Sinziana-Elena Poiana is the Head of the Centre of Thematic Expertise on Civil Society Support in European Commission’s DG NEAR, focusing on Eastern Europe and Russia. Before joining the European Commission, she was a researcher and Regional Cooperation Officer for the Romanian Academic Society (SAR) in Bucharest, coordinating SAR’s activities and network in South Eastern Europe and the wider Black Sea region. Her main areas of expertise are public accountability, local democracy and social and civil rights. She also held a number of short-term positions, including with the Foreign Policy Commission of the Romanian Senate, the Romanian Embassy in Washington DC, Open Society Institute in Budapest, the World Bank Office in Bucharest and the International Organization for Migration. Up until 2014 she was involved in setting up a number of non-government organisations and networks, in Romania and abroad. She holds an MA in Public Policy from the Central European University in Budapest.