Clarisse Pasztory currently is the Head of the EU Liaison Office in Erbil, representing the European Union in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. She previously served as Policy Advisor for the Middle East, North Africa, Arabian Peninsula, Iran, and Iraq in the EU's External Action Service covering regional affairs. Clarisse has worked in the Middle East since 2007, including tenures in Syria (2007-8), Iraq (2008-12), Saudi Arabia (2012-14), and Yemen (2014-15). Before moving to the Middle East Ms. Pasztory specialized on the Balkans, and was part of successive EU crisis management missions in FYRoMacedonia, Kosovo and BiH from 2001-2007. She holds degrees in Economics and International Relations from the US and an MPhil in Political Sciences from Austria, has done postgraduate studies in non-profit management and strategic planning from Switzerland and Arabic and Islamic Studies in Syria. She speaks German, English, Albanian, French, Italian, and basic Arabic.