Senior Policy Advisor, Relations with EU Institutions
UNICEF Brussels Office
Before taking up her new post as Senior Policy Advisor in the UNICEF Brussels office, Verena co-founded the European Stability Initiative (ESI), a policy-oriented think tank active in the Balkans, Turkey, and the Caucasus. There, she spearheaded empirical research and policy campaigns on issues ranging from women’s rights to visa liberalization, political Islam and post-war recovery. She helped develop ESI’s unique methodology, combining labor-intensive data collection with real-time, policy-oriented advocacy. Most recently, Verena has combined her research and policy work with her new role as strategy advisor. From 2008-2009 she advised the former prime minister and mayor of the divided city of Mitrovica, and in summer 2010 she joined Kosovo’s Ministry for European Integration as a strategy advisor. Also in 2008, she helped produce the award-winning documentary film series ‘Balkan Express: Return to Europe’, seen by more than 2 million viewers. She also co-authored the first English-language guidebook dedicated to Kosovo (Bradt Guide, 2010, 2nd edition).