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Beyond Territorial Asylum Initiative Advisory Group
This three-year initiative launched by MPI and the Robert Bosch Stiftung is seeking to address the challenges facing the humanitarian protection system globally, seizing the opportunity to explore new ways to facilitate access to protection that better support equity and result in more flexible, sustainable infrastructure. For more on the initiative and the research it is generating, visit the initiative home page.
Tsion Tadesse Abebe
Tsion Tadesse Abebe is a Senior Policy and Research Officer at the International Organization for Migration, Regional Office for East and Horn of Africa in Nairobi, Kenya. Prior to that, she was a Senior Researcher in the Migration Program of the Institute for Security Studies (ISS). She has extensively published on migration and forced displacement and the link between migration and security. Ms. Adebe's publications have focused on issues including the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly, and Regular Migration; the Global Compact on Refugees, and securitization of intra-African migration. She is a founding member of the Global Academic Interdisciplinary Network (GAIN) and member of the editorial board of Refugees Survey Quarterly, published by Oxford University Press. She holds a BA from Addis Ababa University and an MA in gender and peacebuilding from the University for Peace.
Mustafa Alio is Managing Director of R-SEAT (Refugees Seeking Equal Access at the Table). R-SEAT is an international project that aims to enhance refugee inclusion in global policymaking tables in 20 countries. During the Global Refugee Forum in December 2019, he became the first-ever refugee advisor to a Canadian delegation at a meeting of the international refugee system. He is also the Co-Founder and former Managing Director of Jumpstart Refugee Talent, the organization that led initial conversations in 2017 with Canadian employers to contribute to creating the first-of-its-kind economic mobility pathway program in Canada. Mr. Alio is an Advisory Council member with UNHCR Canada; an Advisory Committee member on social innovation for Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada; and an Advisory Committee member with the Local Engagement Refugee Research Network. He contributed to the development of the Global Compact for Refugees in Geneva. In recognition of his service and contributions to Canadian society, he was one of the 2021 recipients of the Meritorious Service Decorations (Civil Division) from the Governor General office of Canada. He is a graduate of Tishreen University.
Giulio di Blasi
Giulio Di Blasi is Europe Director for the Refugee Hub – GRSI, where he leads the work to engage with European states and institutions to expand refugee sponsorship solutions across Europe. Before joining the GRSI team, he was the Member of the Cabinet of the High Representative / Vice President for Foreign Affairs of the European Union, Federica Mogherini, responsible for migration and human-rights issues. Prior to that, he was Head of Team for the implementation of hotspots in Italy and Greece at the European Commission’s Directorate General of Internal Affairs. Before joining the Commission in 2011, Mr. di Blasi worked in the humanitarian NGO sector, focusing on the Middle East and East Africa with a specialization on refugee management and human displacement. He holds an MA in conflict, security, and development from King's College of London.
Vincent Cochetel was appointed the UN High Commissioner for Refugees’ Special Envoy for the Central Mediterranean Situation in June 2017. Prior to this assignment, he was Director of UNHCR’s Bureau for Europe, beginning in 2013. He previously served as UNHCR Regional Representative for the United States and the Caribbean. He first joined UNHCR in 1986, initially working as a legal/protection officer in a number of duty stations, mainly in Europe. He then managed UNHCR field offices in Central Europe, Eastern Europe, and the Middle East, and participated in several emergency missions in Asia, West Africa, and Europe (North Caucasus). In 2002, Mr. Cochetel was appointed Director of the Investigation Unit of the Inspector General’s Office at UNHCR headquarters. In May, he became Deputy Director of UNHCR’s Division of International Protection and Director of the Resettlement Service. Before joining UNHCR, he collaborated for two years with the European Commission of the European Communities and briefly with the European Court of Human Rights. He graduated from the Law Faculty of Tours (France), Paris II, and Paris XI universities.
Luisa Feline Freier
Luisa Feline Freier is an Associate Professor of political science at the Universidad del Pacífico in Lima, Peru. Her research focuses on migration and refugee policies and laws in Latin America, south-south migration, and the Venezuelan displacement crisis. She has published widely in both academic and media outlets. She has provided consultation services to various international institutions and organizations such as Amnesty International, the European Union, the Inter-American Development Bank, the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, and the World Bank. She is an IOM Migration Research and Publishing High-Level Adviser. Dr. Freier has been a fellow of the Fulbright program, the Naumann Foundation for Freedom, and the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). She is an affiliate of the Refugee Law Initiative of the University of London. She holds a Ph.D. in political science from the London School of Economics, a master's degree in Latin American and Caribbean studies from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and a bachelor's in economics from the Universität zu Köln in Germany.
Bram Frouws has been Head of the Mixed Migration Centre (MMC) since its establishment in early 2018. Before moving to Geneva, he worked in the Horn of Africa for five years, where beginning in 2016 he headed the Regional Mixed Migration Secretariat (RMMS) for East Africa and Yemen. Before that, he worked with RMMS as Migration Specialist and Senior Research Associate. He also worked as a Mixed Migration Consultant for UNICEF Eastern and Southern Africa and worked on migration research projects for IOM Kenya, the International Labor Organization, the European Commission, the Danish Refugee Council Myanmar, the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and other agencies. Before moving to the Horn of Africa, Mr. Frouws worked for five years as a Policy Researcher on integration, migration, and labor market issues with Panteia, a Netherlands-based consultancy firm. He has authored a range of research publications on various migration issues, including irregular migration, human trafficking and migrant smuggling, migration and development, and immigration detention, with a strong focus on protection. He holds a BSc and MSc from Tilburg University.
