Visiting Scholars

Andrew Painter

Fellow from Practice

Andrew Painter is a Fellow from Practice at the New School’s Zolberg Institute on Migration and Mobility. Andrew has worked in the refugee field for over 20 years, most of which with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). While with UNHCR, he was posted in the United States (Washington, DC and New York), Switzerland (UNHCR HQ), and Ethiopia, and undertook extended deployments to Colombia, Liberia and Saudi Arabia. His background is primarily in the area of protection, working on such issues as detention of asylum-seekers, refugee status determination, trafficking and smuggling, protection of unaccompanied and separated children, and solutions. In 2015, Andrew joined the Executive Office of the Secretary-General (EOSG) to support implementation of the Secretary-General’s Human Rights Up Front initiative. His most recent UNHCR posting was in New York, where he headed the office’s human rights and protection pillar. During this time, he was closely involved in the drafting of the New York Declaration on Refugees and Migrants, adopted by the General Assembly in September 2016, and the Global Compact on Refugees, which was affirmed by the General Assembly in December 2018. Andrew received his undergraduate degree from Haverford College, a law degree from New York University School of Law, and a master’s degree in law and diplomacy from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy.

Dana Schmalz

Visiting Scholar

Dana Schmalz is a scholar of international law and legal philosophy. Her research focuses on international and European refugee law, fundamental rights, and critical theory accounts of universalism. Dana holds a Ph.D. in law from the University of Frankfurt (summa cum laude) and an LL.M. in Comparative Legal Thought from Cardozo Law School, New York. She has been a postdoctoral research fellow at the Max Planck Institute for the Study Religious and Ethnic Diversity in Göttingen (2017-2018), and a research fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law in Heidelberg and Berlin (2011-2016). During her doctoral studies, she spent time as a visiting scholar at Tel Aviv University, at Humboldt-University Berlin, and at the European University Institute, Florence. She has taught at Freie Universität Berlin and Göttingen University.

Dana regularly contributes to law blogs; she is the co-founder and -editor of the Voelkerrechtsblog and an associate editor with the Verfassungsblog. Most of Dana’s writings can be found here.

[Photo by David Ausserhofer / Körber-Stiftung]

Felicity Gray

Visiting Scholar

Felicity Gray is a PhD scholar at the School of Regulation and Global Governance at the Australian National University, researching how civilians protect other civilians in violent conflicts using nonviolent practices. Her research focuses on how conflict affected communities, particularly those experiencing internal displacement, interact with unarmed civilian protection strategies in Myanmar and South Sudan. Before commencing her PhD research, she was a senior adviser on foreign affairs and defence policy in Australian federal politics. Felicity has been a visiting research fellow at the Berghof Foundation for Conflict Transformation in Berlin, Germany, and is a member of the Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law Emerging Scholars Network and Asia Pacific Research Group. Felicity also holds a Masters in Applied Anthropology and Participatory Development from the ANU, specialising in humanitarian action.

Kirstie Kwarteng

Visiting Scholar

Kirstie Kwarteng is PhD candidate at SOAS, University of London in the Department of Development Studies. Her research interests include migration and development, African diaspora populations, and transnationalism. Her PhD explores participation in transnational practices among second generation Ghanaians and the factors which influence their decision to participate in transnational practices, namely remittance sending, digital media usage, and activity in diaspora organizations. Prior to beginning her doctorate, she founded The Nana Project, a digital platform dedicated to preserving Ghana’s history through the voices of Ghanaian elders. Kirstie holds a Masters degree in Intercultural Service, Leadership, and Management from SIT Graduate Institute and a Bachelor’s degree from Vanderbilt University in Human and Organizational Development. In 2016 she was named as one of Ghana’s Top 30 Under 30 by the Future of Ghana.

Valeria G. Castelli

Visiting Scholar

Valeria G. Castelli’s research project examines contemporary Italian documentary films that deal with migrants’ journeys to Europe and their precarious lives once in Italy. She analyzes the rhetorical strategies adopted by the filmmakers of these documentaries, which aim not only to bring enclaves of injustice and inequality under ethical scrutiny, but also to shift perspectives about contemporary migration, and to create political fissures of resistance and stimulate social awareness. The communicative design of these documentaries is in fact conceived as a means for challenging stereotypical accounts about migrants’ lives, for exposing the discriminatory and exploitative situations that they face in today’s Italy, and for advancing the human rights of migrants. As a Visiting Research Scholar at the Zolberg Institute on Migration and Mobility, Dr. Castelli is focusing especially on recent documentaries that deal with child migration. The challenges faced by migrant children, elucidated in these documentaries, are among the most pressing issues related to today’s migration to Europe. These documentaries shed light on the reasons behind child migration and expose how migration puts children—especially those who are unaccompanied—at risk of smuggling, human trafficking, and sexual exploitation. Dr. Castelli analyzes the stylistic, aesthetic, representational, and rhetorical choices made by the filmmakers of these documentaries, whose ultimate goal is to impact current public debates and politics on child migration, while fostering critical thinking and emotional engagement on the part of audiences. Prior to joining the Zolberg Institute, Dr. Castelli was a 2017–2018 Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Mahindra Humanities Center at Harvard University, and a 2016–2017 Postdoctoral Teaching Fellow at the Core Curriculum of the College of Arts and Science at New York University. She received her PhD in Italian Studies from New York University in 2016 with a dissertation on the rhetoric, ethics, and politics of contemporary Italian documentary film.