Pardee School Initiative on Forced Migration and Human Trafficking

Research. Education. Advocacy.

The Pardee School Initiative on Forced Migration and Human Trafficking (FMHT) brings together students, scholars, practitioners and policy-makers to support research, education, and advocacy on the pressing issues of forced migration and human trafficking. Follow our activities on Facebook and Twitter.

Upcoming Events:

For more information about the Jean Monnet Migration Innovation Series, see the dropdown section below.

According to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, more than 65 million people were displaced by the end of 2016. While existing international humanitarian and legal tools are designed to deal with refugees on an individualized basis and within short-term crises, we are witnessing a structural human displacement problem that is becoming more and more acute.

In response to this growing global crisis, the FMHT was founded in March 2015 at the Pardee School of Global Studies, Boston University. It is fitting that this initiative should be housed at the Pardee School—which boasts an interdisciplinary faculty committed to developing long-term sustainable policy solutions to some of the most pressing issues of our time.

FMHT was founded to bring together these scholars and practitioners in order to create policies and resources that have an impact beyond the classroom. We are enriched by our location in Boston—with its vibrant history as a migrant and refugee host city and thriving community of academics that is unparalleled in the United States. Our members include political scientists, sociologists, lawyers, doctors, economists, public health professionals, anthropologists, and religious figures; academics, practitioners, policymakers, and students.

By drawing specialists from such a broad range of fields, we are able to discuss and craft more comprehensive policies to propose to various stakeholders in humanitarian assistance. Our partnership with the Boston Consortium for Arab Region Studies allows us to include academics and students from the entire Boston area and further develop our ability to cultivate multiple approaches to migration and trafficking.

Noora Lori, Assistant Professor of International Relations, Pardee School of Global Studies, Founding Director

looriNoora Lori is an Assistant Professor of International Relations at the Pardee School of Global Studies, Boston University. Lori’s research broadly focuses on the political economy of migration and the development of security institutions and international migration control, especially in the Middle East.

Lori’s current book project examines the development and enforcement of citizenship and immigration policies in the United Arab Emirates, where non-citizens comprise 96 percent of the domestic labor force. This work is based on her dissertation, which was awarded the Best Dissertation Award by the Migration and Citizenship section of the American Political Science Association in 2014. Lori has published articles in the Asian and Pacific Migration Journal, the Journal of Politics & Society, and for the Institut français des relations internationals (IFRI).

Professor Lori co-directs the Pardee Initiative on Forced Migration and Human Trafficking at the Pardee School. She won the Gitner Family Prize for Faculty excellence in her first year of joining the faculty. Prior to joining BU, she was an Academy Scholar at the Harvard Academy for International and Area Studies. She was also a pre-doctoral fellow at the International Security Program and the Dubai Initiative of the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. She has previously taught at the Dubai School of Government where she was an adjunct faculty member and visiting scholar, and at the University of Cambridge for the Heritage Summers program. Her research has been funded by the ACLS/Mellon Foundation and the ZEIT-Stiftung “Settling into Motion” Fellowship. She received her MA and PhD from Johns Hopkins University (2013) and her BA summa cum laude from Northwestern University (2006).

Please note that Prof. Lori is on leave for the academic year 2016-2017. Please contact Acting Director Prof. Kaija Schilde with any inquiries.

Kaija Schilde, Assistant Professor of International Relations, Pardee School of Global Studies, Acting Director


Kaija Schilde is an Assistant Professor at the Boston University Pardee School of Global Studies. Her research interests involve European and transatlantic security, the political economy of defense and security markets and industries, EU lobbies and interest groups, and the role of private nonstate actors in national and international security.

Her book The Political Economy of European Security (Cambridge University Press 2017), is an investigation of the relationship between EU institutions and interest groups, with a focus on security and defense interests, including the formation of EU internal and external security policies such as Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) and immigration and border security. Her other research investigates the causes and consequences of military spending cuts, defense reform and force transformation, arms exports under conditions of dependence and austerity, and the international diffusion of domestic and border security practices. She has a policy background in defense reform and transatlantic security. She has published in journals such as the Journal of Common Market Studies, The Journal of Peace Research, and European Security.


