Dr. Marie-Christine Heinze (President)

Marie-Christine Heinze holds a master in Near and Middle Eastern Studies, Political Science, and International and European Law from the University of Bonn and a master in Peace and Security Studies from the University of Hamburg. Her PhD thesis on material culture and socio-political change in Yemen in the field of social anthropology at the University of Bielefeld was successfully completed in 2015. Since 2008, she has also regularly worked as a consultant on development, peacebuilding and political change in Yemen.

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Adnan Tabatabai (CEO)

Adnan Tabatabai obtained his MSc. Middle East Politics at the School of Oriental and African Studies / University of London. As an Iran analyst he is consulted by European policymakers and businesses on Iran related affairs. Through his work at CARPO, Tabatabai has designed and facilitated track 2 and civil-society dialogue formats between Iran and Saudi Arabia since 2015. He is furthermore involved in a variety of projects at CARPO on regional security in the Persian Gulf region. Tabatabai is author of the book “Morgen in Iran” (Oct. 2016, Edition Körber-Stiftung). He is regularly featured in international media with commentary and analysis on developments in Iran and the Middle East.

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Jan Hanrath (CEO)

Jan Hanrath is CEO and co-founder of CARPO. In the past years he has worked as a researcher and coordinator in projects on Iran-Saudi dialogue, economic development in Yemen, migration and conflict, political transformation in the Middle East, and academic exchange. He has published inter alia on intercultural dialogues, Middle Eastern politics, new social media and political mobilization, and migration and conflict.

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Tobias Zumbrägel

Tobias Zumbrägel (Researcher)

Tobias Zumbrägel is a Phd candidate at the Chair of Middle East Politics and Society at the Friedrich-Alexander-University of Erlangen-Nuernberg (FAU) (Germany). Before he studied History, Political Science and Middle East Studies in Cologne, Tuebingen (Germany) and Cairo (Egypt). In 2015 he received a Bucerius Pre-Doctoral Grant by the ZEIT foundation and between 2015 and 2018, he was a research associate in the project ‘Authoritarian Gravity Centers, funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG).


Julia Pickhardt

Julia Pickhardt (Project Manager/Researcher)

Julia Pickhardt joined CARPO in January 2020 and works on the Iran-Saudi Dialogue Initiative. Before joining CARPO, Julia worked in the mediation program of swisspeace and supported different mediation initiatives in the context of Syria. She also interned with different organisations such as Geneva Call, Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik (SWP) and the Peace Research Institute Frankfurt (PRIF).



Julia Gurol (Researcher)

Julia Gurol studied Political Science, Sociology and Media Studies at the Universities of Düsseldorf, Bonn and Granada (Spain). Currently she teaches at University of Freiburg and writes her dissertation on EU-China security relations in the Middle East. Her areas of expertise are EU-China relations, foreign and security policy, social movements and peace and conflict studies with a regional emphasis on the MENA Region. Before Julia started working as project assistant for CARPO, she has assisted in the project on arms export control at Bonn International Center for Conversion and worked as a freelance journalist.



Thomas Pietzsch (Executive Assistant)

Thomas Pietzsch is a M.A. student at the Department of Islamic Studies and Near East Languages at the Institute of Oriental and Asian Studies (IOA) at the University in Bonn. Next to his studies, he works as project assistant for the DAAD-funded project on ‘Academic Approaches to Peacebuilding and State building in Yemen’ at the IOA of which CARPO is also a partner. Previously, he worked as a student assistant for a project on Middle Eastern travelogues to Europe and as a teacher of German language for refugee children.


Mirjam Schmidt (Project Officer)

Mirjam Schmidt studies Asian studies with a focus on religious studies at the University of Bonn after finishing her Bachelor in International Relations at the Rhein Waal University of Applied Science. Earlier she worked as a student assistant at the Federal Agency for Civic Education (Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung) and is currently a student assistant at the International Office Department “European & International Networks” of the University of Bonn.


Mateus Beckert (Project Assistant)

Mateus Beckert currently studies a Dual-Subject B.A. programme at the University of Bonn. His study programme consists on the one hand of Islamic Studies and Middle Eastern Languages and on the other hand of Political and Social Science. Next to his studies, he works at the Dean’s Office of the Philosophical Faculty of the University of Bonn as a student assistant.


Franziska Frosch (Project Assistant)

Franziska Frosch is a M.A. student of „Modern Languages and Cultures of the Middle East“ at the Oriental Institute of University Cologne. She holds a Bachelor degree in Asian Studies with a focus on Middle Eastern Studies and Arabic from Vienna and Bonn University. After further Arabic Studies at Saifi Institute in Beirut, she gained further experience in a full time internship at „Center for International Security Studies“ (CISG). Mrs. Frosch is a member of „Kölner Forum für Internationale Beziehungen und Sicherheitspolitik“.


Sina Winkel (Project Assistant)

Sina Winkel studies Geography M.Sc. in Development & Globalization with a focus in Medical Geography at the University of Bonn. During her bachelor’s degree, she dedicated her research to mental health issues in relation to environmental changes and humanitarian aid. In 2019 she completed a full-time internship within the Society for International Cooperation (GIZ) in Kyrgyzstan.

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