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Maria Luisa Fantappiè

Head of the Mediterranean, Middle East and Africa Programme

Maria Luisa Fantappie is Head of the Mediterranean, Middle East and Africa Programme at IAI. She served as Special Adviser at the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue in Geneva (2020-2023) and at the International Crisis Group (2012-2020), engaging at the highest level of policy in Europe, the United States and across MENA (Iraq, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Qatar, Oman and United Arab Emirates). In 2018, she was seconded by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs to the European advisory mission for security sector reform in Iraq (EUAM). Her research interests include the MENA region, EU foreign policy and great powers competition in this area, conflict prevention and mediation as a well as cultural diplomacy.

Maria Luisa has been a Visiting Scholar at the Carnegie Middle East Center, and is currently a Fellow at the London School of Economics’ Middle East Centre and the Institut Français du Proche Orient. Her recent publications include Politicians, Officers and Political Transition in Post-2003 Iraq, Third World Quarterly, 2023 (author); The Routledge Handbook of EU-Middle East Relations, Routledge, 2022 (co-author); Faith and Fracture, The Century Foundation 2023 (co-author); Citizenship and its discontents: the struggle for rights, pluralism and inclusion in the Middle East, The Century Foundation 2019. She is the author of over 20 field-based Crisis Group reports and commentaries.

She has published in Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, The New York Times, La Repubblica, and frequently provides expert insights to international and Italian news outlets such as the New York Times, Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, Al-Jazeera, NPR e Radio 3 Mondo.


Middle East


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