Vera Rihackova (1975) is a senior research fellow at the EUROPEUM Institute for European Policy in Prague, Czech Republic. She graduated from the Faculty of Social Sciences, Charles University, in International Relations and European Studies. In 2006, she also attended the Fulbright US State Department Programme on US National Security and Foreign Policy Post 9/11. She has been with the Institute since 2003 and followed closely the pre-accession and post-accession process of the Czech Republic to the EU. Before joining Europeum, she worked as the editor and editor-in-chief of "Integrace", an online portal on EU issues and policies, and co-established the Czech spin-off of the Euractiv.com, Euractiv.cz. Her major areas of expertise include EU institutional reform, EU foreign policy with focus on Eastern Partnership countries, EU democracy assistance and the EU instruments of external action, the development cooperation, security and counterterrorism policies. As an independent analyst, she worked, for example, for the European Parliament, the Trust for Civil Society in Central and Eastern Europe, Open Society Foundation, Policy Association for an Open Society, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic and Ministry of Interior of the Czech Republic. In 2010-2011 and 2012-2013, she acted as an Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum Steering Committee member (WG1 coordinator, EU coordinator). In May 2014, she was designated an external advisor, a member of the Group of External Advisors on the EU policies, to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic.