Desirée Custers

Project Manager

Desirée Custers is Project Manager in CARPO’s Iran-Saudi Dialogue Initiative. She has several years of experience in the field of international relations, including environmental peacebuilding and track 2 and 1,5 diplomacy. She has previously worked for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) programs at the Stimson Center and the EastWest Institute. Desirée holds an M.A. in Conflict Studies and Human Rights from Utrecht University in the Netherlands, and graduated magna cum laude from the KU Leuven University in Belgium with an M.A. in Arabic and Islamic Studies. Aside from her interest in international relations, Desirée also has a strong passion for cultural topics, in particular art and literature. She is fluent in Dutch, English and Arabic.

Focus and topics:
People-to-people relations, relations between West Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa, Euro-Arab relations, the intersection of culture and politics in the MENA region.


custers [at]


Selected publications:

  • & Schmidt, Mirjam (December 2022): Cultural Exchange and the Prospects for Inter-Societal Relations between Saudi Arabia and Iran, CARPO / Stimson Brief 23. Available online.