Iskra Kirova is the Europe and Central Asia (ECA) advocacy director at Human Rights Watch. She engages with European Union institutions, and other intergovernmental organizations and governments to promote human rights protection across the Europe and Central Asia region. She also advises ECA and other HRW staff on advocacy strategies in the region.
Before coming to Human Rights Watch, Iskra was the lead EU advocate on Eastern Europe and Central Asia for the Open Society Foundations (OSF), working closely with OSF’s national foundations and grantees in the region. Prior to that she worked as the EU advocate and analyst for the International Crisis Group, covering EU policy on conflict prevention and resolution from the Western Balkans to Myanmar. Previously, Iskra has served as research associate and later fellow at the University of Southern California (USC) Center on Public Diplomacy in Los Angeles, carrying out policy and academic research on political communication, media and social change, and disinformation. Iskra has also worked for the European Commission foreign policy directorate on the European Neighborhood Policy and for the NATO Parliamentary Assembly on security issues in Eastern Europe and beyond.
Iskra has published on issues of EU-supported democratization and human rights, EU integration, EU foreign and security policy, disinformation, and conflict resolution.
Iskra has a master’s degree in International Relations from Sofia University in Bulgaria and a master’s in Public Diplomacy from the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism at the University of Southern California. She speaks English, Bulgarian and French and has working knowledge of Russian and German.
December 20, 2023 Commentary