Julien Barnes-Dacey is director of the Middle East and North Africa program at the European Council on Foreign Relations, where he focuses on European policy towards Syria and the wider Mashreq. He has worked as a researcher and journalist across the Middle East. Based in Syria from 2007 to 2011, he reported for publications including the Christian Science Monitor and the Wall Street Journal. Previously, he was editor of Niqash, an Iraqi news service and worked for the Cairo Times in Egypt. He also headed the MENA practice at Control Risks, a private sector political consultancy. Barnes-Dacey holds a BA in History from the London School of Economics, an MA in Middle Eastern Studies from the School of Oriental and African Studies, and studied Arabic at the Institut Français du Proche-Orient.