Privacy Policy Staff - theSquare Centre



Managing Director & Co-Founder

Giacomo Maria Arrigo is a Postdoctoral Researcher in Moral Philosophy at Vita-Salute San Raffaele University (Milan), Co-Editor-in-Chief of the scientific journal Occhialì – Rivista sul Mediterraneo islamico, and Teaching Assistant for the courses “History of Moral Doctrines” and “Philosophy of History” at the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart (Milan).  In February 2024, he was a Visiting Scholar at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, USA. He has a joint PhD in Political Philosophy from the University of Calabria and the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven. Giacomo Maria holds a Bachelor and a Master Degree in Philosophy from the Catholic University of Milan, and a Specializing Master in Middle Eastern Studies from ASERI (Graduate School of Economics and International Relations). His research interests focus on moral and political philosophy, multiculturalism, the Enlightenment and the possibilities of an interreligious ethics. He is author of Gnostic Jihadism. A Philosophical Inquiry into Radical Politics (Mimesis International 2021) and La filosofia morale di Edmund Burke. Culture, tradizioni, civiltà (Carocci 2023).


Co-Founder & Coordinator for the cybersecurity area

Jacopo Franceschini is PhD Candidate at the International Relations Department of Kadir Has University (Istanbul), focusing on cybersecurity and cyber healthcare policy and regulation in Turkey and the Mediterranean region. Jacopo has worked as researcher on security matters in several think tanks between Belgium and Turkey such as European Neighbourhood Council (Brussels), Friedrich Naumann Foundation, and Istanbul Policy Center/Sabancı University (Istanbul). He holds a Master Degree in Law from the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart (Milan), with a final dissertation on political and institutional relations between the EU and Turkey. Moreover, he obtained a Specializing Master in Middle Eastern Studies at ASERI (Graduate School of Economics and International Relations of Milan). Strategies, approaches and legislation in cybersecurity in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern countries are his main areas of expertise.


Research Fellow & Coordinator for the MENA area

Lorena Stella Martini is Research Fellow and Coordinator for the MENA area for theSquare Centre, and she has been working for the Rome Office of the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR) since October 2020. Since 2016, Lorena has gained professional experience with think tanks and NGOs, besides having worked for a Tunisian governmental organization and served as a Programme Assistant for Erasmus+ Partner Countries Programme at the University of Turin. She holds a double Master’s degree in Analyse Comparée des Sociétés Méditerranéennes and International Studies from the Université Muhammad VI Polytechnique and the University of Turin, a Specializing Master in Middle Eastern Studies from ASERI (Graduate School of Economics and International Relations) and a BA in Foreign Languages Applied to International Relations from the Catholic University of Milan. Lorena speaks English, French, Arabic and Spanish and has spent several periods in Morocco to improve her language skills. Her research work mainly revolves around MENA geopolitics and socio-political dynamics, with a strong interest in human rights and gender issues, and a geographical focus on North Africa (Morocco and Algeria) and Iraq.


Research Fellow & Coordinator for the AI and Tech area

Mattia Falduti is Research Fellow at theSquare Centre. He is a lawyer with a Master’s Degree in Legal Professions and Graduated in Law. Mattia holds a Ph.D. in Computer Science obtained at the Computer Science Department of the University of Milan (UNIMI). His main research interests are information retrieval, data mining and related applications to Legal Tech, and Cybercrime. He joined the UNIMI group within the “JusTech” research project in the framework of the Italian Ministry of Justice in cooperation with University of Pavia, Politecnico di Milano, and Court of Milan. Moreover, he worked as a Data Protection consultant and as a trainee for the Public Prosecutor Office of Milan at the Cyber Crime Department. Recently, he concluded a postdoc at the University of Bolzano-Bozen.


Research Fellow

Marie Figoureux is currently a PhD candidate at the Institute for Media Studies at KU Leuven, Belgium. Her project focuses on the framing of radicalization, migration and multicultural society in the Low Countries. Previously, she obtained a Master of Science in International Relations at Ghent University (Belgium) and a Specializing Master in Middle Eastern Studies at ASERI (Graduate School of Economics and International Relations), Milan (Italy). Her main areas of interest are Israel and Palestine, multiculturalism in the Middle East and Western Europe and the history of the Islamic World.


