Dr Dimitrina Petrova is the initiator and leader of BOLD (Bulgarians Organizing for Liberal Democracy). She developed the concept for BOLD during her six-month staying as a Reagan-Fascell Fellow at the National Endowment for Democracy in Washington DC, USA, in 2018. In 2017-2020 Dimitrina was the Programme Director of SOS Children’s Villages, an organisation that combines the delivery of social services for children with child rights advocacy. Prior to that, Dimitrina co-founded and developed two strong and influential international human rights organisations, the Equal Rights Trust based in London, UK (2006-2016) and the European Roma Rights Centre based in Budapest, Hungary (1996-2006). During her work at the Equal Rights Trust she has developed large-scale multi-year anti-discrimination projects in 46 countries around the world, including Belarus, China, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Iran, Kenya, Malaysia, Myanmar, Russia, Sudan, Ukraine and the countries of Central Asia, among others. She has been a consultant to a number of international organizations, including the UN, the EU, the Council of Europe and the World Bank.
Dimitrina has taught as a visiting professor at a number of universities, and had long-term engagements at the University of Oregon (Eugene, Oregon, USA), the Central European University (Budapest), the College of Europe (Warsaw campus). In 2010 she received an Eric Lane Fellowship from Clare College, Cambridge (UK) for her work on social justice in healthcare. In 1992, Dimitrina founded and led the first national Roma human rights organization in Europe, the Human Rights Project, based in Sofia, Bulgaria. From 1982 to 1995 she taught philosophy at the Kliment Okhridski University of Sofia. In 1990-1991 she was a Member of Parliament in the Seventh Grand National Assembly, representing Ecoglasnost, a dissident environmental group in the last years of Communist rule. Dimitrina received her doctorate degree in Bulgaria (1994), with a dissertation on “Utopia and value rationality.” She has over 150 scholarly publications and essays in the fields of equality, human rights, Bulgarian history, and on a wide range of socio-political topics. She was the editor-in-chief of The Equal Rights Review and Roma Rights. She is the recipient of several international awards in recognition of her achievements in the democracy and human rights movement.