Experts & Staff


Tasnim Abderrahim

Visiting Fellow
Languages: English, French, Arabic
Areas of Expertise: North Africa migration

Rania Abouzeid

Visiting Fellow
Languages: English, Arabic
Areas of Expertise: Syria, Iraq

Asli Aydıntaşbaş

Senior Policy Fellow
Languages: English, Turkish, conversational French
Areas of Expertise: Turkey and Turkish politics, the Kurdish issue (in Turkey and Iraq), democracy, media freedoms

Julien Barnes-Dacey

Director, Middle East and North Africa programme
Languages: English, Arabic, French
Areas of Expertise: Middle East, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq

Adam Baron

Visiting Fellow
Languages: English (native), Arabic (conversational)
Areas of Expertise: Yemen, Arabian peninsula, War on Terror

Piotr Buras

Head, ECFR Warsaw
Languages: Polish, German, English
Areas of Expertise: Germany's EU and foreign policy, Poland in the EU, EU politics

Susi Dennison

Director, European Power programme
Languages: English and French
Areas of Expertise: Areas of expertise: European foreign and security policy strategy; politics, political movements and cohesion within the EU; Flexible Union, European refugee and migration policy; human rights, democracy and justice.

Sebastian Dullien

Senior Policy Fellow
Languages: English and German
Areas of Expertise: European integration, Financial market regulation

Anthony Dworkin

Senior Policy Fellow
Languages: English, conversational French
Areas of Expertise: Human rights, democracy, justice, North Africa (especially Egypt and Tunisia), war crimes, drones and counterterrorism, US foreign policy

Jasmine M. El-Gamal

Visiting Fellow
Languages: English, Arabic
Areas of Expertise: Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, Religious/violent extremism, Syrian refugees, US policy

Silvia Francescon

Head, ECFR Rome Office
Languages: Italian and English
Areas of Expertise: International relations, global governance, G8 and G20, environment and development

Ulrike Esther Franke

Policy Fellow
Languages: French, English, German
Areas of Expertise: German Foreign and Defence Policy, UAVs/Drones, Revolutions in Military Affairs, Military Technology

Ellie Geranmayeh

Deputy Director, Middle East and North Africa Programme
Senior Policy Fellow
Languages: English, Persian
Areas of Expertise: Europe-Iran relations, Iran nuclear deal and associated sanctions policy, Iranian foreign and domestic policy, Iran-Saudi relations

Richard Gowan

Senior Policy Fellow
Languages: English
Areas of Expertise: the United Nations system, European Security and Defence Policy, Africa, Western Balkans

Gustav Gressel

Senior Policy Fellow
Languages: German and English (fluent), Spanish and Polish (conversational)
Areas of Expertise: Eastern Europe, Russia, armed conflict and military affairs, defence policy, missile defence, missile proliferation

Josef Janning

Head, ECFR Berlin
Senior Policy Fellow
Languages: English, German
Areas of Expertise: European integration, EU reform, European Foreign and Security Policy, EU enlargement and Neighbourhood Policy, Europe in the World, Global Governance, German Foreign and Security Policy, Transatlantic Relations, Europe/Asia.

Jana Kobzova

Associate Fellow
Languages: Slovak, English, Russian, conversational French and German
Areas of Expertise: EU relations with Eastern Europe and Russia, democratisation in the post-Soviet states, Belarus, Central Asia

Manuel Lafont Rapnouil

Head, ECFR Paris
Senior Policy Fellow
Languages: French, English, Spanish
Areas of Expertise: Security crisis management, Multilateralism and United Nations, European Foreign Policy, Transatlantic Relations, Human Rights, International law and justice, Middle East and North Africa, French foreign policy.

Andrew Lebovich

Visiting Fellow
Languages: English, French, Arabic
Areas of Expertise: Religion, politics, and society in North Africa, the Sahara, and the Sahel

Mark Leonard

Languages: English, French, German
Areas of Expertise: Geo-politics and Geo-economics, China, EU-Russia relations, transatlantic relations, EU institutions, Public diplomacy and nation branding, UK foreign policy

Kadri Liik

Senior Policy Fellow
Languages: English, Russian, Estonian
Areas of Expertise: Russian domestic and foreign policy, relations between Russia and the West, the Baltic Sea area, Eastern Europe

Hugh Lovatt

Policy Fellow
Languages: Arabic, French, Dutch, Spanish
Areas of Expertise: Middle-East, Israel/Palestine, Mashreq region; conflict prevention/resolution; Islamic societies; identity politics

Almut Möller

Head, ECFR Berlin
Senior Policy Fellow
Languages: English, French, German
Areas of Expertise: European integration & reform, European Foreign and Security Policy, Germany in Europe

Tarek Megerisi

Policy Fellow
Languages: English, Arabic
Areas of Expertise: Libyan affairs, and politics, governance and development in the Arab world.

