Alex Aleinikoff is University Professor, and has served as Director of the Zolberg Institute since January 2017. He received a J.D. from the Yale Law School and a B.A. from Swarthmore College.
Alex has written widely in the areas of immigration and refugee law and policy, transnational law, citizenship, race, and constitutional law. He recently published a book titled The Arc of Protection: Reforming the International Refugee Regime, which he co-authored with Leah Zamore. His book Semblances of Sovereignty: The Constitution, the State, and American Citizenship was published by Harvard University Press in 2002. Alex is a co-author of leading legal casebooks on immigration law and forced migration.
Before coming to The New School, Alex served as United Nations Deputy High Commissioner for Refugees (2010-15) and was a professor at Georgetown University Law Center, where he also served as dean and Executive Vice President of Georgetown University. He was co-chair of the Immigration Task Force for President Barack Obama’s transition team in 2008. From 1994 to 1997, he served as the general counsel, and then executive associate commissioner for programs, at the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS).
Alex was inducted into the American Academy of Arts of Sciences in 2014.
Catherine McGahan is the Associate Director of the Zolberg Institute on Migration and Mobility since August 2019. She received an M.A. in International Affairs from the Julian J. Studley Graduate Programs in International Affairs from the New School of Public Engagement and a B.A. in Literature from Mount Holyoke College.
Before coming to The Zolberg Institute, Catherine was the Development Manager for the International Rescue Committee in Dallas and Abilene, where she focused on fundraising, marketing, and communications for both Texas refugee resettlement offices. Catherine was the Partnerships Manager for Right To Play USA, based in New York City, managing corporate relationships, third-party relationships, and events. Prior to that, Catherine worked for Union Settlement Association in East Harlem. She currently sits on the Associate Board for Union Settlement.
Achilles Kallergis is the Director of the Cities and Migration Project at the Zolberg Institute on Migration and Mobility. In this role, he coordinates the Research Platform on Cities, Migration and Membership—a collaboration of The New School and fifteen research institutions from around the world.
His research focuses on urbanization, migration and mobility in rapidly growing cities. Specifically, it explores how locally-generated data can provide new evidence on mobility patterns and contribute to improving living conditions in low-income urban settings through better provision of housing and services. In his research, he has collaborated with transnational community networks Slum/Shack Dwellers International and the Asian Coalition for Housing Rights.
Previously he was a Research Scholar at the Marron Institute of Urban Management at New York University. He has taught at the Wagner Graduate School of Public Service at New York University and at the New School Graduate Program in International Affairs.
His work has been published in academic journals and edited books. He holds a PhD in Urban Policy and an M.A. in International Affairs from the New School University, and an M.A. in Political Science from the Université de Lausanne.
Bella Mosselmans is the Research Fellow for the Global Strategic Litigation Council for Refugee Rights.
The Zolberg Institute fosters the next generation of migration scholars and advocates through its Student Researchers program. Student Researchers are Zolberg-IRC Fellows, Melamid Scholars, and Institute Research Assistants.
Zolberg Research Assistants
The Zolberg Institute convenes distinguished faculty across The New School with demonstrated research and expertise on issues of migration or mobility. Affiliated Faculty provide strategic input on the Institute’s research priorities and contribute to the intellectual life of the Institute.
Those interested in becoming Visiting Scholars/Practitioners should first complete this interest form.
Ian Matthew Kysel is a Visiting Assistant Clinical Professor of Law at Cornell Law School. He is the founder and director of the Transnational Disputes Clinic and of the International Migrants Bill of Rights (IMBR) Initiative, co-directs the Asylum and Convention Against Torture Appellate Clinic and is a core faculty member in the Migration and Human Rights Program. Kysel previously held appointments at the University of Oxford, as a Plumer Visiting Research Fellow at Saint Anne’s College and an Associate Member of Nuffield College, and at the Georgetown University Law Center, as the inaugural Dash/Muse Fellow and an Adjunct Professor of Law. His scholarship has focused on both the rights of migrants and children’s rights. Kysel has written and edited several human rights reports; his opinion articles have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post and The New Humanitarian. Kysel has argued or participated in litigation before U.S. immigration, federal and state courts as well as international tribunals. He has provided testimony to various legislative bodies and commissions. Kysel was previously a staff attorney at the ACLU of Southern California. He also served as the Aryeh Neier Fellow at both the National ACLU and Human Rights Watch and practiced in Shearman & Sterling’s International Arbitration Group and its Public International Law Practice. Kysel holds an LLM in Advocacy, with distinction, a JD, Magna Cum Laude, Order of the Coif, and a Certificate in Refugees and Humanitarian Emergencies from Georgetown University Law Center. He holds a BA, with high honors, Phi Beta Kappa, from Swarthmore College.