European Union; European Foreign and Security Policy; Comparative Politics; Defense Acquisition and Technology; Bureaucracy and Interest Groups; Computational Modeling and Simulation.


Samantha Robertson is an MA candidate in Global Development Policy (GDP) at the Pardee School of Global Studies. Her focus is on economic development and human capital accumulation by increasing access to quality education in Latin America and the Caribbean. Her research is on conditional cash transfers (CCTs), gaps in education programs and policies, and using statistical analysis to promote effective development programs. Samantha is also an editor for the Pardee Periodical Journal of Global Affairs. 

Former Graduate Co-Chairs:

kelberer_fmht_resizedVicky Kelberer received her MA in International Affairs in May 2017 from the Pardee School of Global Studies at Boston University. She co-founded FMHT with Profs. Lori and Schilde in spring 2015, and served as an inaugural Graduate Chair from 2015-2017. During her MA, Vicky conducted research on refugee policy in Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey, and Switzerland. Her research focuses on reassessing international approaches to urban (non-camp) refugees and internally displaced persons, and integrating urban planning theories and practices into humanitarian responses. She has published articles in the Middle East Research and Information Project, Atlantic Council, Huffington Post, Foreign Policy in Focus, and Parabellum Report on refugees and international affairs. Vicky is currently working on the Jean Monnet Migration Innovation Series with FMHT, and will return to Jordan in 2017 for an extended research consultancy on refugee programs.

Trish Ward is a PhD candidate in the Dept. of Sociology at ward_fmht_resizedBoston University. Her research interests include refugee relief and so-called “migration management” practices particularly in the Middle East context. Trish obtained her B.A. from American University’s School of International Service and was a 2012 Fulbright Student Scholar in Canada where she studied refugee labor integration and Canadian migration scholars’ contributions to the country’s immigration policy debate. Trish has also worked and conducted research in Jordan where she examined applications of UNHCR’s urban refugee policy in protracted refugee contexts.

The Pardee School Initiative on Forced Migration and Human Trafficking is pleased to announce the 2017-2018 Jean Monnet Migration Innovation Series, generously sponsored by the EU Erasmus+ program. The Migration Innovation Series will include a series of local and international workshops that bring together policymakers, academics, practitioners, and students, to pursue different avenues of innovation in migration studies. The series began with an internal launch at the Pardee School that included a class on digital innovation and migration in Europe, taught by Prof. and FMHT Director Kaija Schilde, and continued with a hackathon in December, a presentation by former refugee Sarah Mardini in April, and concluded the academic year in 2017 with Human Trafficking Education Week.

Public events began in July 2017 with a policy workshop on Refugee Resettlement, and will continue throughout 2017-2018. A rough schedule of events is outlined on the flyer below (click to enlarge), and more information will be added as it becomes available. Outputs from the series, including policy reports, interactive resources, and student projects, will be shared to this page and to our newsletter subscribers as they become available.

For more information contact or the Project Managers, listed below:

  • Vicky Kelberer, Project Manager:
  • Claire Coffey, Project Manager:

Jean Monnet Series Flyer

Fall 2017 Events:

  • September: Innovating Solutions to Migration Challenges (Presentation by FMHT Directors Prof. Lori and Schilde, more information TBA soon)
  • October 27-28: Disrupting the Human Trafficking-Migration Nexus
    International Workshop
    Pardee School of Global Studies (121 Bay State Rd.)
    RSVP at the link here. Submit proposals to
    Click flyer image to enlarge.
    HT Flyer
  • November: Business, Technology, and Human Trafficking (Presentation by FMHT affiliated faculty, more information TBA soon)

Susan Akram

Professor Susan Akram directs BU Law’s International Human Rights Clinic, in which she supervises students engaged in international advocacy in domestic, international, regional, and UN fora. Her research and publications focus on immigration, asylum, refugee, forced migration, and human and civil rights issues, with an interest in the Middle East, the Arab, and Muslim world.

