Kawa Hassan is the Director of Middle East and North Africa Program at EastWest Institute’s Brussels Office where he leads Track 1.5 and Track 2 diplomacy initiatives focused on trust building, conflict prevention and conflict resolution.
Kawa Hassan is author and co-editor of numerous publications and a frequent commentator on international, regional and national media about Iraq, Syria, Kurdish politics and Middle East affairs. He is co-author of the research report "Iraq, Climate-Related Security Risk Assessment" which was used in July 2018 UN Security Council debate on nexus between climate change and security, brought forward under Swedish Presidency of the Council. This report was produced as a product of the Expert Working Group on Climate-Related Security Risks, established with the aim to address the implications of climate-related security risks on international institutions that manage peace and security.
In addition, he was a member of the Atlantic Council's Task Force on the Future of Iraq that brought together 25 top Iraq experts from around the globe. In this capacity he provided thought leadership to the Task Force Report “Achieving Long Term Stability to Ensure the Defeat of ISIS” which was submitted to the Trump administration and provided policy recommendations on how to deal effectively with the challenges posed by the conflict in Iraq. Furthermore, he was Co-leader of the Working Group Rights & Protection of Minorities in the Middle East, International Panel on Exiting Violence (IPEV), Fondation Maison des sciences de l'homme (FMSH), Paris.
Prior to joining EastWest Institute, Kawa Hassan was a visiting scholar and a non-resident scholar at the Carnegie Middle East Center, Beirut, where he researched state-society relations, politics of protest, civil society activism in Kurdistan region, Iraq. Previously, he worked for UNDP and international organizations in Sri Lanka, Iraq, and the Netherlands leading post-Tsunami, post-conflict, research, peace building, capacity building programs and projects. Furthermore, Hassan worked as a media analyst for the Dutch television and radio channels covering the Iraq War in 2003, and as an interpreter/translator for refugees and asylum seekers in the Netherlands.
Kawa Hassan holds a Master of Science in International Relations, Political Science from the University of Amsterdam (1996-2003), and studied English and German at the Al-Mustansiriya University, Baghdad, Iraq (1988-1991).