Research Fellow

Erman Ermihan is pursuing a Ph.D. in International Relations at Kadir Has University. Erman’s research interests revolve around EU-Turkey relations, Turkish foreign policy, emotions and identity, ontological security, the teaching of International Relations, and music and sports in international affairs. He is the Publication Coordinator at Uluslararasi Iliskiler journal, one of the department assistants in the International Relations department of Kadir Has University, project assistant in the HybridEU Jean Monnet Chairship and “Secopedia: Security Encyclopedia” led by Prof. Sinem Akgul Acikmese at Kadir Has University. He co-founded Paradigma (a podcast channel on International Relations and Political Science) and Academicus (a student blog on politics and world affairs).


Research Fellow

Giulia Valeria Anderson holds two Master’s Degrees, one in Comparative Relations from Ca’ Foscari University in Venice, from which she graduated with honors and won a prize for her dissertation on “US-Kurdish Relations: The 2nd Iraqi-Kurdish War and the Al-Anfal Campaigns”, and one from La Sapienza University in Rome in Geopolitics and Global Security. She also holds a Bachelor’s Degree in International Relations. Giulia currently works for the NATO Public Diplomacy Division in Brussels. She previously worked as a journalist for the Italian news agency Formiche and collaborated with The Washington Kurdish Institute, The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, Il Caffè Geopolitico, the Istituto Analisi Relazioni Internazionali (IARI), and the African Center for Strategic Progress. She co-authored several books and publications, including Diario Geopolitico: Afghanistan. Settembre 2001-Settembre 2021 published by AGC Communication in 2021, Il 2021 in Iraq. Tra poteste e l’insuccesso delle elezioni politiche and 2001-2021: Vent’anni dall’11 settembre: Cause, errori, lezioni ed eredità della guerra globale al terrore, both published by IARI in 2022. She also spent several months at the UNESCO Office in Venice and three years at an Italian NGO associated with the UN Department of Global Communications and ECOSOC. While she continues her work in international affairs, her main area of interest still remains the Middle East and especially the Kurdish question, topics on which she continues to write on for theSquare Centre, where she has been a Research Fellow since 2020.



Research Fellow

Ilayda Nijhar holds an MA from UCL’s School of Slavonic and East European Studies (SSEES) in Russian and Post-Soviet Politics. Her thesis looked at security relations in the Black Sea Region, particularly between Russia-Turkey-NATO, and she continues to conduct research in this area. Ilayda was invited to discuss her research findings at the International Turkish-Russian World Congress on Academic Research in Ankara. Ilayda worked as an associate journalist for five years contributing articles on contemporary Russian politics and published her first book entitled ‘Russia Unfiltered’ in 2019. She has worked in the UK, Germany, Turkey and is currently based in Brussels working in EU affairs. Her research focus is on Russo-Turkish relations as well as Russian Foreign Policy, Central Asian and wider Eurasian politics.


Research Fellow

Sara Zanotta is a PhD student in Iranian History at the University of Pavia and holds a MA in International Relations from the University of Milan. She is Research fellow at theSquare Centre and Deputy chief of the editorial staff of the academic journal Nuovi Autoritarismi e Democrazie: Diritto, Istituzioni, Società. In addition, she is a Teaching assistant for the course of “History and Politics of North Africa and the Middle East” at the University of Milan. Previously, she was research intern at IAI – Istituto Affari Internazionali (Mediterranean, Middle East and Africa program), Centro Studi Problemi Internazionali, and Villa Vigoni – German-Italian Centre for the European Dialogue. She is mainly interested in the political history of Islamic countries, in particular protest movements and their effects on constitution-building and democratization/autocratization.


Research Fellow

Federico Borsari is an Associate Analyst with the MENA Centre at ISPI, where he also worked as Research and Project Assistant for the MED Dialogues Conference from November 2018 until April 2021. He holds a master’s Degree in International Relations and Strategic Studies from the University of Bologna and a second Master’s in Middle Eastern Studies at the Postgraduate School of Economics and International Relations (ASERI), Milan. He previously worked as a research trainee at the Middle East Research Institute (MERI) in Erbil, Iraq, where he also conducted field-work for a research project on the Peshmerga and the Iraqi Security Forces. Besides regularly publishing for ISPI, he has authored several analyses on political and security issues regarding the Middle East and North Africa for the Italian Parliament and provided commentaries to Italian and International media outlets. His research interests revolve around security dynamics and military transformation in the MENA region, US foreign policy and proxy relations, the role of non-state actors (NSAs) and the implications of UAV technology for regional’s armies.


