Akan Ismaili became ambassador of Kosovo to the United States on May 2, 2012.
A former telecommunications entrepreneur and chief executive officer, Ambassador Ismaili co-founded Internet Project Kosovo (IPKO), a nonprofit dedicated to promoting the use of information and communications technology as a tool to foster rebuilding and development in Kosovo after the NATO campaign ended in 1999. IPKO has been credited with bringing the Internet to Kosovo. In 2001, IPKO split into two entities: IPKOnet and IPKO Institute, and Ambassador Ismaili served as the CEO of IPKOnet, a company that expanded access to broadband, mobile, fixed telephone and television in Kosovo. Over his 10-year tenure, IPKO became a modern enterprise and is now recognized as one of the fastest-growing telecommunications companies in Europe and a pillar of the new economy in Kosovo. During the same time, Ambassador Ismaili founded the American University Foundation in Kosovo, which draws support from Kosovar citizens and its Diaspora to establish an American-style higher education institution in Kosovo. To date, the foundation has raised more than $8 million, which it has used for programs in conjunction with New York’s Rochester Institute of Technology. Prior to the war, Ambassador Ismaili managed IT infrastructure for the U.S. diplomatic office in Pristina, serving as a translator for U.S. diplomats when the war started. Just before the NATO bombing campaign began, Ambassador Ismaili was evacuated to Vienna, where he led a team of four people tasked with translating and distributing U.S. government news articles to the Albanian-language media in the region and at refugee camps.
Ambassador Ismaili studied computer science in Pristina until 1994, when he set up the city’s first e-mail server, which played a central role in helping the opposition organize against the old regime. His work has been featured by the Advocacy Project, WIRED and the New York Times.
Embassy of the Republic of Kosovo
1101 30th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20007
Phone: (202) 380-3581
Fax: (202) 380-3628