Matej Zakonjšek is an experienced government and private-sector leader dedicated to supporting the integration of Western Balkans’ transport markets into the European Union. He began his career as a diplomatic attaché at the permanent representation of Slovenia to the European Union, focusing on the enlargement process of the EU. During the Slovenian Presidency of the Council of the European Union in 2008, his focus was the European Union’s relations with Asia and Oceania, including 27 countries and six regional organisations. Subsequently, Mr Zakonjšek joined the Embassy of Slovenia in London, where he worked on economic and trade cooperation between the United Kingdom and Slovenia. He also assisted the representative of Slovenia to the International Maritime Organization. In 2011, he ventured into the private sector as General Manager for the Indian multinational CKGS, initially based in London, overseeing the European region, and later in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, where he was responsible for the Middle East and North Africa markets. Returning to Slovenia in 2014, Mr Zakonjšek joined the Cabinet of Prime Minister Miro Cerar as a Foreign Trade and Cooperation Advisor. In 2015 he was appointed Head of Cabinet for the EU Commissioner for Transport. In this role, he led and organised the cabinet, supporting the Commissioner in formulating, communicating, and implementing EU transport policy. In December 2019, Mr Zakonjšek joined the European Commission’s Directorate for Mobility and Transport, focusing on the EU’s transport relations with the countries of the Western Balkans. Following a positive opinion from the Ministerial Council of the Transport Community, he was appointed the first Director of the Transport Community Permanent Secretariat on 6 July 2020. Based on the proposal of the European Commission and following the positive opinion of the Ministerial Council of the Transport Community, the Regional Steering Committee has decided to renew Mr Zakonjšek’s mandate for a period of three years, starting from August 2023.