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The Global Ideas Scholars Network (GISN) is a nonpartisan initiative that seeks to chronicle the impact of migration policies on communities all over the world.

Meet Our Scholars


Dr. Kyle Farmbry

Dr. Kyle Farmbry is an Associate Professor in the School of Public Affairs and Administration and Dean of the Graduate School–Newark at Rutgers University–Newark. Dr. Farmbry's current research interests are in the areas of intersectoral dynamics, private and independent sector entrepreneurial development, the roles of the public, private, and nonprofit sectors in facilitating minority enterprise development, and the role of community voice in public administration.


Kirsty Rice

Kirsty Rice serves as the Internship, Mentoring and Academic Support Manager at Scalabrini Centre of Cape Town (SCCT). SCCT works to promote migration on an advocacy level, as well as providing several welfare and development programmes to provide direct assistance to newcomers in the field of education, youth, employment and legal aid. She also assists the manager of Women’s Platform (WP), a development programme at SCCT


Duarte Geraldino

Duarte Geraldino is a journalist, analyst, and radio host. In 2017, Duarte was awarded a residency at the TED Foundation. The United Nations invited Duarte to address a special plenary session as 136 nations came together to create a coordinated effort for the safe and orderly flow of migrants and refugees around the world. Duarte is also a Special Correspondent for the PBS NewsHour . At the NewsHour, he reports and writes long-form television stories about business & economic trends.


Dr. Tim Raphael

Dr. Tim Raphael is Associate Professor of Arts, Culture and Media and the founding

Director of the Center for Migration and the Global City, an incubator for multidisciplinary scholarship, pedagogy, and public humanities that promotes civic engagement with local immigrant communities and the organizations that support them. He is the Director of Newest Americans, a multimedia documentary and arts project he co-founded with Ed Kashi of VII Photo and Julie Winokur of Talking Eyes Media.


Jane Roche

Jane Roche is  a graduate student at the Division of Global Affairs, Rutgers University and a Graduate Research Assistant at the Graduate School – Newark. At GSN, Ms. Roche serves as Program Associate for the University Alliance for Refugees and At-Risk Migrants (UARRM). Prior to this, she received her Master’s degree in peace research at the University of Tampere in Finland, where she studied forced migration. She has extensive experience working with refugee populations in Europe and the U.S.


Sonam Tashi

Sonam Tashi is the Global Program Manager at the Division of Global Affairs at Rutgers-Newark. Growing up in Chad and Malawi, he is naturally curious about the politics and economics of Sub-Sahara Africa. He continued exploring similar issues as a Sovereign Analyst in the Africa Group for a financial consultancy firm advising hedge funds on the political and economic risks in the emerging and frontier markets. His dissertation examines social capital and voter turnout in violent elections using large survey datasets.

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Maria Adele Carrai 

Maria Adele Carrai is Marie Curie Fellow at the Leuven Centre for Global Governance – KU Leuven and a Fellow at Harvard University Asia Center. Her research focuses on issues related to international law and sovereignty, nationalism, and borders. She is interested in China’s legal history and how it affects the country’s foreign policy, and her book 'Sovereignty in China' is forthcoming with Cambridge University Press. 


Animesh Rao Koratana

Animesh Rao Koratana is a second-year undergraduate student at Stanford University majoring in computer science with a concentration in artificial intelligence. With some experience in machine learning and deep learning, he is interested in broadly applying it to industry domains to develop innovative and impactful systems to solve real-world problems. Mr. Koratana developed a method to improve traditional neural network compression using techniques from knowledge distillation and deep compression for fast inference


Laila Soudi

Laila Soudi is the project lead for the Stanford Refugee Research Project (SRRP), a project to explore how Stanford University can best engage to address the refugee crisis in the Middle East. She is a former researcher in the Early Life Stress and Pediatric Anxiety Program (ELSPAP), having worked on better understanding the mental health of Syrian child refugees exposed to war and trauma. Laila has been extensive experience with refugee populations across Europe and the Middle East.

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Yasmine El Baggari

Yasmine El Baggari is the founder and CEO of Voyaj, an online platform that matches people worldwide to provide them with meaningful experiences – opening hearts and minds. Voyaj seeks to foster respect for our diversity through meaningful connections, person by person, to take part in the solution for a more peaceful, caring world. Yasmine received the $60,000 Award for Entrepreneurship and Innovation from Hampshire College.


Muhammed Y. Idris

Muhammed Y. Idris, Ph.D., is lead developer of Atar, the first AI-powered Virtual Advocate, trained to guide refugee claimants to the resources they need and help organizations streamline their advocacy operations. Dr. Idris has presented his work leveraging socially generated "big data" into actionable insights and practical resources at numerous conferences, has taught university courses in Big Data Analytics, and has maintained research appointments in Data Science, Political Economy, and Pediatric Public Health at Concordia University in Montreal and Harvard University.

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Emily Parker

Emily Parker is the Executive Director at No Lost Generation, a collaboration between the State Department and UNICEF to advocate for refugees. She supports refugees through advocacy, in-kind volunteering, fundraising and lobbying. She also Researched and theorized solutions for economic and political crises in Detroit with reference to historical and governmental patterns.  



Desiree is the Communications Officer at the IIE Scholar Rescue Fund. She brings her experience working in education in emergencies, women’s development, and program communications to the Global Ideas Scholars program. Desiree recently completed her MA in International Educational Development from Columbia University and holds a BA in International Affairs and French Language from The George Washington University. She was a recipient of the 2016 Critical Language Scholarship for Persian and a 2016 Fellow of the Blossom Hill Foundation

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