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Associate Analysts

Katariina Mustasilta is a Senior Associate Analyst dealing with conflict research at the EUISS. Her research applies both quantitative and qualitative methods to study the drivers of countries’ internal conflicts and how to prevent violent escalation, the dynamics of civil resistance, and local peace and conflict dynamics. She is the Editor of the EUISS Conflict Series.

Katariina gained her PhD at the Department of Government, University of Essex (2019), and has previously worked with peacebuilding issues in both public and non-governmental sectors. She holds a Master’s Degree in Peace and Conflict Studies from Uppsala University. She is the author of the article 'Including chiefs, maintaining peace? Examining the effects of state–traditional governance interaction on civil peace in sub-Saharan Africa', Journal of Peace Research, Vol. 56 (2), 2019.

Dr Clara Portela is a Senior Associate Analyst at the EUISS, having previously served as a full-time faculty member in Political Science at the University of Valencia (Spain) and Singapore Management University (Singapore). Her research focuses on arms control, non-proliferation and disarmament, as well as on multilateral sanctions policies.  She holds a PhD from the European University Institute in Florence and an MA from the Free University of Berlin, and she is the recipient of the THESEUS Award for Promising Research on European Integration. Clara Portela has been a Visiting Professor at the OSCE Academy in Bishkek, the College of Europe, and the University of Innsbruck, and has held visiting positions with the University of London’s Human Rights Consortium (UK), Carleton University (Canada), the Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Grenoble (France), and Monash University (Australia).

Sinikukka Saari is a Senior Associate Analyst at the EUISS. Her area of expertise is the post-Soviet region: Russia, the Eastern Partnership countries and Central Asia.

Prior to joining the EUISS, Sinikukka worked at the Policy Planning and Research Unit of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland; at Mission Analytical Capability Unit of the European Union Monitoring Mission (EUMM) in Georgia, and in the Russia and Eastern Neighbourhood Programme at the Finnish Institute of International Affairs. Sinikukka holds a PhD in International Relations from the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Simona is Senior Associate Analyst at EUISS. Her research focuses on United States security policy, transatlantic security and EU-NATO relations. Prior to joining EUISS, Simona served as advisor to the Vice-President of the European Parliament (2015-2019) and as an analyst with the Romanian Ministry of Defence, working on transatlantic and European security. She has also been a research associate with the Institut d’Études Européennes (IEE) at Université Saint Louis-Bruxelles.

Simona holds a PhD in Political Science from the National School for Political and Administrative Studies in Bucharest where she lectured on international security (2008-2015). She is the recipient of a U.S. Department of State fellowship on U.S. Grand Strategy and has published extensively on American and transatlantic security.