Akram’s distinguished research was recognized with a Fulbright Senior Scholar Teaching and Research Award for the 1999–2000 academic year. She has lectured on Palestinian refugees to general audiences around the world as well as to committees of the United Nations (including the High Commission for Refugees and the Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees), the European Union, and representatives of European and Canadian government ministries and parliaments. Since September 11, 2001, she has presented widely on the USA Patriot Act and immigration-related laws and policies as well as on her work challenging standard interpretations of women’s asylum claims from the Arab/Muslim world.

With her clinic students as well as in collaboration with other legal organizations, Akram has worked on resettlement and refugee claims of Guantanamo detainees, and has been co-counsel on a number of high profile cases, including the 20+-year litigation of a case of first impression on the interpretation of one of the exclusion bars to asylum, In Re A-H-. She has taught at the American University in Cairo, Egypt and at Al-Quds and Birzeit Universities in Palestine. She regularly teaches in the summer institute on forced migration at the Refugee Studies Centre at Oxford University, and in various venues in the Middle East on refugee law.

Christina Bain

Christina Bain is the Director of Babson College’s Initiative on Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery where she is focused on addressing the role of business and entrepreneurial solutions in the fight against human trafficking, in addition to coursework and initiatives to train the next generation of business leaders in anti-trafficking strategies. Christina is the former and founding Director of the Harvard Kennedy School’s Program on Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery within the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy, a program that she designed, developed, and implemented with the aim of creating data-driven public policy solutions to human trafficking. Prior to the Harvard Kennedy School, Christina was appointed by Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney as the Executive Director of the Governor’s Commission on Sexual and Domestic Violence, a statewide commission of nearly 350 public and private sector partners.  She previously served as the Public Affairs Liaison to Massachusetts Lieutenant Governor Kerry Healey where she worked on domestic violence and criminal justice issues, including human trafficking and sex offender management. Christina also served as a Special Assistant to Governor Jane Swift of Massachusetts.

Christina is a member of the World Economic Forum’s Meta-Council on the Illicit Economy; Global Agenda Council on Human Rights; and is the Co-Chair of the Global Agenda Council Network-Wide Human Trafficking Task Force, a cross-council initiative with other Global Agenda Councils and Forum industry partners. She is a member of the Global Initiative Network of Experts with the Global Initiative against Transnational Organized Crime; a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations; and a member of the Massachusetts Governor’s Council to Address Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence under Governor Charlie Baker and Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito.

Samuel Bazzi

Samuel Bazzi is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Economics at Boston University. His research spans the field of development economics with a particular interest in labor mobility. He has ongoing research in Indonesia examining the consequences of population resettlement for economic development and nation building. In other work, he explores the role of agricultural income shocks in shaping international migration decisions. In a large, ongoing experiment, Bazzi investigates how information on placement agency quality affects welfare of female migrants from rural Indonesia to countries in East Asia and the Middle East.

Julie Dahlstrom

Julie Dahlstrom directs BU Law’s Immigrants’ Rights & Human Trafficking (IRHT) Program, which offers law students the unique opportunity to represent noncitizen and survivor clients while developing important lawyering skills. Dahlstrom founded and directed the Human Trafficking Clinic since it opened in 2012. In 2014, the Human Trafficking Clinic was recognized by preLaw magazine as one of the top 25 most innovative clinical programs nationally.

She served previously as a senior staff attorney at Casa Myrna Vazquez, where she represented survivors of commercial sexual exploitation, and as managing attorney of the Immigration Legal Assistance Program at Ascentria Care Alliance. Dahlstrom founded and chairs the U and T Visa Working Group of the Immigration Coalition and is a member of the Human Trafficking Subcommittee of the Delivery of Legal Services Committee. She previously served as the co-chair of the Public Service Subcommittee of the Immigration Committee of the Boston Bar Association.

