Velma Šarić is a researcher, journalist, peacebuilding expert, and human rights defender from Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. Velma has over 15 years of work experience and is currently, the Founder and President of the Post-Conflict Research Center, Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Balkan Diskurs, and Project Manager of WARM Foundation, Bosnia Branch.
Velma graduated with a BA honors in Political Science from the University of Sarajevo. At the beginning of her career, Velma worked for five years as a researcher at the Institute for Research of Crimes against Humanity and International Law in Sarajevo, primarily focusing on investigating the crime of genocide and other mass atrocities.
She is a journalist, trained at the BBC Reporting School. As a journalist at the Institute for War and Peace Reporting (IWPR) in London and the Hague, Velma spent eight years reporting on war crimes trials and investigating transitional justice processes in the former Yugoslavia. Additionally, she spent three years working as a court reporter at the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network and Association of Court Reporters in Bosnia and Herzegovina, covering court procedures at the local and national levels.
As a researcher and producer, Velma has worked on numerous publications and films about the 1992-1995 Bosnian war, including Uspomene 677, Ordinary Heroes, In the Land of Blood and Honey by Angelina Jolie, I Came to Testify and War Redefined from the PBS series Women, War & Peace.
Velma is a Columbia University fellow, having attended the Alliance for Historical Dialogue and Accountability Fellowship Program. In addition, she is a fellow of the Robert Bosch Foundation and the Global Post’s GroundTruth Project.
Velma and PCRC were awarded the Intercultural Innovation Award by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) and the BMW Group. Velma is mentee of the Vital Voices' Global Ambassadors Program and is currently the only Bosnian to be a part of the VV100 – a group of the 100 most engaged and visionary women within the Vital Voices Global Leadership Network. Most recently, PCRC and Velma have been chosen as Peace Ambassadors by the Centre for Peace Studies Sri Lanka. Velma is the first and only person from Bosnia and Western Balkans to be selected for this honorable position.