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.
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).
Maria Flinder Stierna
Maria joined the Refugee Economies Programme in 2018. She has been involved in the research design, data collection and analysis of business and household surveys in Kenya for our core research, as well as for the evaluation of World Food Programme's transition from in-kind to cash-based food assistance in Kakuma and Kalobeyei. She is currently contributing to the cross-country analysis of the socio-economic lives of refugees and hosts in East Africa. Maria holds an MSc in Economics from the Norwegian School of Economics and a Master’s in International Management through CEMS. Prior to joining the team, Maria worked with communications, fundraising, programme implementation and data analysis with, amongst others, UNICEF and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).
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.
REFUGEE SCHOLAR PROGRAMMES AND PARTNERSHIPS MANAGER
Andonis supports the academic and research activities of the Refugee-Led Research Hub (RLRH). He completed the RSC's MSc in Refugee and Forced Migration Studies in 2014.
Research Facilitator, Refugee-Led Research Hub
Pauline Vidal is the Research Facilitator of the Refugee-Led Research Hub (RLRH). At RLRH, she provides training and mentorship in all aspects of the research process and supports the implementation of refugee-led studies on refugee-led organisations (RLOs) and on access to citizenship for refugees in Kenya. Prior to joining the RLRH, she was the Research Manager of the Independent Monitoring, Research and Evidence Facility (IMREF), where she led six studies exploring protection-related challenges faced by transit migrants on the Central Mediterranean Route. She has conducted fieldwork with people affected by migration and displacement in Ethiopia, Kenya, Senegal, Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, and Mauritania. She is a graduate of the double master’s program in International Affairs between SciencesPo Paris and the London School of Economics.
Academic Facilitator, Refugee-Led Research Hub
Ruth is the RSC-BIEA Fellowship Academic Facilitator. She oversees the overall academic activities of the fellowship as well as additional programmes for other learners participating in Refugee Led Research Hub’s (RLRH) academic activities. She received her MSc in Refugee and Forced Migration Studies (2019) and MSc African Studies (2020), both from the University of Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar (2018). For her graduate studies she focused on the role of the media in the criminalisation and racialisation of black migrant youth in Australia and the concept of ‘the good life’ in encampment, respectively. She has a BA in International Relations from United States International University-Africa. In 2020, she was selected as a Rare Rising Star- one of UK’s top ten black university students for her community project on streetlife and the youth in Nairobi, Kenya and her academic achievements. Most recently, she worked as a research assistant for the LOCACONS project by King's College London where she researched on Conflict prevention and Low-carbon development in Kakuma Refugee Camp. Her research interests include the intersections between Forced displacement, memory, and psychosocial well-being.
Academic Programmes Manager, Refugee-Led Research Hub