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Erion Veliaj was elected as the 42nd Mayor of Tirana in June 2015. His leadership of Tirana has been by far marked by the implementation of policies aimed at transforming Tirana into a child-friendly city as he believes that given that children are quick to embrace new ideas, they are the best allies one can have in trying to build a greener, more humane and more sustainable city. Prior to his tenure, Veliaj served as a Member of Parliament and Minister of Social Welfare and Youth from 2013 through 2015. At the time, he introduced sweeping reforms on pensions, welfare payments, employment opportunities and professional education. For the first time, Veliaj structured the Socialist Party’s branches in countries where the Albanian Diaspora resides and successfully contributed to the organization of the voting process of the Albanian immigrants in the 2013 elections. Before joining the ranks of the Socialist Party in 2011, Veliaj had a long experience as the leader and founder of the movement “MJAFT”, a civic organization which gained huge popularity for its novel methods of peaceful protest. Veliaj holds a Master’s degree in European Integration from the University of Sussex and a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the Grand Valley State University.