Serena is a Postdoctoral Researcher at the Centre for Migration, Diversity and Justice (CMDJ) of the Brussels School of Governance (BSoG) and the Department of Political Science of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB). She is the coordinator of the VUB Strategic Research Programme Evaluating Democratic Governance in Europe (EDGE). Serena is also a member of the VUB RHEA Centre of Expertise on Gender, Diversity & Intersectionality and the Brussels Interdisciplinary Research centre on Migration and Minorities (BIRMM), as well as an associate member of the (former) European Academic Network on Romani Studies. From 2018 to 2021, Serena taught 'Gender, Diversity & Politics' at the inter-university MA Programme in ‘Gender and Diversity’ (UGent, VUB, KU Leuven, UAntwerpen, UHasselt). As a commissioned expert, she regularly contributes to the Fundamental Rights Report (chapter on Roma Equality and Inclusion, Belgium) of the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA).
Serena obtained her PhD in Political Science at VUB in 2018. In her PhD thesis "Romani Women in European Politics. Exploring Multi-Layered Political Spaces for Intersectional Policies and Mobilizations", she investigated whether contemporary European multi-layered political spaces contribute to fostering or hindering intersectional policies and mobilizations, both at the national and the transnational levels.
Serena holds a Postgraduate Certificate in EU Law on Immigration and Asylum from the 'Odysseus Academic Network' of the Université Libre de Bruxelles (2013), an MA in International Politics and Relations from the University of Pisa (2009, summa cum laude), and a BA in International Communications from the University for Foreigners of Perugia (2005). During her Master, she spent a year as an Erasmus student at the Department of Hautes Etudes Internationales (HEI) of the Institut National des Langues et Civilisations Orientales (I.Na.L.C.O. – Paris).
From 2009 to 2012 Serena worked in the NGO sector in the Western Balkans and Eastern Africa.
Research interests: Activism, Anti-Gypsyism, Central Eastern Europe, Civil Society, Diversity Governance, Europeanization, Equ(al)ity & Non-discrimination, (Political) Intersectionality, Intersectional Mobilizations, Minority Politics, Political Opportunity Structures, Political Participation, Racisms, Roma rights, Roma women, Romani (Gender) Politics, Safe Spaces, Social Movements.