As the first Executive Director of PASOS (Policy Association for an Open Society), Jeff conceived and implemented seminars training think-tank directors and their staff in strategic communications, developed an advocacy handbook for civil society on influencing EU policymaking, and oversaw the emergence of PASOS as one of the leading civil society networks in the region.

PASOS is a network of independent policy centres spanning 28 countries in Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia.

The Executive Director’s responsibilities include: 
* Preparing overall strategy and institutional development; fundraising and donor relations.
* Organising policy research (including designing project methodology), conferences, training seminars, fellowships.
* Managing Secretariat staff, and managing and evaluating international projects.
* Managing advocacy work and relations with other networks, governments, and opinion-formers.
* Maintaining network communications and supervising organisation of Board and General Assembly meetings.
* Annual budget (grown from € 172,000 in 2005 to average of € 550,000 in 2010-2015) and work-plan.


Jeff took strategic leadership in projects and civil society development in the Western Balkans and in the EU’s eastern neighbours (in 2011-12 he successfully lobbied the European Commission to launch the European Neighbourhood Policy Civil Society Facility), and diversified the funding base of PASOS.

Highlights included:
  • Designed and led key projects, resulting for example in a breakthrough in relations between the Eastern Partner countries and the EU (with projects on free trade agreements and visa-free travel, preparing the countries' policymakers for integration with the EU)
  • Developed PASOS as a leading regional civil society network (served twice as co-Chair of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum, and put the Open Government Partnership on the agenda in the Western Balkans, resulting in the first annual OGP Balkans Dialogue conference in 2015)
  • Secured funding for a € 960,000 project on the Open Government Partnership in south-east Europe, a € 1 million grant for strengthening civil society monitoring of public service delivery in the Eastern Partner countries, and a four-year contract to provide foreign policy expertise to the European Parliament’s Committee on Foreign Affairs. Under his leadership, in 2015 PASOS achieved Transparify’s top (five-star) rating for funding transparency of think-tanks.

Selection of Projects Developed and Managed at PASOS:

Partners in Empowerment, 2015-2018. A mentoring programme to strengthen civil society organisations' ability to monitor public service delivery. The project includes webinars (budget: € 1.1 million, including € 600,000 in re-granting, funded by the European Commission). Country coverage: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Moldova, Ukraine.

Advocacy for Open Government: Right to Know in South East Europe, 2012-2016. The project, funded by the European Commission (budget: € 960,000), monitors the impact of polices and develops commitments under the Open Government Partnership initiative: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia.

Research Networks to Provide Foreign Policy Expertise - EU Enlargement, Eastern Neighbourhood, Russia and Central Asia, 2014-2018. This € 380,000 contract with the Directorate-General for External Policies of the European Parliament concerns provision of policy analysis for the Parliament's Committee on Foreign Affairs (AFET).

Internet Freedom Reports – Visegrad Four countries, 2014. Jeff Lovitt designed the methodology, identified the country partners, and edited the reports in this project, funded by Google Europe (budget € 36,000).  

Enlargement and Citizenship: Looking to the Future, 2013 – 2014. The project, funded by the European Commission, assessed the level of engagement of new EU member states in EU policymaking through analysis and opinion surveys, and organised citizens' taskforces and public seminars in new member states and accession countries in the Western Balkans.
Linking Change-Makers in the Middle East and North Africa with Democratic Reformers of Post-Communist (Central and Eastern) Europe, 2011-2012. The project, funded by US National Endowment for Democracy (budget: € 45 000), forged co-operation between Egyptian and CEE policy centres on gender policy and security sector reform.

Monitoring of Eastern Partnership Roadmap Implementation May 2012 – October 2013. Jeff Lovitt designed the methodology and served as Editor-in-Chief of civil society monitoring of progress in implementation of the EU roadmaps for the six Eastern Partner countries. The project was carried out for the Regional Environmental Centre (Moldova) and the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum.

Opening the Doors of Policy-Making: Central Asia and South Caucasus, 2010 – 2012.
PASOS undertook needs assessments and skills development training for CSO actors and public officials, and a mentoring fellowship scheme supported civil society experts in writing individual policy papers (funded by United Nations Democracy Fund, budget: € 254,000). 

Fostering and Monitoring Roadmaps towards Visa Liberalisation between Eastern Partnership Countries and EU Member States, 2010 – 2012. A project analysing the preparedness of Eastern Partner countries to meet the criteria in terms of technical, legislative and political measures for the lifting of visa requirements on travel to the EU's Schengen area. The project put the issue on the agenda of think-tanks and governments in the region, not least in Moldova, which achieved visa-free travel to the EU in May 2014 (funded by Open Society Foundations, budget: € 233,000).

Monitoring Western Balkans progress in fulfilling EU roadmaps for visa-free travel, 2008 – 2009. A project analysing the preparedness of Western Balkans countries to meet the criteria in terms of technical, legislative and political measures for the lifting of visa requirements on travel to the EU's Schengen area. The project included advocacy to push governments to make the reforms. Visa-free travel was granted to Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia from January 2010, and to Albania and Bosnia and Herzegovina from December 2010 (funded by Open Society Foundations).

Eastern Partnership Policy Bridging, 2009. This project, designed to support joint policy projects between think-tanks from the Eastern Partnership countries and EU think-tanks, involved re-granting to independent think-tanks in Moldova, Georgia, and Azerbaijan on trade policies, including studies on economic integration with the EU, policy convergence in trade, and an examination of the impact of visa-free travel with the EU on Moldova's economy (funded by Open Society Foundations).

The Challenge of European Development Co-operation Policy for New Member States, a PASOS report for the European Parliament, and Democracy's New Champions. European Democracy Assistance after EU Enlargement, a PASOS study into the democracy assistance policies of the Visegrad Four countries, funded by the International Visegrad Fund and Open Society Foundations, 2007 – 2008.