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LEADERSHIP

Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Food Ms. Aleksandra Pivec, PhD

Dr. Aleksandra Pivec was born in 26 March 1972 in Ptuj. In 1999 she graduated from the Faculty of Chemistry and Chemical Technology of the University of Ljubljana, where she later obtained her PhD degree in chemical engineering, writing her thesis on the subject of the optimisation of wine fermentation processes.

 

She began her career as a professional research assistant at the Faculty for Chemistry and Chemical Technology in Ljubljana and at the Scientific Research Centre Bistra Ptuj.

 

During her 17 years at the Scientific Research Centre Bistra Ptuj she was involved in the design, management and coordination of national and international development, as well as research and application projects. As the director of the institution (from 2011 to 2017) she focused on its management and planning, along with the preparation and implementation of activities aimed at fostering local and regional development of the statistic region Spodnje Podravje. She further strove to create synergies between research and education communities (faculties, institutes, R&D institutions) and business entities for the effective transfer of knowledge into the economy. 

 

Pivec was actively involved in the outlining of development strategies in various fields for a number of local and regional stakeholders, the preparation and management of scientific and research projects, the drafting of publications, as well as the acquisition of EU funds. Due to her large number of completed projects, she has an in-depth knowledge of the functioning of the EU institutions and the drawing on the EU funds.

 

As a consultant for technology transfer she has been working in the field of business consulting, implementation and technology transfer from the scientific and research institutions into the private sector. She has given numerous lectures on regional development, development of new products and drawing on EU funds, as well as on the successful preparation of projects and project management.
 
In September 2016 she joined the Office of the Republic of Slovenia for Slovenians Abroad, where she held the position of state secretary from September 2017 to September  2018. She was responsible for developing and supporting synergies between the interests and activities of Slovenians abroad and their homeland in the areas of culture, education, economy, youth activities, and EU cooperation.

 

On 13 September 2018 the National Assembly of the Republic of Slovenia appointed her as the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Food.

State Secretary Ms. Tanja Strniša, MSc

Tanja Strniša was born on 21 November 1962 in Novo mesto. She attended primary school in Dolenjske Toplice and secondary school in Novo mesto. In 1986, she graduated in agronomy from the Biotechnical Faculty, University of Ljubljana, where she also obtained her master's degree in agricultural entrepreneurship in 1995.  

 

She first worked as a technologist and adviser on fruit-growing in Krka-Novo mesto Agricultural Cooperative, and continued her career in agriculture as a specialist in agricultural economics at Novo mesto Department of Ljubljana Agricultural Institute.

 

In 2001, she took up employment with the Government Office for European Affairs, first as an adviser on the coordination of Slovenia's preparations for EU accession in the areas of agriculture and fisheries, and later as the head of the project group for coordination of preparations and holding the EU Council Presidency, and the coordinator for the European Council and the General Affairs Council.   

 

From September 2008 to July 2009, she worked at the Slovenian Embassy in Prague where, among other tasks, she also advised the Presidency Secretariat in the Office of the Government of the Czech Republic on its EU Council Presidency.

 

In the second half of 2004, she headed the Office of Minister for Agriculture, Forestry and Food. Before becoming Deputy Director-General for Agriculture at the Ministry for Agriculture and the Environment, she was State Secretary at the Ministry of Agriculture, forestry and food from May 2010 to February 2012. In March 2013, Ms Tanja Strniša was again appointed State Secretary at the Ministry of Agriculture and the Environment by the Government of the Republic of Slovenia. She was  appointed State Secretary at the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food in September 2014 and September 2018.

 

She is fluent in English and has a passive knowledge of French and Croatian. She is married and has two children.

 

 

State Secretary Mr. Jože Podgoršek, PhD

Dr Jože Podgoršek was born on 17 March 1974 as the fourth child in a traditional farming family and grew up on the family farm.  Having an innate understanding of agriculture and working with the soil, he began his education at the Grm Secondary School of Agriculture and continued his studies at the Biotechnical Faculty, where he obtained his doctoral degree in agricultural economics.

 

He began his professional career in the economic sector, where he became well acquainted with vegetable production and the vegetable cultivation sector in Slovenia. While working at the company Zeleni hit d.o.o. from 1997 to 2004, he developed, together with his colleagues, the production of vegetables and introduced new technological solutions to Slovenian vegetable growing farms.

 

From 2004 to 2018 he was employed at Grm Novo Mesto – Centre for Biotechnics and Tourism (the former Grm School of Agriculture), where he became familiar with the functioning of the public sector. During his time at the school he headed a group for the reform of educational programmes in agriculture, helped establish and subsequently became head of the Grm Inter-Company Educational Centre, helped establish the Grm Research and Development Institute and was head of this Institute until September 2018, headed a working group for the preparation of starting points for the establishment of the Grm Landscape Governance College in Novo Mesto, where he served as the first Dean with full powers until his appointment as State Secretary.

 

In March 2015 he was appointed the first Food Supply Chain Relationships Ombudsman. His main tasks included monitoring actions by stakeholders in the food supply chain, raising awareness among purchasers of food in the food supply chain with regard to the legislative provisions and moral principles that apply to the purchase of food, raising awareness among producers and processors as intermediaries in the food supply chain with regard to the legislative frameworks for the sale and purchase of food and the rights of food sellers.

 

In September 2018 he was appointed State Secretary at the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food.