Julia Bhattacharjee is a seconded national expert from Germany and joined EUAM Iraq as Planning and Evaluation Officer. She believes that the Mission’s work in ‘the field’ is a valuable link between local authorities and the EU.
Briefly describe your career and tell us why you applied for a position with EUAM Iraq?
I come from a political background with an expertise in foreign politics. Over the past years, I served within the EU, the UN and the German Parliament. The excitement of having an impact on world politics and advancing the objectives of the EU by supporting Iraq’s security and stability is what inspired me to apply for EUAM Iraq.
Tell us about your daily work?
As a Planning and Evaluation Officer in the Mission I evaluate the progress of our security sector reform activities and the state of play of our mandate implementation. Measuring the impact of the Mission’s activities helps to tailor programs and practices even closer to Iraqi needs. I ask questions like: What works well? What could be improved? Can approaches be replicated in other locations with similar needs?
How do you find working with colleagues from many different backgrounds?
Being immersed in a diverse work and living environment is exceptionally fulfilling. The close collaboration with local staff and the exploration of Iraqi culture add significant value to my experience here in the Mission.
What has been the most rewarding or memorable experience for you in the Mission so far?
To see the Iraqi participants opening up during our workshop sessions and sharing their views and experiences is always rewarding. It helps me to understand the rich Iraqi culture and different values and perspectives.
If you could live anywhere, where would you choose?
That would be New York City. I lived there before, and the energy of the people is what makes the city a place like no other. You can feel the hustle.
What is something your colleagues don’t know about you?
I think they know me pretty well. I cannot easily hide my love for good food, dancing and trashy reality TV shows.
What is your usual order at a restaurant?
I love to eat together with my friends and share the dishes so that we can try as many flavors as possible. I am not too much into desserts, but I definitely love spicy food and embrace both my Indian and German side foodwise.
How do you relax?
I enjoy social gatherings as well as watching series, but what really calms me down is a relaxing day at the beach. You can sit back and soak up the sun, watch the waves roll in or take a swim. The beach is my happy place.