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MPI Europe sets strong future course with selection of new director and research director
Press Release
Tuesday, September 10, 2019

MPI Europe sets strong future course with selection of new director and research director

BRUSSELS — Migration Policy Institute Europe’s administrative council has selected Dr. Hanne Beirens as the respected think tank’s new director, tapping a leader with a proven track record in the research, public policy and project management realms.

Beirens, who has served as MPI Europe’s acting director in recent months and has been with the organization as associate director since 2015, was selected from a pool of highly qualified candidates who emerged during an intensive and open search process.

"Hanne Beirens has a distinguished record of thought leadership on asylum and legal pathways to protection, unaccompanied minors and other children on the move, integration, labor migration, the EU funding landscape on migration and other policy areas," said Demetrios G. Papademetriou, who is a member of MPI Europe’s administrative council and launched MPI Europe in 2011. "Beyond maintaining the institute’s high standards for thoughtful, innovative policy analysis and research on the serious migration challenges and opportunities confronting Europe, Hanne has articulated a smart and strong vision to build upon the organization’s strengths and take it to new heights."

Before joining MPI Europe in 2015, Beirens was a lead managing consultant with ICF Consulting Services in Brussels, directing impact assessments and evaluations. Earlier in her career, she was a researcher with the universities of Birmingham, Oxford and Warwick, and was a consultant to the International Labor Organization. A Belgian citizen, Beirens holds a PhD in ethnic relations and sociology and a master’s in race and ethnic studies from the University of Warwick, and earned an undergraduate degree in sociology from the University of Ghent. She is fluent in Dutch, French, English, Italian and Spanish.

MPI Europe’s administrative council and MPI’s leadership in Washington, DC also announced the promotion of Dr. Meghan Benton as director of research for MPI Europe and MPI’s International Program, further solidifying relations between the two sister organizations.

An MPI senior policy analyst, Benton has served as assistant director for research for the International Program and an MPI Europe non-resident fellow. With a PhD from University College London, Benton is known for her path-breaking research in areas including the role of technological and social innovation in responses to the refugee and migration crisis in Europe, the future of integration policy, the future of work across the Atlantic, free movement and the effect of Brexit on mobile citizens. She will be responsible for working with Beirens to set the research directions for MPI Europe and will direct MPI’s global research vision.

"We are confident that Hanne and Meghan will set MPI Europe on course to continue to grow and succeed in the challenging environment ahead," said MPI President Andrew Selee, chair of the MPI Europe administrative council. "The superlative team at MPI Europe has long served an on-call policy adviser role for EU presidencies and European institutions, national governments and other key policy stakeholders, as well as a major contributor to public discussion and understanding on migration issues. In a highly dynamic policy and political environment, smart, pragmatic, evidence-based thinking is needed now more than ever, and we have set in place the team to deliver on this."

For more on Dr. Beirens, see: www.migrationpolicy.org/about/staff/hanne-beirens.

And on Dr. Benton: www.migrationpolicy.org/about/staff/meghan-benton.