Maria Fantappiè is Special Adviser for the Middle East and North Africa region at HD. Before joining the organisation, she served as Senior Adviser for the International Crisis Group, engaging with policymakers on Iraq, Syria and the Kurdish issue at some of the highest levels of government in the US, Europe and the Middle East. In 2018, she was seconded by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs to the EU mission in Iraq, where she advised the Office of the National Security Advisor (ONSA) on the implementation of the security sector reform programme with special focus on Iraq’s national security legislation. In 2011-2012, she was a Visiting Scholar at the Carnegie Middle East Center in Beirut and an associate researcher at the Institut français du Proche-Orient (IFPO). She has taught at American University of Iraq in Suleimani and Sciences Po Paris. Maria holds a PhD from King’s College London, Department of War Studies, and earned an MA and MPhil with distinction from Sciences Po Paris, Department of Middle Eastern Studies. In addition to publishing numerous research outputs and policy reports for Crisis Group and Carnegie, Maria’s writing appeared in Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, The New York Times, Revue Moyen Orient and Ashark al-Awsat, among others. She is also a contributor to Limes, the Italian Review of Geopolitics, and an associate member of the Istituto Affari Internazionali (IAI).