Nicu Popescu

Director, Wider Europe programme
Senior Policy Fellow
Languages: English, Russian, French, Romanian
Areas of Expertise: Russian domestic and foreign policies; Eastern Partnership countries and their relations with the EU, post-Soviet conflicts, cyber security

Nour Samaha

Visiting Fellow
Languages: English, Arabic, French
Areas of Expertise: Syria, Lebanon, Israel-Palestine

Jeremy Shapiro

Research Director
Languages: English
Areas of Expertise: Transatlantic relations, US foreign policy

Vessela Tcherneva

Deputy Director, ECFR
Head, ECFR Sofia
Languages: Bulgarian, English, German, Russian
Areas of Expertise: EU Foreign policy, Western Balkans and the Black Sea regions, Transatlantic Relations, Regional Studies, Energy

José Ignacio Torreblanca

Head, Madrid Office
Senior Policy Fellow
Languages: Spanish, English
Areas of Expertise: Populism and euroscepticism in Europe, Common Foreign Security and Defence Policy, EU domestic politics and institutional reforms

Alida Vračić

Visiting Fellow
Languages: English, Bosnian/Croatian
Areas of Expertise: European integrations, Western Balkans politics, civil society, non –governmental organizations, good governance, and transitional countries.

Andrew Wilson

Senior Policy Fellow
Languages: Russian, Ukrainian, some Belarusian, conversational French
Areas of Expertise: Ukraine, comparative politics of democratisation in the post-Soviet states, political technology

Nick Witney

Senior Policy Fellow
Languages: English, French, Arabic
Areas of Expertise: International relations, International Security Policy, the European Security and Defence Policy, military capabilities development, defence equipment cooperation, research and industry, the Middle East and North Africa, the Middle East Peace Process


ECFR Associate Researchers



Sofia Maria Satanakis, Austrian Institute for European and Security Policy (AIES)

Sofia Maria Satanakis has been a research fellow at the AIES since 2013. Her research covers the topic of European Integration, with a special focus on the EU’s Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) and Common Security and Defense Policy (CSDP). She also covers Greece and Turkey and their bilateral relations. In 2017, she joined the Cologne Forum for International Relations and Security Policy (KFIBS e.V.) by becoming part of the research group 'Europe/EU'.


Simon Desplanque, Louvain University

Simon Desplanque is a PhD candidate at the Université catholique de Louvain (Belgium). His main research areas are the relations between culture and International Relations as well as US foreign policy from an historical perspective. He is also interested in Belgian foreign policy.


Marin Lessenski, Open Society Institute

Marin Lessenski is Program Director of the European Policies Program of the Open Society Institute – Sofia. He holds an MA in Southeast European Studies from the Central European University - Budapest and an MA in History from the University of Sofia. He has been a Freedom House Visiting Fellow with the Hudson Institute's Center for European and Eurasian Studies and the Center of National Security Studies. He has also been a participant in the Transatlantic Young Leaders Program of the Aspen Institute - Berlin. 

At OSI-Sofia he is responsible for the Catch-Up Index, which measures the convergence or divergence of European countries along key economy, democracy, governance and quality of life indicators, with a focus on CEE. His areas of interest also include EU's foreign, security, neighbourhood and enlargement policy, Southeastern Europe and the Black Sea region. He has been working with ECFR since 2007.


Robin-Ivan Capar, Spitzberg Partners LLC

Robin-Ivan Capar is a media expert and policy analyst based in Zagreb, Croatia. As the head of Zagreb Office at Spitzberg Partners LLC, he covers the TMT sector, along with evaluating and supporting investments. Robin has previously worked as a contributing editor for Index Publishing, where he had several responsibilities at the most-read Croatian news site – During his time at, he wrote on European integration, South-Eastern European politics, and domestic politics. Robin serves as a National Researcher for the European Council on Foreign Relations, where he covers Croatian foreign and EU policy. He holds a postgraduate specialization in European Project Management from the Faculty of Political Sciences, a Master degree in Applied Linguistics and a Master degree in Italian language and literature from the Faculty of the Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Zagreb. He is currently enrolled in a PhD program at the Department of Sociology at the Faculty of the Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Zagreb.

