Paula Garcia is CIVIC’S researcher in Iraq. Originally from Spain, Paula has extensive experience in conducting research and advocacy in Iraq and Cambodia. In 2017, Paula moved to the Kurdistan Region of Iraq to work for YAZDA, promoting advocacy efforts on behalf of the Ezidi community in Iraq and internationally. In 2018 she joined the American University of Kurdistan in Dohuk as lecturer at the College of International Studies, and Research Associate at their Center of Peace and Human Security (CPHS). Her research looked at the obstacles to return in the liberated district of Sinjar, the perceptions of security by the local population, and the obstacles to reconstruction and the challenges to human security posed by the competing regional interests in Nineveh. Prior to Iraq, Paula lived and worked in Cambodia for almost four years. During that time, she worked with several local NGOs on issues related to land rights, protection of human rights defenders’ and activists, and judicial reform in Cambodia. She also lectured at different universities in the capital Phnom Penh and worked as researcher on issues of economic development and political economy at PRIME, a local think tank.
Paula earned a Master’s degree in International Law and International Relations from the Instituto Universitario de Investigacion Ortega y Gasset in Madrid, and two undergraduate degrees, one in Law and one in Political Sciences and Public Administration from the Universidad Autónoma in Madrid, Spain.