The Zolberg Institute’s Advisory Board consists of individuals who have dedicated their lives to the further study of migration and mobility. Board members provide guidance and support for the Institute’s various projects.
Deborah Amos covers the Middle East for NPR News. Her reports can be heard on NPR’s award-winning Morning Edition, All Things Considered and Weekend Edition.
Amos travels extensively across the Middle East covering a range of stories including the rise of well-educated Syrian youth who are unqualified for jobs in a market-driven economy, a series focusing on the emerging power of Turkey and the plight of Iraqi refugees.
In 2009, Amos won the Edward Weintal Prize for Diplomatic Reporting from Georgetown University and in 2010 was awarded the Edward R. Murrow Life Time Achievement Award by Washington State University. Amos was part of a team of reporters who won a 2004 Alfred I. duPont-Columbia Award for coverage of Iraq. A Nieman Fellow at Harvard University in 1991-1992, Amos was returned to Harvard in 2010 as a Shorenstein Fellow at the Kennedy School.
In 2003, Amos returned to NPR after a decade in television news, including ABC’s Nightline and World News Tonight and the PBS programs NOW with Bill Moyers and Frontline.
When Amos first came to NPR in 1977, she worked first as a director and then a producer for Weekend All Things Considered until 1979. For the next six years, she worked on radio documentaries, which won her several significant honors. In 1982, Amos received the Prix Italia, the Ohio State Award, and a DuPont-Columbia Award for “Father Cares: The Last of Jonestown” and in 1984 she received a Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award for “Refugees.”
From 1985 until 1993, Amos spent most of her time at NPR reporting overseas, including as the London Bureau Chief and as an NPR foreign correspondent based in Amman, Jordan. During that time, Amos won several awards, including an Alfred I. duPont-Columbia Award and a Break thru Award, and widespread recognition for her coverage of the Gulf War in 1991.
A member of the Council on Foreign Relations, Amos is also the author of Eclipse of the Sunnis: Power, Exile, and Upheaval in the Middle East (Public Affairs, 2010) and Lines in the Sand: Desert Storm and the Remaking of the Arab World (Simon and Schuster, 1992).
Amos began her career after receiving a degree in broadcasting from the University of Florida at Gainesville.
On July 1, 2014, Jonathan Fanton began his service as the president of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Previously, he served as the president of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation from 1999 to 2009 and as the president of The New School for Social Research from 1982 to 1999. In addition to his leadership of these organizations, he has served as board chair for several organizations, including Human Rights Watch, the Security Council Report, and the New York State Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities. He currently serves on the boards of Scholars At Risk, the Asian Cultural Council, and the Benjamin Franklin House, and he chairs the advisory board of the Newman’s Own Foundation.
Dr. Fanton was elected a fellow of the American Academy in 1999.
Victoria Hattam is Professor of Politics at The New School for Social Research. She received her PhD in Political Science from MIT. Hattam works in three research areas: US-Mexico border politics, design and production in the global economy, and visual and spatial politics. She is a member of the Multiple Mobilities Research Cluster. In 2018-19, Hattam co-directed the Mellon-funded Sawyer Seminar on Imagined Mobilities with Miriam Ticktin, Anthony Dunne, Fiona Raby, and Alex Aleinikoff. In 2020-21, Hattam will be a faculty fellow at the Graduate Institute for Design, Ethnography, and Social Thought at The New School. She has been a Fulbright Scholar, a Visiting Scholar at the Russell Sage Foundation and a Member at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton.
Andrew Kaldor has been an independent businessman since starting his first company in 1980. He is now an investor. He has been a Director of a number of publicly listed companies, the Sydney Symphony Orchestra and other community organizations. He has commissioned many works by Australian composers for the SSO and other music groups.
