Elena Tosheva is not only one of the newest members of the JA Worldwide Board of Governors, she’s also a JA alumnus and the first one to be given this honor. Born in Bulgaria, Elena participated in the JA Company Program as a teenager, which was her first introduction to the world of entrepreneurship. Passionate about building high-impact communities and empowering people to create and innovate as entrepreneurs, she has worked in tech, NGOs, and academia, striving to create scalable solutions for today’s most pressing challenges.
Today, Elena is Brand Marketing Manager at Google, where she builds greater trust and stronger relationships with key opinion formers and partners across the EU. She leads the Brand and Reputation strategy in Brussels on key topics and helps to shape Google’s company-wide programs across Europe.
Before joining Google, Elena was part of the startup team behind City.AI, a platform for applied artificial intelligence. As the Global Head of Community, she built the global network, spanning across 70+ cities on six continents with thousands of active members from academia, business, and governments. Previously, she oversaw the Techstars Startup Programs across Europe and has supported the growth of startup communities in 140+ European cities.
Elena has been an active JA alumnus and volunteer since 2006. She served as president of JA Alumni Europe from 2012–2014 and is an active JA Alumni Honoris member. A group of JA alumni from Europe who have achieved something extraordinary in the fields of entrepreneurship or business or within the JA alumni network, Honoris aim to improve the recognition of the JA alumni brand and to continue giving back to JA as mentors, advisors, volunteers and donors. In 2019, the Honoris gifted €55,000 to JA Worldwide in recognition of JA’s Centennial.
As a member of the JA Worldwide Board of Governors, Elena represents JA alumni around the world and brings both student and alumni perspectives to the decision-making table. She will also serve on the JA Board Marketing Committee.
"I was very lucky to be part of a JA program as a teenager,” Elena said. “I wish for all young people to have a similar opportunity. My JA experience helped me cultivate constant curiosity, while building up my self confidence and resilience early on. I believe that JA empowers the new generations to build a better world. And I am thrilled to continue supporting its ever-more relevant mission by joining the Board of Governors."