Our Team

Dr. Muhammad Zaman


Dr. Muhammad Zaman is an HHMI professor of Biomedical Engineering and Global Health at Boston University. He received his master’s and P.h.D from the University of Chicago. In addition to five books and over 130 peer-reviewed research articles, Professor Zaman has written extensively on innovation, refugee and global health in newspapers around the world. His newspaper columns have appeared in over 30 countries and have been translated into eight languages. He has won numerous awards for his teaching and research, the most recent being Guggenheim Fellowship (2020) for his work on antibiotic resistance in refugee camps.

Dr. Carrie Preston

Associate Director

Dr. Carrie Preston is a professor in the English Department and Women’s, Gender, & Sexuality Studies Program and Director of Kilachand Honors College at Boston University. Her writing on gender, sexuality, race, performance, and critical displacement has appeared in articles and three books. Her awards for teaching and research include the Methodist Scholar-Teacher of the Year and the Torre de la Bueno Award for a book in dance studies. Her forthcoming book, coming out with Oxford University Press, is titled Complicit Participation: The Liberal Audience for Antiracist Theater.

Marina Lazetic

Director of Programs  

Marina Lazetic is a forced displacement and extremism researcher. Throughout her academic and professional career, she has worked on projects related to forced displacement, nationalism, conflict prevention, gender, and human security. She focuses on environmental displacement, community organizing, and anti-immigration movements in her research and writing. Marina previously worked for nonprofit organizations and academic institutions such as the Feinstein International Center, Belgrade Center for Security Policy, and Open Society Foundations. She is a Ph.D. candidate at the Fletcher School at Tufts University. 

Christine Luccini

Assistant Director of Finance & Administration 

Chrissy Luccini is the Assistant Director of Finance & Administration at the Center on Forced Displacement. She has many years of experience working in education. Most recently, Chrissy worked at Kilachand Honors College, as an Administrative Assistant. At KHC, she provided administrative support to staff and faculty while developing meaningful relationships with students. At the Center on Forced Displacement, Chrissy will assist in creating long term development and financial strategy, facilitate effective financial management and oversee the day-to-day operations. 

Micah Trautmann

Postdoctoral Associate

Micah Trautmann earned his Ph.D. from the Department of Philosophy at Boston University. His research focuses primarily on questions about displacement and territory. As a Graduate Fellow associated with the CFD’s Sawyer Seminars, he also worked on his dissertation, “Refugees and a Right to Place,” which draws on philosophical insights into the normative significance of the places we inhabit — in particular the way our environment shapes various aspects of our agency and well-being — in order to identify and articulate a set of under-recognized harms in the contemporary response to protracted displacement. In doing so, he seeks to make the case that the meaning of displacement today has changed: refugees no longer merely lose their homes, they are also deprived (often indefinitely) of a meaningful place in the world.

Selma Hedlund

Postdoctoral Associate

Selma Hedlund is a postdoctoral associate at CFD. She holds a PhD in Sociology from Boston University and advocates for participatory inquiries and research methods that inform social change. Selma’s research interests mainly concern migration, immigration policy, and immigrant incorporation, often in relation to health. Her scholarship draws parallels between refugees’ and Indigenous peoples’ experiences with forced displacement. Her latest publication, Medicines at Standing Rock, was published in American Indian Culture and Research Journal in 2020. Prior to her PhD program and joining CFD, Selma worked as a community organizer in refugee integration in Sweden during the height of the Syrian civil war. She earned an MA in Sociology from Columbia University as a Fulbright Scholar and a BA in Human Rights Studies from Lund University.

Fulya Pinar

Research Support

Fulya Pinar is a cultural anthropologist, focused on displacement and social movements in Turkey and the Middle East. Working with solidarity networks among social justice activists and internally and externally displaced people in Turkey, Fulya’s research centers on solidarity and belonging, agency and refusal, and migrant futures. In her teaching and research, Fulya follows queer feminist pedagogies, engaged anthropology, and collaborative methods. An intersection of her academic pursuits and practical engagement is evident in her collaboration with refugee women in Istanbul, where they collectively established a counter-museum named Beyond Museum. Furthermore, Fulya endeavors to incorporate diverse mediums such as ethnographic poetry, comics, and photography in her work. She completed her PhD in Cultural Anthropology at Rutgers University in 2022. She holds an MA in Comparative Studies in History and Society at Koç University in Istanbul, and a BA from Boğaziçi University. 

