Iliana Sarafian joined the Open Society Early Childhood Program in late September 2014 as a program officer to work on the early childhood intervention portfolio and the Roma Initiative.
Sarafian comes to the Open Society Foundations from the Lumos Foundation in the United Kingdom, where she worked as a research and publications officer. Sarafian has also worked for the Ethos Foundation (Bulgaria/Switzerland), the Ministry of Health in Bulgaria, and the United Nations Development Program, and interned at the Council of Europe.
Of Roma background, Sarafian has devoted her work to ensuring that Roma children, children with disabilities, and children in institutional care have access to adequate education, health, and social services. Sarafian has an MA from the University of Oxford focusing on gender and development and is pursuing a doctorate in anthropology at the University of London. Her doctoral research concentrates on childhood, poverty, and ethnicity in Roma communities in Bulgaria and the Czech Republic.