In 2012, she was appointed by Governor Deval Patrick to the Massachusetts Human Trafficking Task Force, chaired by the Attorney General, and she has served as the co-chair of the Victim Services Subcommittee and a member of the Labor Trafficking Subcommittee. In 2016, she received the Top Women of the Law Award from Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly. Dahlstrom received a JD from Boston College Law School and a BA from Boston College.

Susan Eckstein

Susan Eckstein is a Professor of International Relations and Sociology at Boston University and Past President of the Latin American Studies Association.She has written extensively on Mexico, Cuba, and Bolivia and on immigration and the impact immigrants have had across country borders.  Her most recent book, The Immigrant Divide: How Cuban Americans Changed the U.S. and Their Homeland, won awards from Sections of the American Political Science Association and American Sociological Association for Best Book in 2010/2011. She also authored prize-winning Back from the Future: Cuba under Castro and The Poverty of Revolution: The State and Urban Poor in Mexico. In addition, she edited Power and Popular Protest: Latin American Social Movements and co-edited books on social justice and social rights in Latin America with Timothy Wickham-Crowley and on developing country immigrant impacts in their homelands with Adil Najam. She also co-edited a 2015 double issue of Diaspora that focuses on generational differences within diverse diasporas.

Eckstein has received grants and fellowships for book projects from a range of funding sources. They include the Russell Sage Foundation, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Radcliffe Institute, the American Council of Learned Societies, the Social Science Research Council, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Institute for World Order, the Mellon Foundation through MIT, the Ford Foundation, and the Tinker Foundation. This year she received a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship to write a book, Cuban Immigration Exceptionalism: The Long Cold War. Among other topics, the book addresses how U.S. Presidents and Congress have treated Cubans as refugees even when they sought U.S. entry for economic reasons. The book also addresses the various immigration privileges provided Cubans since the 1959 revolution in Cuba.

Lance Laird

Lance Laird is Assistant Director of the Master of Science Program in Medical Anthropology and Cross-Cultural Practice in the Graduate Medical Sciences Division of Boston University School of Medicine.  He is Assistant Professor in the Department of Family Medicine and in the Graduate Division of Religious Studies

Dr. Laird received his BA in 1986 in religious studies, with a focus on Islam, from the University of Virginia. He studied theology at Baptist seminaries in Kentucky and Switzerland, earning an MDiv in 1989. Dr. Laird completed his ThD in comparative religion at the Harvard Divinity School in 1998. His dissertation, “Martyrs, Heroes and Saints: Shared Symbols of Muslims and Christians in Contemporary Palestinian Society,” examined Christian-Muslim relations and nationalism through ethnographic fieldwork in Bethlehem.

Dr. Laird’s research at Boston University has focused on multiple intersections of Muslim identity with healing professions and public health in the US. His early research on shared symbols of Muslims and Christians in Bethlehem set forth a research agenda on the “dialogue of life.” He employs a “lived religion” and ethnographic approach, and draws on theories of racialization, social suffering, and identity formation. While continuing to write on Christian-Muslim relations in theological circles, he has published articles on how Muslims are represented in medical literature, the emergence of Muslim free clinics, and chaplaincy for Muslim patients; the civic participation and professional identities of American Muslim physicians; the assets that predominantly Black Christian and Muslim congregations bring to neighborhood public health; and cultural aspects of Somali oral health.

Dr. Laird is currently an organizer with the Greater Boston Muslim Health Initiative, studying networks of faith and health that affect local Muslims; and conducting research on healthcare access for Muslim women who have experienced domestic violence. He is also collaborating with family medicine faculty in qualitative studies of integrative medicine group visits and virtual group health promotion.  Dr. Laird is interested in developing new projects on religious and cultural community assets for immigrant and refugee health. He is directing the 2015 Boston University Religion Fellows Seminar on “Multiple Interdisciplinary Approaches to Religions, Health and Healing in Global and Local Contexts” with Dr. Mary Elizabeth Moore, Dean of the School of Theology.