Catherine Abou-Khalil

Graduate Fellow

Catherine (Cat) Abou-Khalil is a Ph.D. candidate in Political Science and a graduate certificate recipient of the Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies program. Her work particularly focuses on understanding experiences of people facing forced displacement and conflict through an intersectional lens of race and gender, primarily centering identity. Cat has extensively worked with forcibly displaced communities settling in the United States. She is currently the Co-Chair of the Forced Migration and Human trafficking Initiative at the Pardee School of Global Studies and the Graduate Coordinator of BU’s Citizenship Hub. As Cat soon begins as a CFD Graduate Fellow for the Sawyer Seminar series, she will continue her dissertation research on understanding how people’s identities impact their experiences in seeking asylum after being forcibly displaced.

Rana Hussein

Research Associate

Rana Hussein earned her B.A. in mathematics and computer science at Boston University. Throughout her undergraduate years, she worked with Dr. Zaman on a number of research projects in partnership with UNICEF, where she applied mathematical modeling techniques to assess and predict child malnutrition rates in Yemen and other conflict settings. She is now a research associate at the Center on Forced Displacement, where she hopes to apply her background in data analysis to continue to work on projects aiming to better assess and understand the health of vulnerable and displaced communities as well as contribute to other interdisciplinary projects at CFD.

Baiden Wright

Events and Communications Specialist

Baiden Wright (she/they) currently works as the Events and Communications Specialist at the Center on Forced Displacement at Boston University. In addition to Baiden’s ongoing research on the role of immersive learning models in educating about complex migratory contexts, Baiden’s work with CFD entails event planning, media design, social media maintenance, and newsletter and website publication. Baiden graduated from Boston University in 2023 with a degree in International Relations with particular focuses on politics and anthropology, and a minor in Spanish. This fall, Baiden will begin BU’s Master’s in Public Anthropology degree program to study the intersections of gender and sexuality studies and forced migration.

Student Fellows

Autumn Bachofen

Autumn Bachofen is a second-year student in the College of Arts and Sciences and Kilachand Honors College on the pre-law track studying Philosophy and Political Science with a minor in French. Autumn has lived in Colorado, France, and Switzerland, and after graduating in 2021, took a gap year to explore France where she was employed at the US Embassy in France. There, she learned about the bureaucratic side of migration and forced displacement. Since arriving at Boston University, Autumn has worked as a communications and social media fellow at the Center.

Shandra Back

Shandra Back is a third year undergraduate student in the College of Communications and Kilachand Honors College at Boston University. She is majoring in Journalism with a minor in Political Science. She is involved with WTBU, BU’s radio station, as the Audio Productions Director. Shandra melds her love of travel with her academic interests on forced displacement as a participant in BU Hillel’s Israel Uncovered trip to Israel and Palestine as well as a participant in the Border Studies Program through the CFD center. Her travel podcast, Sunshine on a Dime, is a nominee for the 2022 Best College Podcast with the Intercollegiate Broadcasting Society. She works as the Podcast Director at the CFD center.

Nihal Kariparduç

Nihal Kariparduç is a fourth year undergraduate student in the College of Arts and Sciences. She is majoring in Chemistry:Chemical Biology with a minor in Religion in Science and Medicine. She met the CFD team during the Summer School on Forced Displacement in Belgrade, Serbia. Upon returning she knew she wanted to get involved more. She currently works as a Research Associate at the CFD center.

Thomas Larsen

Thomas Larsen is a second-year student in the College of Arts and Sciences and the Kilachand Honors College studying Political Science with minors in Public Policy and Data Science. Thomas is from New Jersey and since coming to college, he has been particularly interested in forced displacement and its associated policies. He currently works as a Research Associate at the CFD Center looking at statelessness and healthcare. 

Emily Rotondi

Emily Rotondi is a second-year undergraduate student in the College of Arts and Sciences. She is majoring in Political Science with a minor in Spanish and Data Science. Currently, she serves as a writer for the Boston Political Review and holds the position of Communications Liaison for the Boston University Democrats. After graduating from high school in 2022, she received a State Department scholarship to study Tajik (a persian dialect) and live in Tajikistan during the subsequent summer. While abroad she learned about Afghan refugees applying for asylum in the United States, which led to her interest in forced displacement. Currently, she is researching maternal welfare amongst Afghan refugees in Pakistan at the CFD center.