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Kathleen Newland
Experts & Staff
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Kathleen Newland

Senior Fellow

Contact via email

Kathleen Newland is a Senior Fellow and Co-Founder of the Migration Policy Institute. Her work focuses on the governance of international migration, the relationship between migration and development, and refugee protection.

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Michelle Mittelstadt
+1 202-266-1910
+44 20 8123 6265
[email protected]

General Inquiries
+1 202-266-1941

Prior to MPI’s establishment in July 2001, Ms. Newland co-directed the International Migration Policy Program at the Carnegie Endowment. Earlier, she was a Lecturer in international political economy at the London School of Economics (1988–92) and Special Assistant to the Rector of the United Nations University (1982–87). She has worked as a consultant to the International Labor Organization, the International Organization for Migration, the Office of the Secretary General of the United Nations, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), and the World Bank.

Ms. Newland is a Member of the Board of Directors of Kids in Need of Defense (KIND), a nonprofit organization that provides pro bono legal services to unaccompanied children caught up in the U.S. immigration system. She has served on the Boards of Directors of the International Rescue Committee, the Stimson Center, USA for UNHCR, and the Foundation for the Hague Process on Migrants and Refugees. She is also a Chair Emerita of the Women’s Refugee Commission.

Ms. Newland is author or editor of nine books, including most recently All at Sea: The Policy Challenges of Rescue, Interception, and Long-Term Response to Maritime Migration (MPI, 2016). She has also written more than 50 policy papers, articles, and book chapters.

Ms. Newland is a graduate of Harvard University and the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University. She did additional graduate work at the London School of Economics.

Read the Washington Post profile of Kathleen Newland. Read Ms. Newland's report, Circular Migration and Human Development

Bio Page Tabs

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Policy Briefs
February 2021
By  Camille Le Coz and Kathleen Newland
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Policy Briefs
December 2020
By  Lena Kainz, Natalia Banulescu-Bogdan and Kathleen Newland
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Policy Briefs
October 2020
By  Kathleen Newland
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Policy Briefs
February 2019
By  Kathleen Newland
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Policy Briefs
October 2018
By  Kathleen Newland and Brian Salant
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Policy Briefs
July 2018
By  Kate Hooper and Kathleen Newland
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Policy Briefs
January 2018
By  Kathleen Newland and Andrea Riester

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Over the past decade, migration has emerged as one of the most pressing issues facing governments around the world. Nearing the end of his tenure as Director General of the International Organization for Migration (IOM), Ambassador William Lacy Swing sat down with MPI Senior Fellow Kathleen Newland to reflect on his ten years leading IOM, as well as the international community's role on migration going forward.

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Governments on the receiving end of migrants and refugees reinforced their commitment to returns in 2017, sending or coercing migrants to move back to impoverished or violent homelands. The Dominican Republic pushed out some 70,000 Haitians and native born of Haitian descent, while more than 500,000 Afghans left Iran and Pakistan. Though many of these migrants chose to return, in practice the line between forced and voluntary returns is blurry.

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With global displacement at a post-World War II high, the international community made some advances on refugee protection in 2016, but there were also steps backward. The United Nations held the first-ever refugee summit and some countries, including the United States and Canada, increased their resettlement commitments. Meanwhile, conflict intensified in some hotspots and publics turned against refugees, as this Top 10 article explores. 

The recent special session of the United Nations (UN) General Assembly, labeled the High-Level Dialogue on International Migration and Development (HLD), was the UN's second-ever discussion devoted solely to international migration. This article examines the implications and outcomes of the HLD, identifies some of the issues that garnered widespread support, and assesses whether the international community is inching toward greater multilateral engagement on migration.

Diaspora entrepreneurs have several advantages over other entrepreneurs or investors because they have social, political, and economic connections in two or more countries. Kathleen Newland and Hiroyuki Tanaka discuss the conditions and commitments on the part of countries of origin that can help attract and support diaspora entrepreneurs.

A number of governments and institutions are determined to ride international migration toward a future of greater prosperity. MPI's Kathleen Newland outlines what they all should know about the pluses and minuses of the most basic issues that frame the debate on migration and development: remittances and the brain drain.

The October 2005 GCIM report drew attention to problems in migration policymaking and stressed the importance of international cooperation. MPI's Kathleen Newland analyzes its findings and outlines what may happen next.

MPI Director Kathleen Newland provides an overview of the latest asylum numbers and insights as to why they are declining.

MPI Co-Director Kathleen Newland provides a concise overview of the impact of rich country migration policies on poor country development.

Danger often awaits people who set out by boat, seeking safety from upheaval or persecution. MPI Co-Director Kathleen Newland examines how governments, the shipping industry, and international bodies have succeeded — or too frequently, failed — to cast a line to those in need.

