Keynote Speaker

SIGONA~2Dr. Nando Sigona will give a keynote address during IASFM16. Dr. Sigona will explore the slippery and blurring boundaries of the ‘refugee’ label in the context of the European migration crisis. Nando Sigona is Senior Lecturer and Deputy Director of the Institute of Research into Superdiversity at the University of Birmingham. His research interests include: statelessness, diasporas and the state; Romani politics and anti-Gypsyism; ‘illegality’ and the everyday experiences of undocumented migrant children and young people; and crisis, governance and governmentality of forced migration in the EU.
His work has appeared in a range of international academic journals, including Sociology, Social Anthropology, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, Ethnic and Racial Studies, Identities, and Citizenship Studies. He is author or editor of books and journal’s special issues including  The Oxford Handbook on Refugee and Forced Migration Studies (with Fiddian Qasmiyeh, Loescher and Long, 2014), Sans Papiers. The social and economic lives of undocumented migrants (with Bloch and Zetter, 2014) and Diasporas Reimagined (with Gamlen, Liberatore and Neveu Kringelbach, 2015).  Nando is also Associate Editor of the journal Migration Studies published by Oxford University Press.


Plenary Speakers

Aleinikoff 68Alexander Aleinikoff will deliver a lecture entitled “Rethinking the International Refugee Regime” during IASFM16. He is a leading scholar in immigration and refugee law, is currently on assignment with the U.N. Secretariat in New York. He is a fellow at the Global Policy Initiative at Columbia and a Visiting Professor at Columbia Law School. From 2010 to 2015, he served as the United Nations Deputy High Commissioner for Refugees in Geneva. Prior to his service with the U.N., he was a professor at Georgetown University Law Center (1997-2010), where he also served as dean (2004-2010). Aleinikoff was a professor of law at the University of Michigan Law School from 1981 to 1997.

Aleinikoff was co-chair of the Immigration Task Force for President Barack Obama’s transition team. From 1994 to 1997, he served as the general counsel, and then executive associate commissioner for programs, at the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS).

Aleinikoff has published numerous books and articles in the areas of immigration law, refugee law, citizenship, race, statutory interpretation, and constitutional law.

Cathrine Brun_Therese Lee Støver mod

Photo credit: Therese Lee Støver

Cathrine Brun will be presenting in the planery panel on the research-interfaces between humanitarian practices and academic work on forced migration. Cathrine is Director of the Centre for Development and Emergency Practice (CENDEP) at Oxford Brookes University. She has worked for 20 years on forced migration as a result of conflict and disaster and currently focusing on humanitarianism in protracted displacement and chronic crises and housing and home for forced migrants. Much of her work has been in urban contexts and in camps and engaged with discussions on the ethics and politics of humanitarianism, the experiences and practices of humanitarians, and the unintended consequences of humanitarian categories and labelling practices. Temporal and spatial dimensions of both forced migration and humanitarianism are cross-cutting themes in her work. Collaborating with colleagues, organisations and citizen groups in Sri Lanka, Georgia and more recently Malawi she has developed methods of real time research and longitudinal ethnographic research and written about research methods in conflict settings.

Recent publications include “Homemaking in Limbo? A conceptual Framework” (Refugee, with Anita H. Fábos), “Active waiting and changing hopes. Toward a time perspective on protracted displacement” (Social Analysis), and ““I love my soldier”. Developing responsible and ethically sound research strategies in a militarised society” (In Research Methods in Conflict Settings. A View from Below, eds. Mazurana et al.).


Heaven Crawley is Professor of International Migration at Coventry University’s Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations where she leads a team of researchers working on issues of migration, displacement and belonging. Heaven was previously Head of asylum and immigration research at the UK Home Office, Associate Director of the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) and Director of the Centre for Migration Policy Research (CMPR) at Swansea University.

