Sophia Besch

Fellow
Europe Program
Sophia Besch is a fellow in the Europe Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Her research focuses on European foreign and defense policy.
Education

MSc, London School of Economics 
MA, Sciences Po Paris
BA, Münster University

 

Languages
  • English
  • French
  • German

Sophia Besch is a fellow in the Europe Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Her area of expertise is European defense policy. 

Before joining Carnegie, Sophia was a senior research fellow at the Centre for European Reform (CER), where she worked from both the CER's London and Berlin offices. She led the CER's research on European defense policy, focusing on European armament policy, the EU’s role in European defense, transatlantic relations, German defense policy, and the security implications of Brexit. She was also the host of the CER podcast. 

In 2021, Sophia was a visiting DAAD Fellow at the American Institute for Contemporary German Studies, where she conducted research on the EU-US defense relationship. As a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council's Europe Centre, she served as co-chair of the US-Germany Renewal Initiative, working to enhance the dialogue between American and German mid-career leaders and policymakers. She also served as a strategic advisor to the conception of  'Forum Neue Sicherheitspolitik', a network of independent experts on security and defense policy situated within the Heinrich Böll Stiftung. Prior to joining the CER, Sophia was a Carlo Schmid fellow in NATO’s Policy Planning Unit and worked as a researcher for the NATO Parliamentary Assembly. She is a member of the Atlantik Brücke Young Leaders program.

Sophia regularly comments on political and defense issues in print and broadcast media. She has also contributed opinion pieces to various newspapers, including the Atlantic, Financial Times, Internationale Politik, Politico, Project Syndicate, Prospect, Survival, and War on the Rocks. She served as an expert witness for the UK House of Commons Defence Select Committee and the German Bundestag EU Committee and has provided evidence to the European Parliament Subcommittee for Security and Defence. 

Sophia holds degrees in international relations and international law from Münster University, the London School of Economics, and Sciences Po Paris,  and is finalizing her PhD dissertation on EU defense-industrial policy at King’s College London. 

 

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