Change is sweeping the systems that govern refugee resettlement. MPI Co-Director Kathleen Newland examines the most important trends and their implications.

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Commentaries
September 2017
By  Kathleen Newland and Randy Capps
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Commentaries
January 2017
By  Kathleen Newland and T. Alexander Aleinikoff
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Commentaries
October 2015
By  Kathleen Newland
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Commentaries
December 2014
By  Kathleen Newland
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Audio
April 8, 2020

MPI and MPI Europe experts discuss the effects of the coronavirus pandemic on asylum systems in Europe and North America, as well as in developing regions, where 85 percent of refugees live. During this freeform conversation, our analysts also assess the implications for the principle of asylum and the future for a post-World War II humanitarian protection system that is under threat.

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Video, Audio
April 10, 2019

MPI's Kathleen Newland, Refugee Council USA's Mary Giovagnoli, and David Scott FitzGerald, author of Refuge beyond Reach, discuss how and why international and national responses to the rising challenge of refugee displacement are diverging.

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Video, Audio
November 15, 2018

In advance of the December 2018 adoption of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly, and Regular Migration, which includes a commitment to facilitate the return and reintegration of migrants, this webinar examines the policies, practices, and contextual factors that make compulsory returns such a difficult issue for international cooperation.

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Video, Audio
September 12, 2018

As the final phase of preparations for the historic adoption of a Global Compact for Safe, Orderly, and Regular Migration approaches, this webinar explores two central objectives of the compact: enhancing the availability and flexibility of pathways for regular migration, and investing in skills development.

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Audio
December 12, 2017

To reflect on the outcomes of the stocktaking meeting in December 2017 on the progress made towards conceptualizing the Global Compact for Migration, MPI hosted a conversation with Eva Åkerman Börje, from the office of the UN Special Representative for International Migration, and Ilse Hahn, from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development.

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Recent Activity

Policy Briefs
February 2021

Migrant returns and reintegration have been the subject of intense international debate in recent years, and the COVID-19 pandemic has added an extra layer of complexity as millions of migrants have been expelled or returned voluntarily. This policy brief explores the effects of the pandemic on migrant returns, reception, and reintegration, and how countries of origin and destination can improve their policies and partnerships going forward, with a focus on sustainable reintegration.

Policy Briefs
December 2020

National governments and UN agencies have been working to implement the Global Compact on Refugees and the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly, and Regular Migration. Where has the most progress been made as the compacts hit the two-year mark? And how has the process played out differently for the two pacts? This policy brief explores these questions, the growing divergence between the pacts, and how challenges such as the COVID-19 pandemic are shaping implementation.

Policy Briefs
October 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic poses a range of (im)mobility challenges that the international community has few tools to address. This policy brief examines the valuable guidance offered by the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly, and Regular Migration on short-term emergency response and the longer-term reopening of international migration. It also considers how the pandemic is affecting the relationship between migration and development.

Audio, Webinars
April 8, 2020

MPI and MPI Europe experts discuss the effects of the coronavirus pandemic on asylum systems in Europe and North America, as well as in developing regions, where 85 percent of refugees live. During this freeform conversation, our analysts also assess the implications for the principle of asylum and the future for a post-World War II humanitarian protection system that is under threat.
 

Policy Briefs
June 2019

Migration and development policy discussions have edged closer to each other on the international stage. The adoption of the Global Compact for Migration in December 2018 marks an important milestone. As all eyes turn toward the compact’s implementation, this brief examines some of the key topics states have pledged to work more closely on—from labor migration and migrants’ rights, to returns and reintegration.

Video, Audio
April 10, 2019

MPI's Kathleen Newland, Refugee Council USA's Mary Giovagnoli, and David Scott FitzGerald, author of Refuge beyond Reach, discuss how and why international and national responses to the rising challenge of refugee displacement are diverging. They examine what lies ahead for the Global Compact on Refugees and how adjustments to asylum policies in many high-income democracies are narrowing the paths to protection.

Policy Briefs
February 2019

The vast majority of UN Member States in December 2018 adopted the first-ever international agreement to cooperate on migration. This policy brief traces the trajectory of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly, and Regular Migration's negotiation and endorsement. It also explores the factors that will determine whether the compact lives up to its aim of improving how states cooperate on international migration.   

Commentaries
December 2018

While the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly, and Regular Migration was formally adopted by 164 of the UN's 193 Member States, it's worth asking how it became a point of contention and ultimately was rejected by more than a dozen countries. The answer? A long lag time between negotiation and adoption, during which overheated claims against it went largely unanswered, as this commentary explores.

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