Heaven has written and published extensively on a wide range of asylum and immigration issues including the causes of forced migration to Europe, access to legal advice and representation, public attitudes towards asylum and immigration issues and children’s experiences of immigration controls, including detention, guardianship and the process of age assessment. She has a particular interest in gender issues in procedures for Refugee Status Determination and is author of Refugees and Gender: Law and Process (2001).

Heaven has served as a specialist adviser to the both the Home Affairs Committee and Joint Committee on Human Rights (JCHR) on two separate occasions and in 2012 was conferred the title of Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences (FAcSS) in recognition of her contribution to the social sciences and to evidence-based policy making. She is currently PI for an ESRC / DfID-funded study exploring the journeys, experiences and aspirations of those who have arrived in Europe during the current migration crisis, including the response of governments, international organisations and civil society.

DolanChris Dolan has worked extensively in sub-Saharan Africa and, since 2006, has been Director of the Refugee Law Project in Uganda. Their work has increasingly shifted from an exclusive focus on written publication to extensive use of video both as a research methodology and output, and as a key advocacy tool. His practical work with survivors of sexual violence in conflict settings brings him into regular contact with refugee survivors of sexual violence, both women and men, including sexual minority and gender minorities and refugee sex workers. His research and advocacy on male victims is helping to generate more comprehensive and inclusive international policies and practice regarding men as victims of sexual violence. As well as appearances on BBC World Service and Al Jazeera, it is reflected in numerous films and documentaries, as well as published articles. Examples of policy influence include the UNHCR’s 2012 guidance note on working with male victims, revisions to the IASC’s GBV Guidelines (2015), contributions to the IICI’s recent Guidelines on Investigating Sexual Violence against Men and Boys (2016), and a guest editorial in the Red Cross Red Crescent’s magazine. He also lectures and presents extensively on the same, with an emphasis on changing policy thinking: Global Summit on Ending Sexual Violence in Conflict, the Hague Academy on Advanced International Criminal Law, the Bled Strategic Forum, and the UK’s House of Lords. He is currently involved in a four year study of the forms, context, logics and discourses of sexual violence, together with Professors Maria Stern and Maria Eriksson Baaz.

GrabskaKatarzyna Grabska is a Project Coordinator and Research Fellow at the Global Migration Centre of the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva. She has received her PhD in Development Studies/Anthropology from the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) at the University of Sussex, UK. Her research focuses on social transformations in the context of forced displacement and return among southern Sudanese refugees. She is particularly interested in intersections of power, gender identities and gender and generational relations in forced displacement situations and the impact of (forced) migration on youth. She has worked and researched in the humanitarian field on issues of human rights, migration, and refugees in Egypt, Guinea, Ghana, Kyrgyzstan, Sudan, South Sudan, Cambodia and Vietnam. She has conducted research on refugee livelihoods, access to rights, social transformations and displacement, and adolescent girls’ migration in the Middle East and East Africa. She has published in these topics widely in academic journals as well as has made documentary films. She is the author of Gender, Identity and Home: Nuer repatriation to South Sudan (2014) and co-editor of Forced Migration: Why Rigths Matter? (2008).

Cindy HorstCindy Horst is Research Director and Research Professor in Migration and Refugee Studies at the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO. Her current research interests include: mobility in conflict; diaspora; humanitarianism; refugee protection; (transnational) civic engagement; and theorizing on societal transformation. She is particularly interested in methodological innovations that allow for critical and ethically conscious research engagement, through shared anthropology and multi-sited ethnography. Cindy is the author of Transnational Nomads: How Somalis cope with refugee life in the Dadaab camps of Kenya (Berghahn 2006). Her most recent publications include ‘Migrants as agents of development: Diaspora engagement discourse and practice in Europe’ (Ethnicities 2015), with Giulia Sinatti, and ‘Flight and Exile. Uncertainty in the Context of Forced Displacement’ (Social Analysis, 2015), with Katarzyna Grabska.

