Chiara Ayad is an adviser in NOREF’s Middle East and North Africa programme. She currently leads the Syrian Civil Society Support Room (CSSR) project. Prior to joining NOREF, she worked as a Researcher at the Arab Reform Initiative where she led programming on decentralization of governance and youth political engagement. Her previous work experience also includes Women, Peace and Security (WPS) consultancies and youth empowerment initiatives. Chiara holds a Masters degree in International Security from the Paris School of International Affairs (PSIA) at Sciences Po Paris and a BA from Sciences Po in Middle Eastern studies.