Robert E.B. Lucas

Robert E.B. Lucas is Professor of Economics at Boston University. Professor Lucas completed the B.Sc.(Econ) and M.Sc.(Econ) at the London School of Economics and received his Ph.D. from M.I.T. His research has included work on internal and international migration, employment and human resources, income distribution and inter-generational inequality, international trade and industry, the environment, and sharecropping. Professor Lucas served as Chief Technical Adviser to the Malaysia Human Resource Development Program and is a Research Affiliate at the MIT Center for International Studies, the Institute for Economic Development and the African Studies Center at Boston University. He was the recipient of the Chanan Yavor Prize for the best paper in development economics and the Gitner Prize for excellence in teaching. Professor Lucas has been a consultant to a number of international agencies, including the World Bank, ILO, OECD and USAID. This work has encompassed a wide range of countries, comprising Bangladesh, Bolivia, Botswana, Egypt, India, Malaysia, Pakistan, South Africa and the Western Balkan states. His publications include more than thirty journal articles and half a dozen books, the most recent of which is the International Handbook on Migration and Economic Development.

Fallou Ngom

Dr. Fallou Ngom’s current research interests include the interactions between African languages and non-African languages, the Africanization of Islam, and Ajami literatures—records of West African languages written in Arabic script. He hopes to help train the first generation of American scholars to have direct access into the wealth of knowledge still buried in West African Ajami literatures, and the historical, cultural, and religious heritage that has found expression in this manner.

Another fascinating area of Dr. Ngom’s work is language analysis in asylum cases, a sub-field of the new field of forensic linguistics. His work in this field addresses the intricacies of using knowledge of varied West African languages and dialects to evaluate the claims of migrants applying for asylum and determine if the person is actually from the country that he or she claims.

Dr. Ngom’s work has appeared in the International Journal of the Sociology of Language, Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, Language Variation and Change, and African Studies Review, among others.

Denis J. Sullivan

Denis J. Sullivan (Ph.D., University of Michigan) is a Professor of Political Science and International Affairs as well as the Co-Director of the Middle East Center at Northeastern University. Prof. Sullivan is the founding Director of BCARS, the Boston Consortium for Arab Region Studies, supported by the Carnegie Corporation of New York.

Dr. Sullivan is the author of nearly three dozen journal articles, book chapters, policy briefs, blogs and encyclopedia entries plus a number of books, including: Egypt: Global Security Watch, with Kimberly Jones, (Praeger 2008); The World Bank and the Palestinian NGO Project: From Service Delivery to Sustainable Development (Jerusalem: PASSIA, 2001); Islam in Contemporary Egypt: Civil Society vs. the State, with Sana Abed-Kotob (Boulder: L. Rienner, 1999); Private Voluntary Organizations in Egypt: Islamic Development, Private Initiative, and State Control (University Press of Florida, 1994); and Privatization & Liberalization in the Middle East, co-edited with Iliya Harik (Indiana University Press, 1992).

His current research and policy focus is on the Syrian refugee crisis and its impact on regional societies (Jordan, Lebanon, and Turkey) as well as in the Balkans. He co-authored (with Jaime Jarvis) the policy brief Syria’s Humanitarian Crisis: A Call for Regional and International Responses and co-authored (with Sarah Tobin) “Security and Resilience among Syrian Refugees in Jordan,” MERIP.

Sullivan has been a consultant to the World Bank, USAID, U.S. State Department, U.S. Department of Defense, Council on Foreign Relations, human rights organizations, and academic institutions in Europe, the U.S., and the Middle East.

Prof. Sullivan also is the founding Director of the Dialogue of Civilizations program at Northeastern. Dialogue programs send some 1,200 students around the world each summer on 60+ faculty-led academic programs; each program is at least 5 weeks in length and some are 8-weeks long. These programs enable students to engage with host communities, learn languages, conduct research and service learning projects, and otherwise train and learn new skills. For 22 years, Dr. Sullivan has led programs in Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Turkey, Oman, Qatar, Dubai, as well as the Balkans (Serbia, Bosnia, Croatia, Kosovo, and Greece).

