Welcoming CBE’s new Visiting Research Fellow, Dr. Graziella Piga!

We are pleased to welcome the our new CBE Visiting Research Fellow Dr. Graziella Piga, a Senior Expert in Gender Equality and Social Inclusion, Women Peace and Security who has worked with numerous impactful institutions including UN Women, UNHCR, and OSCE. In her own words:

“I’m delighted to announce that I’ve joined the Centre for Britain and Europe (CBE) as a Visiting Research Fellow! This is an exciting opportunity to contribute my expertise in gender equality and international development to the CBE’s important work.

For over two decades, I’ve been dedicated to advancing women’s rights and gender equality on a global scale. My journey began on the ground, where eleven years spent working with national and local stakeholders in Central Asia, Eastern Europe, and the EU Neighbourhood instilled in me a deep understanding of local challenges and opportunities. This firsthand experience allows me to bridge the gap between local realities and global policies.

My passion for gender equality extends beyond fieldwork. I actively research and advocate for women’s human rights, focusing on critical areas like gender equality, gender-based violence, protection from exploitation, and the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) Agenda. Combining my research and analysis with practical experience allows me to provide evidence-based recommendations and contributions.

Throughout my career, I’ve held leadership and advisory roles with respected organizations like the OSCE and UN Women, where I led initiatives promoting gender equality and women, peace and security. Ten years ago, I’ve transitioned into impactful consultancy roles, contributing to EU initiative such as the EU Gender Facility of the Instrument contributing to Stability and Peace, first as an expert and then as the team leader to build the capacity of EU staff in gender mainstreaming and WPS, and leading the delivery of the 4th and 5th global reports on EU implementation of the WPS Agenda.

More recently, my work has focused on Ukraine. In July 2022, I joined Project HOPE as their Regional Gender Equality and Social Inclusion Director, providing technical guidance to teams across the region. Additionally, I conducted the evaluation of UN Women’s WPS programme in Ukraine in 2024 and am currently finalizing the gender audit for the EU Delegation in Iraq. I’m also excited about a new project with Gender Associations, supporting the Ukrainian Ministry of Interior in their response to domestic violence.

Academically, my Ph.D. in Gender and Politics from the University of Surrey explored the gender dimensions of EU Foreign and Security Policy in Ukraine. I researched the comprehensive approach to WPS and analysed each pillar of the WPS Agenda, but I also investigated how the EU is implementing the WPS agenda in Ukraine. This, alongside my M.A. in Russian Studies and M.Sc. in Development Practice and Human Rights, fuels my passion for both research and practical application.

In essence, I’m a dedicated advocate for gender equality and women, peace and security with a wealth of experience and a commitment to empowering others. I’m also a motivated speaker, eager to contribute to discussions on women’s rights advancement at international and national events.

Academically, I am interested in investigating further about the unique ways in which the WPS Agenda is being operationalised in Ukraine with an ongoing active war.

I’m excited to collaborate with the CBE’s esteemed researchers and contribute to their vital work on European affairs. I look forward to a productive and impactful collaboration!”