Luciana Gandini is a Senior Researcher at the Institute of Legal Studies at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) in the field of sociology of law. She is Coordinator of the University Seminar on Internal Displacement, Migration, Exile, and Repatriation (SUDIMER), which collects and promotes research on migration and human mobility at UNAM. She is a specialist in migration and refugee policies within Mexico and Latin America, and the labor and sociolegal integration of people on the move among south-south and south-north migratory flows. Her recent research interests include international migration, development, and human rights; voluntary and involuntary migration; the Venezuelan exodus and Central American caravans; and qualitative and quantitative research methods. In 2017 she founded the international network Migrare, composed of more than 200 migration experts from Latin America and beyond. In 2018, she received the UNAM award, National University Distinction for Young Researchers 2018. Dr. Gandini is a Visiting Research Fellow at American University’s Center for Latin American and Latino Studies and a member of the Comparative Analysis on International Migration and Displacement in the Americas Research Group. She received a PhD in social sciences with a concentration in sociology from the College of Mexico (COLMEX) and a masters in population studies from FLACSO-Mexico.
Leander Kandilige is a Senior Lecturer, Postgraduate Course Coordinator, and Examinations Officer at the Centre for Migration Studies, University of Ghana. His areas of academic research interest include global south-north migratory movements and their effects on policy formulation; the migration-development nexus and implications for developing countries; migration and population dynamics; forced migration; migration, globalization, and development; labor migrations in Africa; and theories of migration. Dr. Kandilige has been Principal Investigator, Co-Investigator, and Researcher for several projects funded by diverse international funders, including the Aligning Migration Management and Migration-Development Nexus (MIGNEX), a five-year EU-funded project, and Migration for Development and Equality (MIDEQ), a five-year Global Challenges Research Fund/UK Research and Innovation-funded project. He obtained his DPhil. (PhD.), MSt., PGCert., MA, and BA qualifications from the University of Oxford, University of Southampton, and University of Ghana respectively.
Nassim Majidi is a Research Associate at the African Centre for Migration and Society at the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa and at the Feinstein International Center at Tufts University in the United States. She also teaches a graduate course on refugees and migration as part of Sciences Po Lille’s Conflict and Development Program. Dr. Majidi is the Co-Founder of Samuel Hall and the Migration Pillar Lead where she leads evidence-based research and policy development on migration and displacement. She was nominated in 2015 by the Norwegian Refugee Council for the prestigious Nansen Refugee Award in recognition of her work on behalf of Afghanistan’s displaced population. Dr. Majidi holds a BA in government from Cornell University, a master’s in international affairs and development studies and a PhD in international relations from Sciences Po Paris.
David Manicom serves as Special Advisor leading the implementation of UNHCR`s Three Year Strategy on Resettlement and Complementary Pathways. The strategy, mandated by the Global Compact on Refugees affirmed by the UN General Assembly in 2018, serves as a key vehicle to expand protection for refugees via third-country solutions, with the goal of increasing the number of resettlement spaces, expanding the number of resettlement countries, and improving the availability and predictability of complementary pathways for refugees. Prior to joining UNHCR in 2019, Dr. Manicom served as a senior official in Canada’s Department of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship, most recently as Assistant Deputy Minister for Settlement and Integration. He has held a number of senior assignments with the Canadian government for immigration policy and operations, in Ottawa, Moscow, Islamabad, Geneva, Beijing, and New Delhi. He holds degrees from the University of Toronto (BA) and McGill University (MA, PhD).
Omar Abdul-Monem Rifai
Omar Abdul-Monem Rifai is Director-General of the WANA Institute and Senior Advisor to HRH Prince El Hassan bin Talal at the Majlis El Hassan, The Royal Hashemite Court. From 2015 until 2017, he was Director of the Arab Affairs Unit and Representative of the Commissioner-General at the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) in Amman. Prior to that, he was a Secretary-General of the Jordanian Foreign Ministry (twice), President of the Jordan Institute of Diplomacy, and the first Executive Director of the West Asia-North Africa (WANA) Forum. Dr. Rifai joined the Jordanian Diplomatic Service in 1975 and served in Jordan’s missions in Cairo, Bern, New York, London, and Washington. Between 1994 and 1996, he was Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process and Director of the Special Bureau at the Foreign Ministry in Amman. He was also a member of the Jordanian delegation to the Jordan-Israel peace talks in 1994. In 1996, he was sworn in as an Ambassador. Between 1996 and 2008, he headed Jordan’s diplomatic missions in Israel, Italy, and Egypt, and was also Jordan’s Permanent Representative to the Arab League. From 2004 until 2005, and 2009 until 2017, Dr. Rifai was a part-time lecturer in political science and international relations at the University of Jordan. He holds a number of Jordanian and foreign decorations, and is a graduate of Harvard University and Georgetown University.
Foni Joyce Vuni
Foni Joyce Vuni is a Research Associate at the Refugee-Led Research Hub, where she supports the study of refugee-led organizations in East Africa. She is also the Coordinator for the Global Refugee Youth Network (GRYN), an independent, youth-led consortium that supports young refugees and empowers them to respond to the needs of their communities. Ms. Vuni served as the UNHCR Global Youth Advisory Council Co-Chair for three years and is currently a board member for the Women’s Refugee Commission. She holds a BA in mass communication from Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology and uses her experience as a forcibly displaced woman to shift the narrative of refugees as beneficiaries to one of refugees as partners.