In 2013 he was awarded a Member of the Order of Australia for significant service to the arts. He holds a Bachelor of Economics (Honours) from the University of Sydney and an MBA (Dean’s Honours list) from Wharton at the University of Pennsylvania, where he was a teaching fellow. Mr. Kaldor and his immediate family were accepted by Australia as refugees after the second world war. He and his wife, Renata Kaldor, founded the Andrew & Renata Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law in 2013 at UNSW Sydney.
Renata Kaldor is Chair of the City Recital Hall, Angel Place, and serves on the Board of the Sydney Children’s Hospital Network and the Australian World Orchestra. She is also on the Advisory Boards of the Andrew and Renata Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law (UNSW); Heads Over Heels; and the NSW Alzheimer’s Association. She was previously a Trustee of the Sydney Opera House; Judicial Commissioner of NSW; the Deputy Chancellor of the University of Sydney; Board member of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra; Chair of Women’s Advisory Council of NSW; Board Director of NSW State Rail Authority; Director of the Garvan Foundation; Director of Public Interest Law Clearing House.
Renata has also held positions on a number of companies and community organizations associated with education, business and law. Renata has a Bachelor’s degree in Arts and a Diploma of Education from the University of NSW. Renata was honored by the Australian government with the award of an AO in 2002 and a Centenary Medal 2003. She became an Honorary Fellow of the University of Sydney in 2005.
Ira Katznelson (Ph.D., Cambridge, 1969) is an Americanist whose work has straddled comparative politics and political theory as well as political and social history. He returned in 1994 to Columbia, where he had been assistant and then associate professor from 1969 to 1974. He is currently the Ruggles Professor of Political Science and History. In the interim, he taught the University of Chicago, chairing its department of political science from 1979 to 1982; and the Graduate Faculty of the New School for Social Research, where he was dean from 1983 to 1989.
His most recent books are Fear Itself: The New Deal and the Origins of Our Time, Liberal Beginnings: Making a Republic for the Moderns (with Andreas Kalyvas), and When Affirmative Action Was White: An Untold History of Racial Inequality in Twentieth-Century America. He is currently completing Liberal Reason, a collection of his essays on the character of modern social knowledge.
Professor Katznelson has served as President of the Social Science Research Council (2012-2017), and of the American Political Science Association (2005-2006). Previously, he served as President of the Social Science History Association and Chair of the Russell Sage Foundation Board of Trustees. He has been a Guggenheim Fellow and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Philosophical Society.
Frances Liu is Director, Portfolio Strategy and Management at Blue Meridian Partners. Frances works closely with Managing Directors to support relationships with investees, including facilitating the development of scaling plans and providing counsel on execution. She also helps to source and conduct due diligence on new investment opportunities and collaborates on innovation initiatives to expand Blue Meridian’s work, with a focus on Place Matters.
Most recently, Frances was a Senior Associate, Portfolio Strategy & Initiatives at Blue Meridian. Prior to that, Frances was a Senior Vice President for Citi Community Investing and Development, where she managed partnerships with municipal offices and nonprofit organizations aimed at strengthening financial inclusion and economic opportunity in low-income communities. Before this, Frances served as Chief of Staff for the NYC Mayor’s Office for International Affairs, the City of New York’s liaison to the United Nations, foreign governments, and New York’s diplomatic and consular community. During her graduate studies, Frances completed a public service fellowship at the NYC Department of Small Business Services and conducted urban policy research at PolicyLink and the NYU Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy.
Frances previously managed advocacy campaigns, capacity building programs, and community-driven research projects at the New York Immigration Coalition, Center for Social Inclusion, and Urban Justice Center’s Community Development Project. She currently serves on the board of Hester Street, a nonprofit that devotes urban planning, design and development expertise to support community-led change.
Frances received her BA from the University of Virginia and her MPA from the NYU Wagner School of Public Service.
Doris Meissner, former Commissioner of the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS), is a Senior Fellow at MPI, where she directs the Institute’s U.S. immigration policy work. Her work and expertise also include immigration and politics, immigration enforcement, border control, cooperation with other countries, and immigration and national security.