Luka Orešković, Freelance researcher and advisor, Harvard University

Luka Orešković is an academic, investor and advisor to the private and public sector. He is associate fellow at the Institute for Quantitative Social Science at Harvard University, advisor to the European Council on Foreign Relations and served on the economic council of the President of Croatia. Luka was a visiting lecturer at the Energy Delta Institute, co-authored two books and his analyses regularly appear in the Economist, Financial Times, Foreign Policy, Wall Street Journal, Guardian, Forbes and other fora. Luka graduated from Harvard College with a concentration in history and Central and Eastern European studies.


Hüseyin Silman, Independent Researcher

Hüseyin received his BA in Political Science and Public Administration from Bilkent University in Ankara, and holds a MSc in European Politics from Birkbeck, University of London. Since 2014, he has been working with ECFR as an associate researcher.

Czech Republic    

Vladimir Bartovic, EUROPEUM Institute for European Policy

Vladimír Bartovic is the director of EUROPEUM Institute for European Policy. In 2014 he has been appointed external advisor – a member of the Group of External Advisors on the EU policies to the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic. From 2011 to 2012 he served as a director of Strategic Planning and Analysis at the Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Slovak Republic. He served also as a member of the Programme Council of the Czech – Polish Forum (2014 - 2016), member of the Board of Directors of PASOS - Policy Association for an Open Society (2015 – 2017) and member of the Board of DEMAS - Association for Democracy Assistance and Human Rights (2009 - 2014). He graduated in international trade and international politics at the University of Economics, Prague, Faculty of International Relations. He also worked as an editor in the Integrace magazine. He has been lecturing on topical EU issues at the Institute of Public Administration and the Czech National Bank. His main areas of expertise are: EU institutional issues, economic development of the EU, Economic and Monetary Union, EU foreign policy, EU enlargement with the focus on Western Balkans, Slovak foreign and domestic policy and economic issues.


Christine Nissen, Danish Institute for International Studies

Christine Nissen is a Research Fellow at the Danish Institute for International Studies (DIIS) in Copenhagen. Her main areas of research are international crisis management, wider European security, EU security and defence cooperation, and the interplay between EU and national foreign and security policies, in particularly in the case of Denmark. She has been working with ECFR as an associate researcher since 2014.


Viljar Veebel, Estonian National Defence College

Viljar Veebel is researcher of the Department of Political and Strategic Studies at the Baltic Defence College. He holds a B.A. and M.A. in International Relations and a doctoral degree in political science (Ph.D.) from the University of Tartu. He has worked as academic advisor of the Estonian government in the European Future Convention and as researcher for several research institutions, including OSCE, SIDA, the European Council on Foreign Relations, Estonian Foreign Policy Institute, Latvia Institute of International Affairs and Eurasia Group. He has been lecturing in University of Tartu, Estonian National Defence College, Ukrainian Diplomatic Academy, OSCE Border Management Staff College and Estonian Diplomatic Academy. His main areas of competence cover: Russian military doctrine and strategic ambitions; game theory and non-cooperative game models in security studies and deterrence; positive conditionality concept in initiating reforms and policy change; concepts and models of deterrence for small nation states; hybrid warfare and concept of deterrence during hybrid warfare.


Tuomas Iso-Markku, Finnish Institute for International Affairs


Martin Quencez, German Marshall Fund of the United States in Paris

Martin Quencez currently serves as a fellow and senior program officer at GMF’s Paris office. His work includes research on transatlantic security and defense cooperation, U.S. and French foreign policy, on which he regularly writes articles for the French and transatlantic press. He also teaches transatlantic relations at the Euro-American campus of SciencesPo, and is an associate researcher for the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR). Prior to joining GMF, he worked for the Institute of Defense Studies and Analyses (IDSA) in New Delhi, where he focused on French and Indian strategic thinking.


Sarah Wohlfeld, German Council on Foreign Relations (until 2018)

Sarah Wohlfeld works as Research Fellow at the German Council on Foreign Relations’ (DGAP) Alfred von Oppenheim Center for European Policy Studies. She is in charge of a project supporting think tanks in the Western Balkans and mainly deals with EU enlargement policies and European integration. Sarah Wohlfeld holds an MA in sociology, political science, and media sciences from the University of Trier. She also studied international relations and social sciences at the Charles University in Prague.


