Tihomir Kukolja talks about growing up in the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. He describes the shockingly sudden rise of ethnic nationalism after the death of Yugoslavia’s long time leader, Josip Bros Tito, and the resulting devastating wars and genocide there in the 1990s. He also tells the story of the founding of the ROM Leadership Development and Peace Gathering in the immediate aftermath and its transformative work for the past 19 years with young leaders in the polarized Balkan region.
Tihomir Kukolja serves as the Executive Director of Forum for Leadership and Reconciliation (FLR) and Director of Renewing Our Minds (ROM). Tihomir was born in Slavonska Pozega, Croatia in 1954. He has studied, lived and worked in Yugoslavia, Croatia, the United Kingdom, Australia and the US. His education includes theology, communications, and radio journalism. In the past he has worked as a church pastor, media professional, radio producer and presenter, journalist, religious liberty activist, and reconciliation and leadership development activist. His resides in Baytown TX, USA with professional ties with Seattle WA and Fuzine, Croatia.