Semir Tanovic


Semir Tanovic was born in Zenica and grew up in Mostar. He graduated from the Department of the Arabic and English Language and Civilization of the Faculty of Philosophy in Sarajevo. In 1986 he worked as an Arabic translator in Tripoli, Libya. In 1987, he got his first employment in the tourism sector, in Dubrovnik company DTS, where he first worked as a tour guide, and then as a tour director. In 1989, he opened a private travel agency in Dubrovnik (the second agency registered in Yugoslavia) called Dubrovnik Advanced Service. At the end of the war in BiH, he worked for the International Rescue Committee (IRC) as the Head of Office Herzegovina. He then moved with his family to New York, where he worked at the IRC headquarters. When he arrived in NYC, while working for IRC, he opened private travel agency, DAS Travel, together with his business partner from Dubrovnik. The two agencies organized group trips across Europe for many large and medium-sized tour operators in the USA. The agency was sold in 2019. During his work in the IRC he covered the following regions in various roles: the Balkans, the countries of the former Soviet Union, Asia and East Africa. He became Global Procurement Director of the IRC. In 2016 he left the IRC and moved to Vital Strategies, a global medical NGO in NYC, where he was Senior Vice President for Global Operations. In 2019, he transferred to The Rockefeller Foundation as Managing Director at the Foundation’s headquarters. He lives in NYC.