Staff @CONIAS

Nicolas Schwank, PhD
CEO / Chief Executive Officer

      
 
Nicolas is the founder and CEO of CONIAS. He is an internationally renowned conflict researcher and expert for analyzing and assessing political risks, development dynamics of political conflicts and shifts in internal and external security threats. He has briefed and supported institutions like the Bertelsmann Foundation, the Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development, the European Commission on early warning and crisis management and his analysis and commentary have inter alia appeared in DER SPIEGEL, ZEIT online and the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.

Susan T. Jackson, PhD
Research Manager / Chief Analyst

   
 
Susan manages our research and product development. Her research focuses on processes of militarization and mixed (quantitative and qualitative) methods. Previously employed as Head of the Arms Production Project at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) in Sweden, Susan has an outstanding track record of innovative interdisciplinary research, including development of a multi-modal methodology for audio-visual analysis in IR. She has published in academic journals and for international policy and civil society audiences.

Isabel Barreto
Junior Risk Analyst

 
Isabel contributes to CONIAS research in Sub-Sahara Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Americas, inter alia covering political risk in Brazil, Central Europe, and the Korean Peninsula. Prior to joining CONIAS, she gained work experience at Travessia Desenvolvimento Organizacional (Brazil) and in market research. Her academic research focuses on Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration of former combatants in post-conflict societies.

Sarah Breitenbach
Junior Risk Analyst

 
Sarah contributes to CONIAS research in Sub-Sahara Africa, South Asia and Europe, inter alia covering the developments around the 2015 Refugee Crisis in Europe, as well as political risk in Indonesia and South Africa. Prior to joining CONIAS, she gained private sector work experience in the pharma and health care sector. Her academic research focuses on international relations.

Eilika Feltes
Political Risk Analyst


 
Eilika contributes to CONIAS research in Europe and the Americas, inter alia covering political risk in the Balkans, France, the United Kingdom, Mexico, and the United States of America. Prior to joining CONIAS, she gained work experience at the Office for European and Regional Relations of the City of Karlsruhe. She holds a B.A. in Political Science and Philosophy from the University of Heidelberg, her academic interests lie within the areas of migration, citizenship and human rights.

Asma Guibene
Software Development


 
Asma maintains, troubleshoots and enhances CONIAS applications and databases. Asma is great at creating websites as she holds a degree in software engineering by the Higher Institute of Applied Sciences and Technology of Sousse, Tunisia.

Zoe Gotthardt
Junior Risk Analyst

 
Zoe contributes to CONIAS research on the Middle East region and sub-Saharan Africa, covering conflicts in Syria, Israel, Palestine, Iraq, Iran, and Nigeria. Prior to joining CONIAS, she worked in public relations and refugee aid in Gaziantep, Turkey. Her academic interests focus on the Middle East, and her research is centered on international law, autocratization, collective identities, Islamism, migration, inequality, and gender relations in conflict.

Miriam Heußer
Junior Risk Analyst

 
Miriam contributes to CONIAS research in Central, East, and Southeast Asia, covering political risk in China, Kazakhstan, Bangladesh, and the Philippines. Prior to joining CONIAS, she worked at the German Parliament and at the State Agency for Civic Education. In her academic research, she focuses on conflict studies and the French foreign policy.

Santiago Moncada
Junior Risk Analyst

 
Santiago contributes to CONIAS research in the Middle East and Eastern Europe, covering con­flicts in Ukraine and the Russian Federation. He splits his time with the Heidel­berg Ins­titute for Inter­national Con­flict Re­search, where he focuses on Colombia and Chile. Santiago’s academic focus is Inter­national Relations, with an em­phasis on Arc­tic se­curity policy and US foreign policy.

Julia Nelles
Lead Communications / Political Risk Analyst


 
Julia manages our communi­cation efforts and co-leads the tech­nical develop­ment and ad­ministration of CONIAS web­sites, sys­tems, and net­works. She contributes to CONIAS re­search in Southern Asia and Europe, inter alia covering political risk in India, Pakistan, and Turkey and authored in-depth studies on Italy and Poland. Prior to joining CONIAS, she gained work ex­perience at a regional tele­vision station by assisting editorial pro­cesses. She holds a B.A. and a M.A. in Political Science from the University of Heidelberg, where she is currently pursuing her doctoral degree. Her aca­demic interests lie within the areas of policy analysis as well as persistence and change in authoritarian regimes.

Ainhoa Palomo Vegas
Junior Risk Analyst

 
Ainhoa contributes to CONIAS research in the Middle East, North Africa as well as Sub-Sahara Africa, covering conflicts in Yemen, Libya, and Angola. Prior to joining CONIAS she worked at the German Embassy in Asunción, Paraguay, and at a city council in Chile. Her academic research focuses on international relations in general and international organizations and transnational conflicts in the Middle East and Latin America in particular.

Malek Zarkouna
Software Development


 
Malek is an intern with the IT team and works on the development and the administration of CONIAS systems. He is near completing his Master’s degree in computer science engineering at ESPRIT, one of the top IT universities in Tunisia. Malek was an exchange participant in the Global Talent program held by AIESEC, the world's largest youth-run organization. Prior to joining CONIAS, Malek held several internships in software development in Tunisian IT companies and participated in IT competitions such us EnergIWatch Hackathon 2017—in which he finished in second place!