FMHT Hosts Policy Workshop on Refugee Resettlement

loading slideshow...

The Initiative on Forced Migration and Human Trafficking (FMHT), a research initiative at the Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies at Boston University, hosted a policy workshop on July 14-15, 2017 entitled “Refugee Resettlement: Between Policy and Practice,” that focused on the US refugee resettlement program, with the goal of generating insights and research agendas for a policy report to be disseminated globally. The workshop was part of the Jean Monnet Innovation series, generously funded by a grant from the European Commission. 

Nina Zelic, Director of Refugee Services at Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service, delivered the keynote at the workshop’s welcome reception.  Zelic is currently the Director of Refugee Services at Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS) and came to LIRS with more than a decade of experience working on behalf of forced migrants. Most recently, she served as an Assistant Program Director of the Office of Legal Access Programs, within the U.S. Department of Justice’s Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR). At EOIR, her work focused on government funded direct representation programs and the legal and policy issues surrounding unaccompanied children. Also with EOIR, she served as an Attorney Advisor at the New York City Immigration Court.

The first panel of the workshop, entitled “The Challenges and Opportunities of Local Integration,” featured David Sussman, Fellow at the New York University Center on International Cooperation; Keith Cooper, Director of Beautiful Rhode Island Day; and Cheryl Hamilton, Director of Partner Engagement at the International Institute of New England.

The workshop continued with a panel on “Confronting Negative Cultural Perceptions of Refugees,” featuring FMHT Co-Director and Pardee School Assistant Professor of International Relations Kaija Schilde and Victoria Zhuang, Instructor and Program Assistant at the Jewish Vocational Services Refugee Employment Services Department.

The third panel of the weekend, entitled “The Legal Experiences of Resettled Refugees,” featured Professor Deborah Anker, Director at the Harvard Immigration and Refugee Clinical Program; Herman Bolhaar, Senior Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School’s Ash Center and Former Chief Prosecutor of the Netherlands; and Abeer Massri, Legal Director at Urban Refuge.

The workshop’s fourth and final panel, entitled “The Role of Research and Innovation,” featured Meghan Benton, Assistant Director for Research in the International Program at the Migration Policy Institute; and Professor Pablo Bose, Director of Global and Regional Studies at the University of Vermont.

Following the workshop, FMHT will publish both a policy report to be disseminated to resettlement practitioners, academics, and policymakers globally, as well as posting a podcast of the keynote speech and expert discussant remarks. You can learn more about FMHT’s yearlong Jean Monnet Migration Innovation Series here.