Professor Alexander Betts
Leopold Muller Professor of Forced Migration and International Affiars; Director
Alexander is Professor of Forced Migration and International Affairs and William Golding Senior Fellow in Politics at Brasenose College, at the University of Oxford. He served as Director of the Refugee Studies Centre between 2014 and 2017. His research focuses on the politics and economics of refugee assistance, with a regional focus on Africa.
He is co-author, with Paul Collier, of Refuge: Transforming a Broken Refugee System (Penguin Allen Lane), which was named by the Economist as one of the 'Best Books of 2017'. His other books include Protection by Persuasion: International Cooperation in the Refugee Regime (Cornell University Press, 2009), Survival Migration: Failed Governance and the Crisis of Displacement (Cornell University Press, 2013), Mobilising the Diaspora: How Refugees Challenge Authoritarianism (Cambridge University Press, 2016), and Refugee Economies: Forced Displacement and Development (Oxford University Press, 2016). His articles have been published by, among others, Global Governance, Foreign Affairs, Perspectives on Politics, Ethics and International Affairs, and Journal of Refugee Studies.
He is a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader, was named by Foreign Policy magazine in the top 100 global thinkers of 2016, and by Thinkers50 as an emerging business influencer. His TED talks have been viewed by over 3 million people, and he has written for the New York Times, the Guardian, and the Washington Post. He has previously worked for UNHCR, and as consultant to UNDP, UNICEF, and OCHA, for example. He currently serves as a Councillor on the World Refugee Council and on DFID's contact group on migration. He received his M.Phil (in Development Studies, with Distinction) and D.Phil (in International Relations) from the University of Oxford.
Dr Olivier Sterck
Senior Research Fellow and Lecturer in the Economics of Forced Migration
Olivier is an economist working in the areas of development and health economics. His research is multidisciplinary in scope, building bridges between several fields of study, from the economics of conflicts and HIV to International Relations. Part of it is based on fieldwork conducted in sub-Saharan Africa. As part of the Refugee Economies Programme, Olivier contributes his expertise in econometrics and economic modelling to the study of refugee economies. He is currently using quantitative methods to study refugee economies in Kenya, Uganda, and Ethiopia. Olivier plays the piano and enjoys football, cycling and travelling. More details on his research can be found on his website: oliviersterck.wordpress.com/
Professor Naohiko Omata
Naohiko received his PhD in Development Studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) at University of London; he also holds a BA in Law from the University of Tokyo, an MA in Forced Migration and Humanitarian Aid from the Fletcher School at Tufts University, and a post-graduate certificate in Humanitarian Initiative and Field Practice, a joint program offered by Harvard University, MIT and The Fletcher School. From September 2009 to January 2012, Naohiko was Senior Teaching Fellow in Development Studies at the SOAS. Previously, he worked as a practitioner and consultant for UNDP, UNHCR, and international and local NGOs in Sub-Saharan African countries. He has published widely on refugee livelihoods based on extensive research in West Africa, including in Journal of Refugee Studies and Forced Migration Review. Before having started his career in forced migration and international development, he worked in the private sector in Japan and the United States.
Madison is responsible for the coordination of the Refugee Economies Programme.
Before joining the RSC in March 2020, she worked as the Social Enterprise Programme coordinator with the British Council, where she supported with the coordination of the 2019 Social Enterprise World Forum in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Prior to this, Madison spent nine months travelling and volunteering in Central and South America. Previously, she has worked in administrative roles with Oxford Policy Management and StreetInvest. Madison holds a BSc in Geography from Royal Holloway, University of London.
Julia is a postdoctoral researcher at the Refugee Economies Programme. Together with Alexander Betts, she investigates the politics of refugee rights in East Africa and asks, ‘why do some states provide refugees with socio-economic rights and opportunities while others do not?’
Julia has an interdisciplinary background in Political Science, African Studies, and Social Theory. She is currently finishing up her DPhil in Migration Studies which shows that citizenship acquisition in the Global North can function as a means of upward mobility in the Global South. During her DPhil, Julia also collaborated on the MIGNEX project which studies the links between migration, development, and policy.
Between her master’s and her DPhil, she spent a year working in publishing, as an editor for the German monthly political magazine “Blätter für deutsche und internationale Politik”.
Yotam received his PhD in African History from Durham University, where he studied political and spiritual life in the South Sudanese-Ethiopian borderlands. He holds an MSc in African Studies from the University of Oxford and an LLB from Tel Aviv University, and was previously a Visiting Research Fellow at the Refugee Law Project, Makerere University School of Law. In the Refugee Economies Programme, he contributes to the Borders, Mobility, and Livelihoods Project.
Yotam’s work has been published in Refugee Survey Quarterly, Africa, Journal of Eastern African Studies and other journals, and in media outlets such as Africa is a Country, and African Arguments. His book Israel in Africa: Security, Migration, Interstate Politics was published in 2020. Yotam also worked as a consultant with different international and local organisations in East Africa, including the International Refugee Rights Initiative (IRRI), Oxfam, the Rift Valley Institute, and the Regional Durable Solutions Secretariat (ReDSS).
Raphael joined the Refugee Economies Programme in 2018 and has since undertaken research primarily in Dollo Ado, the area where Kenya and Somalia border Ethiopia. There, he collected qualitative and quantitative data and designed and implemented several large-scale household surveys, covering five refugee camps. He recently co-authored ‘Refugee Economies in Dollo Ado: Building Sustainable Economies in a Remote Region of Ethiopia’ (2019, Oxford: RSC) and ‘Building Refugee Economies: An evaluation of the IKEA Foundation’s programmes in Dollo Ado’ (2020, Oxford: RSC).
Raphael holds a MA in Political Science and Geography, and a BA in International Relations and Anthropology from Heidelberg University, Germany. In his Master's thesis, Raphael used remote-sensed data to measure governance and economic activities in territories controlled by armed non-state actors. His research focuses on refugee economies in remote areas, private actors in global refugee governance and governance activities by non-state actors in general. Raphael is also a passionate photographer and filmmaker.