She has authored and coauthored numerous reports, articles, and op-eds and is frequently quoted in the media. She served as Director of MPI’s Independent Task Force on Immigration and America’s Future, a bipartisan group of distinguished leaders. The group’s report and recommendations address how to harness the advantages of immigration for a 21st century economy and society. From 1993-2000, she served in the Clinton administration as Commissioner of the INS, then a bureau in the U.S. Department of Justice. She first joined the Justice Department in 1973 as a White House Fellow and Special Assistant to the Attorney General. She served in various senior policy posts until 1981, when she became Acting Commissioner of the INS and then Executive Associate Commissioner, the third-ranking post in the agency. In 1986, she joined the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace as a Senior Associate. Ms. Meissner created the Endowment’s Immigration Policy Project, which evolved into the Migration Policy Institute in 2001.
Ms. Meissner’s board memberships include CARE-USA and the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the Inter-American Dialogue, the Pacific Council on International Diplomacy, the National Academy of Public Administration, the Administrative Conference of the United States, and the Constitution Society.
Ilse Melamid, nee Hoenigsberg, was born in Vienna, Austria. She has lived in England, Australia, and in the United States. For several years she held the position of Registrar at The New School for Social Research. She married the late Dr. Alexander Melamid, who taught at the NSSR during the time the scholars of the University in Exile were still part of its faculty.
Ms. Melamid also serves on the Board of Selfhelp Community Services, Inc. and is a supporter of services that aid youth and the aged. She is a graduate in Arts of Melbourne University, Australia. She has been a member of the New School for Social Research Board of Governors since 2003. Her generous support of NSSR PhD Students can be seen by the creation of the Melamid Scholarship Fund.
David Miliband is the President and CEO of the International Rescue Committee. He oversees the agency’s relief and development operations in over 30 countries, its refugee resettlement and assistance programs throughout the United States and the IRC’s advocacy efforts in Washington and other capitals on behalf of the world’s most vulnerable people.
Mr. Miliband has had a distinguished political career in the United Kingdom. From 2007 to 2010, he served as the youngest Foreign Secretary in three decades, driving advancements in human rights and representing the United Kingdom throughout the world. His accomplishments have earned him a reputation, in former President Bill Clinton’s words, as “one of the ablest, most creative public servants of our time.” In 2016, Mr. Miliband was named one of the World’s Greatest Leaders by Fortune Magazine.
Mr. Miliband is also the author of the book, Rescue: Refugees and the Political Crisis of Our Time. As the son of refugees, he brings a personal commitment to the IRC’s work and to the premise of the book: that we can rescue the dignity and hopes of refugees and displaced people. And if we help them, in the process we will rescue our own values.
Bitta Mostofi is Commissioner of the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs (MOIA) in New York City. Under her leadership, MOIA has created programs and policies to advance the integration of immigrant New Yorkers in to the city’s civic, economic and cultural life. Bitta spearheaded the IDNYC outreach campaign, connecting over 1.2 millions New Yorkers regardless of immigration status to government issued identification, increasing access to services and a greater sense of belonging to the city. Other groundbreaking achievements include helping design the ActionNYC legal services program, bringing immigration legal services and education to communities through partnerships in schools, hospitals and community based organizations. In a time of intense anti-immigrant rhetoric and policy at the federal level, Bitta has led New York City’s efforts to ensure immigrant families have access to the services and resources they need, while fighting back against polices that negatively impact New Yorkers.
Bitta has been a passionate immigrant and human rights advocate throughout her career. After graduating law school from DePaul University in Chicago, she practiced civil rights law with a particular focus on the discriminatory impact of immigration practices on Muslim and Middle Eastern immigrants. She later joined Safe Horizon as Senior Staff attorney and continued her legal practice representing immigrant crime victims, asylees, and others in both affirmative and defensive petitions before the immigration court. Bitta led the organization’s advocacy work on behalf of immigrant crime victims seeking U visas, including before the City and Department of Homeland Security.
Bitta also has a background in community organizing, increasing awareness of global human rights injustices and the plight of refugees from Iran and Iraq. Bitta is the proud daughter of Iranian immigrants.
Robert H. Mundheim is Of Counsel at the global law firm Shearman & Sterling LLP, where he advises on corporate governance and professional responsibility issues. He is also a Professor of Corporate Law and Finance at the University of Arizona Law School. He has been University Professor of Law and Finance at the University of Pennsylvania and Dean of its Law School.
