Ayla's primary interests in the field of forced migration lie in refugee protection, livelihood strategies, and emergency education programming. Her past research in Uganda has examined these issues among refugee populations living in UNHCR-sponsored settlements and in Kampala. Ayla has also worked and carried out research in Guatemala, Senegal and Rwanda. In addition to her MSc in Forced Migration from the University of Oxford, Ayla holds a BA Hons in Political Science from Columbia University.
Amanda’s research focuses on how law, politics and humanitarianism overlap to protect or restrain forced migrants. Recently, she explored how refugee journalists may lack the political right to free expression because of a humanitarian imperative in asylum. She previously conducted research with and volunteered in an organization that assists refugees in Cairo, Egypt. In addition to her MSc in Forced Migration, Amanda holds a BS in Journalism and in International Studies from Northwestern University.
Denise is primarily interested in the experience of the displaced in Latin America as well as how states perceive themselves to be responsible for refugees. Her past research investigated the marginalization and violence faced by internally displaced persons in Bogotá, Colombia. Previously a Fulbright fellow, she interned with UNHCR in Maracaibo, Venezuela examining the urban challenges faced by Colombian refugees there. In addition to her MSc in Forced Migration from the University of Oxford, Denise holds a BA in Social Anthropology and Certificate in Latin American Studies from Harvard University.
Nate's primary interest is in refugee resettlement, in particular how it can be used 'strategically' and/or as a tool to address protracted refugee situations. He has experience working in resettlement with the International Rescue Committee (IRC) in his native California, interned with UNHCR in Benin and New York, and has also worked in refugee camps in Thailand. In addition to the MSc in Forced Migration from the University of Oxford, he holds an MA in International Relations from San Francisco State University and a BA in Political Science from the University of California, Santa Cruz.
A current J.D candidate at the University of Michigan Law School, Lara is primarily interested in protection gaps that confront forced migrants. Her MSc of Forced Migration thesis at the University of Oxford examined legal and political gaps in protection for urban refugees. As a Fulbright Scholar, Lara has conducted research in Ecuador on the effects of the Mexico Plan of Action on the Colombian population living in the country. Past research projects have taken her to Senegal and Cambodia. In addition, Lara holds a BA in History where she minored in French and Francophone Studies from the University of Michigan and has previously interned with the International Rescue Committee in Washington D.C and San Francisco.
Having obtained a first class degree in International Studies and Political Science from the University of Birmingham UK, Lucia specialised in Forced Migration, obtai ning a Master of Science from the University of Oxford UK. After graduation, Lucia interned at the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the Embassy of the Slovak Republic in Jakarta, Indonesia. Currently, Lucia is a trainee with the European Union Delegation to Indonesia and Brunei Darussalam. Lucia’s research interests concentrate on human rights of the Roma minority in Europe, specifically in Slovakia, Germany and the UK. More broadly, her interests also cover international development, humanitarian aid and gender issues.
V.Tai Sayarath (Founder & Chair)
Tai specializes in forced migration, asylum and human rights of the Asia Pacific region. Her academic focus intersects (Forced) Migration Studies, Political Theory, Political Philosophy and International Law. In addition to her MSc of Forced Migration from the University of Oxford, Tai holds a BA in Global Studies-majoring in International Relations and a First Class Honors of International Studies from Monash University, Australia. Tai has been working in anti-human trafficking research at UNIAP and is currently a legal advocate for Asylum Access Thailand.
Clara has been working with asylum seekers and refugees in Europe for over three years. She holds a BA in Politics and International Relations from the University of Sheffield and an MSc in Forced Migration at the University of Oxford. Most recently she worked as a consultant for the British Red Cross Refugee and International Tracing Service in London where she conducted a needs assessment and research into the funding cuts. Her current interests include evaluation and monitoring, participatory programme planning in emergencies, return and reintegration, the rights of persons with disabilities and EU asylum law.
Janna Wessels (Vice-Chair)
Janna's primary interests lie in legal questions concerning the refugee definition and the 1951 Convention more broadly. She focuses on the intersection of (forced)migration and development, in particular on how diasporas and returnees can contribute to the development of sending countries. In addition to her MSc of Forced Migration from the University of Oxford Janna holds a Diplom of Social Sciences, majoring in Political Science and International Relations from the University of Münster, Germany, and a Diplom of Political Science, majoring in European Studies from the Institute of Political Studies (Sciences Po) Lille, France.
Anaïs' primary interest lies in the detention of migrants and refugees in Europe and its neighboring countries. Most recently, she has explored the situation in waiting zones at the French borders from an Agambenian perspective. In addtion to the MSc in forced Migration from the University of Oxford, she holds a BA in Philosophy from Boston College, USA and a MA in Philosophy from the Sorbonne University, France where she concentrated on the work of Michel Foucault and the concept of race.