MacleodEwen Macleod is currently head of the Policy Development and Evaluation Service at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Geneva. He has worked in the development and humanitarian fields for the European Commission (EC) and the United Nations (UN) holding both headquarters and field-based positions. During the course of a thirty year career he has worked on many complex humanitarian crises and post conflict reconstruction operations in Asia, the Middle East, and Africa. Current focus areas include research into poverty and welfare among refugees, the economic and social impact analysis of large scale displacement,  mobility as a solution to protracted refugee situations, and refugee return and reintegration within post-conflict state-building

Susan MartinSusan Martin is the Donald G. Herzberg Professor of International Migration and serves as the Director of the Institute for the Study of International Migration in the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. Previously Dr. Martin served as the Executive Director of the U.S. Commission on Immigration Reform, established by legislation to advise Congress and the President on U.S. immigration and refugee policy.

Prior to joining the Commission’s staff, Professor Martin was the Director of Research and Programs at the Refugee Policy Group, a Washington-based center for analysis of U.S. and international refugee policy and programs. She was Assistant Professor at the American Studies Department of Brandeis University and Lecturer in the History of American Civilization Department at the University of Pennsylvania.

personal picIdil Osman holds a PhD from Cardiff University’s School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies and her thesis examined the role of diasporic media in conflict zones. She has worked for more than 11 years as a national and international journalist for the BBC, the Guardian and the Voice of America as well as doing various communications consultancies for UNDP and UNSOM in the Horn of Africa.

She’s the co-author of ‘Somalia to Europe; Stories of the Somali Diaspora, a book that chronicles the civil war experiences of Somali Europeans and their subsequent migration to the UK as well as various articles and papers broadly related to migration and the media, immigration and public service policies in the UK. She is currently a Teaching Fellow in Media and Communication at University of Leicester’s Department of Media and Communication.

Aurélie Ponthieu is the Humanitarian Adviser on Displacement – Humanitarian Innovation Team (HIT) – Analysis and Advocacy Unit – Médecins sans Frontières (MSF), Brussels.

Aurélie Ponthieu has been working for MSF since 2006. She has been working as Humanitarian adviser for Médecins sans Frontières in Brussels since 2011. Her area of expertise includes forced migration and the humanitarian impact of asylum and migration policies. She provides support to MSF operations in terms of context analysis and advocacy strategies.

She has a Master’s degree in Humanitarian Action/International Field legal Assistance and an LLM in International and European Law.

Before working at the MSF Headquarters in Brussels, she worked in the field with MSF for 5 years in Niger (2006), Sudan (2007-2008), Chad (2008), Colombia (2009) and Haiti (2010). Prior to her work with MSF, she also volunteered for other organisations in Honduras and Chile.

Graeme RogersGraeme Rogers is Technical Advisor for Research at the International Rescue Committee (IRC) in New York. He is responsible for promoting research that supports IRC’s US Programs, to strengthen the organization’s commitment to evidence-based programming. An anthropologist by training, his current focus on refugee resettlement in the US builds on a long-standing research interest in the local-level dynamics of durable solutions for refugees. This includes voluntary repatriation and local integration in both urban and rural settings, across numerous countries in Africa and Asia. Previously, he has developed and taught graduate level courses on forced migration at the universities of the Witwatersrand, Oxford and the New School. Dr. Rodgers has consulted widely on displacement and migration in the context of large-scale development projects in conflict-affected contexts in Africa, for governments, bilateral agencies and the private sector.

Federico Soda is the Director of the IOM Coordination Office for the Mediterranean in Rome, where he is responsible for IOM activities in Italy, Malta and the Representative to the Holy See.

Before assuming this position in October 2014, he was the Head of the Labour Migration and Human Development Division at IOM headquarters from June 2010 to September 2014. In that capacity he oversaw IOM’s activities in the areas of labour migration, integration and migration and development.

From 2005 to June 2010, Federico worked on labour migration, migration and development, and policy at IOM’s Regional Office for Southeast Asia in Bangkok, Thailand.

Federico worked with IOM in Bosnia and Herzegovina (2001-2005) and Myanmar (2008).

Before joining IOM, he practiced labour and employment law with McCarthy Tétrault in Toronto, Canada.