George Tzogopoulos, Democritus University of Thrace

Dr George N. Tzogopoulos is an expert in media and politics, international relations as well as Chinese affairs. He is Senior Research Fellow at the Centre International de Européenne (CIFE) and Visiting Lecturer at the European Institute affiliated with it. He is teaching international relations and energy international relations at the Department of Law of the Democritus University of Thrace. George recently joined the Begin Sadat Center for Strategic Studies (BESA) as a Research Associate where he is, inter alia, moderating its newly launched online debates on several international themes.


Zsuzsanna VéghResearch Fellow, European University Viadrina

Zsuzsanna Végh is an associate researcher at ECFR and a research fellow at the Comparative Politics Chair of the European University Viadrina in Frankfurt(Oder). Previously, she worked at the Center for European Neighborhood Studies of the Central European University (2012-2017) and at the Hungarian Institute of International Affairs (2009-2013). Her research interests include Hungarian EU and foreign policy, Central European cooperations including Visegrad, the EU’s relations with its Eastern neighborhood, and the radical right in Central Europe.


Andrew Gilmore, Institute of International and European Affairs

Andrew Gilmore is Deputy Director of Research at the Institute of International and European Affairs, in Dublin, Ireland. In his role at the IIEA, he is responsible for coordinating the work of the IIEA's UK project group, with oversight over the Institute's extensive Brexit events and publications programme. He also oversees the IIEA's Foreign Policy, Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy research and event programmes. He is the author or co-author of several books, articles and policy briefs for the IIEA and other organisations.


Federico Solfrini, University of St Andrews

Federico Solfrini is a PhD candidate in International Relations and East Asian Security at the University of St Andrews, with a research project on North Korea’s foreign policy. He holds an MA in International Relations and an MLitt in Economics and Institutions of the Arab Countries from LUISS Guido Carli University in Rome with a final dissertation on Italian energetic security. In 2014, he was visiting researcher in the Department of Political Science at Boston College, Massachusetts. In addition to his academic career, he has worked as a researcher for the Radicalisation Awareness Network (RAN) at the EU Commission, and as an independent consultant on radicalisation prevention at the Italian Parliament.


​Karlis Bukovskis, Latvian Institute of International Affairs (LIIA)​

Karlis Bukovskis is Deputy Director and researcher at the Latvian Institute of International Affairs (LIIA), author of numerous articles, and scientific editor of several books. Bukovskis is also a visiting lecturer on global political economy, international financial systems and the EU integration at Riga Graduate School of Law and Riga Stradins University. He acquired master’s degrees from the University of Latvia and the University of Helsinki, and is currently a PhD candidate. Bukovskis has dealt with EU institutional, political and economic developments while serving at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Latvia, the Secretariat of the Latvian Presidency of the Council of the European Union (where he developed the Presidency’s six-month work program), and also at the Ministry of Finance of Latvia.


Laurynas Jonavicius, Vilnius University


Jonathan Ponchon, University of Luxembourg (until 2018)

Jonathan Ponchon has a background in journalism and European Governance and is a freelance researcher affiliated to the University of Luxembourg. He is also a freelance journalist working among others for the German public radio channel WDR.


Daniel Mainwaring, Global Policy Researcher

Daniel Mainwaring is an international foreign policy advisor and researcher based in Malta. He has a Master’s in Global Policy Studies from the Lyndon B Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin. Among other recent positions, he has been an advisor to the Maltese Ministry for Foreign Affairs and a researcher for the International Centre for Migration Policy Development. His primary research interests are human smuggling and irregular migration policy.


Niels van Willigen, Leiden University

Niels van Willigen is an associate professor of international relations in the Institute of Political Science at Leiden University. His professional fields of interest include; theories of international relations, foreign policy analysis, security studies (more in particular peace operations, arms control and European security) and international law. His teaching includes introductory BSc courses on international politics and international organizations and advanced MSc courses about issues related to international security and foreign policy making.


