Costel brings a wealth of experience from the CSO sector. He began his career as a human rights activist with Romani CRISS in1997, the primary NGO in Romania fighting for Roma rights. He became the Executive Director of the organization at only 23 and managed it successfully for 5 years.
From there he made the step towards international work, serving for the next 10 years as Chairperson of the Roma Education Fund, a European-wide initiative founded by George Soros and The World Bank which oversaw a fund of over 50 million USD. As an international consultant, he has provided technical assistance in policy development on social inclusion for several countries in the Western Balkans, commissioned by different international organizations including OSCE, the World Bank and the Council of Europe.