Julia Pickhardt joined swisspeace in August 2017 and works as a Junior Program Officer in the Mediation program. She holds a Master degree in Development Studies from the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva and a Bachelor degree in Arabic/Islamic Sciences and Political Sciences from the Martin-Luther Universität Halle-Wittenberg. Before joining swisspeace, she interned with the Peace Research Institute Frankfurt, the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP) and Geneva Call. Her research interests include mediation, armed conflicts, armed non-state actors and international relations within the Middle East and North Africa region with a particular focus on Iran and Syria.