Sarah A. Tobin

Sarah A. Tobin is an anthropologist who teaches at the Watson Institute at Brown University, with expertise in Islam, economic anthropology, and gender in the Middle East. Her work explores transformations in religious and economic life, identity construction, and personal piety at the intersections with gender, Islamic authority and normative Islam, public ethics, and Islamic authenticity. Ethnographically, her work focuses on Islamic piety in the economy, especially Islamic Banking and Finance, Ramadan, and in contested fields of consumption such as the hijab, and the Arab Spring. She has recently begun a new project examining gender and security with Syrian refugees in the fields of marriage in Jordanian camps. Her book, Everyday Piety: Islam and the Economy in Jordan is published by Cornell University Press. A second book on Syrian refugees in Jordan is in progress.

John D. Woodward, Jr.

John D. Woodward, Jr. is a Professor of the Practice of International Relations at the Pardee School, where he teaches graduate and undergraduate classes on security issues. Prior to coming to Boston University in 2015, John served for over twenty years in the CIA as an operations officer in the Clandestine Service and as a technical intelligence officer in the Directorate of Science and Technology, with assignments in Washington, DC, East Asia, Africa, South Asia, and the Middle East, to include war zone duty. From 2003 to 2005, John served as the Director of the U.S. Department of Defense Biometrics Management Office, where he received the Army’s third highest civilian award for his work on using biometric technologies to identify transnational security threats.

Previously, John worked at the RAND Corporation, a federally funded research and development center, as a senior policy analyst (2000-2003) and the Associate Director of RAND’s Intelligence Policy Center (2005-2006), where he helped oversee, manage, and develop RAND’s work for the national security community. During this time, he was an adjunct professor at the Elliott School of International Affairs at the George Washington University.

John has gained extensive experience related to intelligence, counterterrorism, and technology policy issues. He has testified before the U.S. Congress on four occasions, the Commission on Online Child Protection, and the Virginia State Crime Commission.

His publications include Biometrics: Identity Assurance in the Information Age, (McGraw-Hill, 2003), Army Biometric Applications: Identifying and Addressing Sociocultural Concerns (RAND, 2001) and his many articles have appeared in various journals and newspapers, including the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Proceedings of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Legal Times, and the University of Pittsburgh Law Review.

He holds a J.D magna cum laude from Georgetown Law, an M.S. from the London School of Economics, where he was a Thouron Scholar, and a B.S. with honors from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

Call for Intern Applications 2018: Coming soon, check this page for updates. Email for more information, or sign up for our newsletter to receive the call for applications announcement.

Interns: 2017-2018

Graduate Interns

Jannate Temsamani, MA Global Development Policy

Samuel Brostuen, MA International Affairs

Undergraduate Interns

Sofie Sørskår Engen, BA International Relations and Political Science (2018)

Karla KimBA International Relations and Sociology (2020)

Maryna Ivanna Markowicz, BA International Relations (2019)

Paulina Prasad, BA International Relations (2018)

Ellen Asermely, BA International Relations (2018)

David Huang, BA International Relations (2019)

Raina Hasan, BA Economics and International Relations (2018)

Interns: 2016-2017

Graduate Interns

Jannate Temsamani, MA Global Development Policy

Samuel Brostuen, MA International Affairs

Jeffrey Nicklas, MS Medical Anthropology

Undergraduate Interns

Yasmeen Ammus, BA International Relations  (2017)

Ellen Asermely, BA International Relations (2018)

Aida Bardissi, BA International Relations (2018)

Claire Coffey, BA International Relations (2017)

Sofie Engen, BA International Relations (2017)

Raina Hasan, BA Economics and International Relations (2018)

David Huang, BA International Relations (2019)

Colleen Karp, BA International Relations (2017)

Eva Koronios, BA International Relations and Middle East & North Africa Studies (2017)

Maryna Markowicz, BA International Relations (2019)

Ashley Mixon, BA Political Science (2017)

Smaranda Tolosano, BA International Relations (2017)

The Pardee School Initiative on Forced Migration and Human Trafficking is grateful to its sponsors.

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