Adam Balcer, University of Warsaw

Adam Balcer is Program Manager at Foreign Policy and International Affairs Program of WiseEuropa Institute. He is an expert on Central-Eastern Europe, the Black Sea region and the Polish foreign policy. He works also as lecturer at the Centre of East European Studies (SEW) at the Warsaw University. Former Expert at the Department of Central Europe of Balkan section (2001-2009) and Project Leader of the Turkish project at the Centre for Eastern Studies - OSW (2005-2009). In the period of 2009-2013 Director of “Enlargement and Neighbourhood” Program at demosEUROPA-Centre for European Strategy. Member of the Advisory Group to the Committee of Foreign Relations at the Polish Parliament (2010-2012). Adviser at the Presidential Expert Program (2013-2015). In 2015 he was director of annual conference “Polish Eastern Policy”- the largest event in Poland dedicated to the Eastern Europe organized by the College of Eastern Europe. Author of numerous articles and reports and co-author of the books “Polska na globalnej szachownicy” (Poland on the global chessboard) and “Orzeł i Półksiężyc. 600 lat polskiej publicystyki poświęconej Turcji” (The Eagle and the crescent. 600 years of Polish publications about Turkey.)


Lívia Franco, Catholic University of Portugal

Lívia Franco is Professor and Senior Researcher at the Institute for Political Studies at the Catholic University of Portugal (IEP-UCP). Her areas of interest include contemporary international politics, security and defense issues, and democracy studies. Lívia Franco earned her PhD in Political Science at IEP-UCP and her MA in International Relations from Leuven University. She was a PhD student at Boston College and a visiting scholar at Brown University, as well as the recipient of FCT, FLAD and Fulbright Scholarships. Lívia Franco is a frequent commentator on International Affairs at Portuguese media.


Robin-Ivan Capar, Researcher and Advisor


Teodor Gyelnik, European Institute of Cross-border Studies

Teodor Gyelnik works as a research fellow at the European Institute of Cross-Border Studies within the domain of border studies and cross-border cooperation. He received his PhD degree in European Studies and Politics from Comenius University in Bratislava. In his dissertation he looked at the European Union from post-colonial and post-structural perspectives. Teodor holds a master’s degree in European Studies and International Relations from Comenius University in Bratislava, and a Bachelor in European Studies from Constantine the Philosopher University in Nitra. Teodor has worked with the European Council on Foreign Relations since 2012 and is an Associate Researcher since 2016.


Marko Lovec, University of Ljubljana

Marko Lovec is a Research Fellow and Assistant Professor in IR at the Faculty of Social Science, University of Ljubljana. He specializes in European politics and politics of the European Union. He has been Associate Researcher at ECFR since the beginning of 2016.


Álvaro Imbernón, ESADEgeo, Nebrija University

Álvaro Imbernón is a Spanish political scientist particularly focused on EU affairs and foreign policy. Currently he works as a partner in the political risk firm quantio and teaches EU & Global Affairs at Nebrija University. Since 2014 Álvaro has served as a national researcher for ECFR. In the past he has worked as a consultant in Belgium, Myanmar and Japan and has collaborated with the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the United Nations University, the OSCE and think tanks such as ESADEgeo, FEPS or WEF.


Bjorn Fägersten, Swedish Institute for International Affairs

Björn Fägersten is Senior Research Fellow and Director of UI's Europe Programme. He conducts research on European integration, security policy, intelligence, international institutions and political risk. Current projects involve Geopolitical consequences of Brexit, intelligence cooperation within international security institutions, and the concept of political risk in public and private sectors.

Ylva Petterson, Swedish Institute of International Affairs

Ylva Pettersson is in charge of public events at the Swedish Institute of International Affairs (UI), and Programme Manager and analyst at UI’s Europe Programme. Her main focus areas are European security, crisis management and civil protection, and other current issues related to the European Union. She writes reports and analyses for the Europe Programme. She has a master degree in political science with a focus on security studies from the Swedish National Defence University, and has also worked at the National Defence University, and been an intern at the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as well as at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, SIPRI.


Euan Carss, King's College London

Euan Carss is currently an Economic and Social Research Council funded Ph.D. candidate at King's College London. He holds an M.A. (Hons) in International Relations from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, an M.Sc. in Crisis and Security management from Leiden University, The Netherlands, and has recently completed an M.A. in European Studies at King's College London, England. His current doctoral research focuses primarily on issues of trust in International Relations. This entails a particular focus on the meta-theoretical underpinnings of the concept and its useful application in terms of the foreign and security policy of the European Union (EU) towards non-member states on its near abroad.