Research Fellow

Irene Lizzola is PhD student in Political Science at Sciences Po Bordeaux, attached to the research unit Les Afriques dans le Monde (LAM – CNRS UMR 5115). Alumna of the Master of Advanced Studies in Transitional Justice, Human Rights and the Rule of Law (Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights) and of the Master in Ethnology and Social Anthropology (École des Hautes Études en Science Sociales, EHESS), Irene conducts her research in the fields of sociology of law and international political sociology. Irene’s doctoral research aims to study advocacy practices carried out by both Moroccan and international human rights non-governmental organisations (NGOs) within cooperation and/or partnership frameworks. In particular, it focuses on the study of the advocacy for the abolition of the death penalty in Morocco, on the international cooperation in the field of migration, as well as on a range of advocacy activities aimed at reforming the field of security governance according to a human rights-based approach.


Research Fellow

Elisabeth Gosselin-Malo is a postgraduate student from the University of St-Andrews in Scotland, where she completed her Master’s degree in Terrorism and Political Violence with a dissertation titled “Droning On: A New Era of Targeted Killings Outside of Armed Conflict.” Previously, she obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Queen’s University while working for the Governor General of Canada. She speaks French, English, and is currently learning Italian. Her most recent research focused on the change of the norms surrounding the use of armed UAVs for the Centre of International and Defence Policy. Her main research interests are international security, the evolution of warfare, as well as conflicts and extremism in the MENA region.


Research Fellow

Elisa Marra holds a Master Degree in Contemporary Arabic Studies at the Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona and a Bachelor Degree at the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore in Milan. Elisa spent seven months in Tunisia, where she obtained a certificate of proficiency in Arabic at the Institute Bourguiba des Langues Vivantes. She also speaks English, Spanish and Italian, as well as Tunisian and Syrian dialects. Currently, Elisa works as a research editor for a multinational, where she focuses on risk management and regulatory compliance monitoring, with a particular emphasis on Gulf and North African countries. Her main areas of interest are terrorism and counterterrorism as well as the political and social dynamics that shape the Middle East and North Africa.


Research Fellow

Matias Shocron was born in Argentina and holds a B.A. in Government, Diplomacy, and Strategy from Reichman University, Israel, and is an Argov Fellowship Honors program alumni (Class 22′). During his studies in Israel, he experienced a different environment with people from all over the world while achieving experiences in different types of organizations such as Think Tanks, Startups, UAE-Israel Business Council, and The Peres Center for Peace & Innovation. Currently, he is working at BARD (Israel-US Binational Agriculture R&D Fund) as Project Coordinator encouraging collaborative research in agriculture between Israel and the United States. In addition, he is a teaching and research assistant for E-Government and IT Policy at Reichman University. Moreover, his main interests are politics, economy, and sustainability, being his research focused on these areas.


Research Fellow

Zeynep Şartepe is a PhD Candiate in the Department of International Relations, Kadir Has University, İstanbul, Turkey. She is currently a doctoral researcher at Center for Foreign Policy and Peace Research (CFPPR), Bilkent University for a joint project conducted by Centre for Applied Turkey Studies (CATS) and International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS). She is a graduate of International Relations and English Language and Literature. Her research focuses on technology and politics, biopolitics and security, Middle Eastern studies, identity politics and ontological security studies. 



Nazim Suleymanov is currently last year master’s student at Ca’ Foscari University of Venice (Italy). He graduated bachelor’s degree with honour at UNEC (Azerbaijan), and his thesis was related to civil wars in African countries. Before starting his internship at theSquare, he was a project manager at several local and regional organisations. Moreover, he has a good command of Azerbaijani, English, Turkish, German, and Italian. His research interests focus on civil wars, the geopolitics of African countries, gender studies and non-formal education.