required documents, and really, I was extremely surprised to receive an official letter for this award.

India was successful and exciting experience!

To be elected among the global competition… It`s an honor but binding and responsible, and the responsibility is always personal!

The science is unreachable space… without any boundaries.

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