Ilona Filimonova has five years of experience in the nonprofit sector. She obtained a Bachelor of Political Science from National Research University in the Higher School of Economics in Moscow, Russia, with a dual Master of Arts (Euroculture) from the University of Groningen, the Netherlands, and Uppsala University, Sweden. Thus, she received a prestigious European Commission scholarship for European Neighborhood Policy countries and Russia. For the last four years, Ilona has been working as Head of Public Relations at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Russia. She was responsible for implementation of communications strategy, maintaining partner relations, promoting the organization’s mission and supporting volunteers through engaging events and trainings. She served as a Big Sister herself, mentoring a 13-year-old girl living in one of Moscow’s orphanage. Ilona has also helped improve BBBS of Russia’s image as a transparent and trustworthy nonprofit. She has increased its visibility for the public, resulting in attracting a steady inflow of volunteers and establishing successful partnerships. Ilona’s previous experience includes an internship for Council of the Baltic Sea States, and Children at Risk Unit, in Sweden. She carried out a research project on early childhood interventions in the Baltic Sea region. Ilona is particularly interested in social interventions and has a strong passion for volunteering for the girls’ empowerment and youth development.

Host Organization: Taproot Foundation

 Role at Host Organization: As a Taproot Foundation DC Program Manager, Ilona will be guiding programs bringing capacity building support to hundreds of the region’s nonprofits every year. To achieve this, she will collaborate with a strong program team and tap into a talent pool of over one thousand professionals donating their expertise as pro bono consultants.