Mr. Mundheim has served as General Counsel of the U.S. Treasury, Executive Vice President and General Counsel of Salomon Inc., President of the American Academy in Berlin, President of the Appleseed Foundation, and Chair of the American Bar Association’s Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility. He is also a trustee of the Curtis Institute of Music, a director of the Salzburg Global Seminar, a founding trustee of the American College of Governance Counsel, and a council member (emeritus) of the American Law Institute.
Edafe Okporo is the author of the book, ASYLUM: A Memoir and Manifesto he brings a personal commitment to his Refugee work and the premise of the book: that home is not where you feel safe and welcome only but also how you make others feel safe and welcome.
Edafe Okporo was born in Warri, Nigeria. He migrated to the United States in 2016 as an asylum seeker and is now a refugee of the United States. Edafe is a global gay rights activist, the founder of Refuge America, and one of the country’s most visible voices on the issue of displacement, leading an organization with a vision to “strengthen as a place of welcome for LGBTQ displaced people.” A graduate of Enugu State University and Masters in human resource management NYU ’22. Inclusion and Diversity, Talent & Organization, and Change Transformation Leader. I live in New York City, and I work as a Talent and Organization Consultant.
The Pont is A New York City-based Primer consulting firm with a vision of building a diverse and inclusive world.
Peter A. Seligmann is the Chairman of the Board and former CEO of Conservation International, a global nonprofit organization that he co-founded in 1987. Under Peter’s leadership, Conservation International has become a cutting-edge leader in valuing and sustainably caring for nature for the well-being of people. Peter, a dynamic communicator and thought leader, has been an influential and inspiring voice in conservation for nearly 40 years. He works in partnership with governments, communities, and businesses to find solutions to ensure the sustainability of our natural resources.
Peter serves on the advisory council for the Jackson Hole Land Trust and is a Director at First Eagle Holdings, Inc. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and served on the Coca-Cola Company’s International Advisory Committee from 2011-2014. Peter was also named to the Enterprise for the Americas Board by President Clinton in 2000.
Peter began his career in 1976 with The Nature Conservancy, serving as the organization’s western region land steward, and later became the director of the California Nature Conservancy. He holds a Master of Science in Forestry and Environmental Science from Yale University and a Bachelor of Science in Wildlife Ecology from Rutgers University. Peter has Honorary Doctorates in Science from Michigan State University and Rutgers University.
A world traveler, avid fisherman, and diver, Peter is based in Seattle, Washington.
Joel Towers is a Professor of Architecture and Sustainable Design at Parsons School of Design in The School of Constructed Environments. He is also the Director of The Tishman Environment and Design Center, and a University Professor at The New School. In 2009 he was appointed Executive Dean of Parsons School of Design. He finished his second term in that role in 2019 and, after a decade of service, returned to the faculty. Under his leadership Parsons completed major curricular reforms, launched several new graduate and undergraduate programs, constructed an integrated, 27,000 sq. ft. cross-disciplinary making facility and raised millions of dollars in scholarship, research, and capital funds. With the intent to expand the school’s reach and research capabilities, Towers supported multiple industry leading design and research labs and expanded the ranks of full-time faculty. Today the school is one of the most internationally diverse anywhere in the US with nearly half of the undergraduate student body coming from other countries. It is consistently ranked the top school for Art and Design in the US by QS World University Rankings.
Towers joined Parsons in January of 2004 as a member of the full-time faculty and the first Director of Sustainable Design and Urban Ecology. In 2006 he was named Associate Provost for Environmental Studies and founded The Tishman Environment and Design Center at The New School. TED C, as the center is known, fosters the integration of bold design, policy, and social justice approaches to environmental issues to advance just and sustainable outcomes in collaboration with communities. From 2007-2009 he was the founding Dean of The School of Design Strategies and Associate Dean of Parsons. In 2019 Towers was named to the leadership group of the NPCC (The New York City Panel on Climate Change) which reports to the New York City Mayor’s Office of Resilience and is charged with providing authoritative, actionable information on future climate change and its potential impacts to support City decision-making.
Towers received a B.S. in Architecture from the University of Michigan School of Architecture and a Master of Architecture from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture Planning and Preservation. In 1992, after working with William McDonough Architects where he directed projects including The Hannover Principles: Design for Sustainability that helped codify that firm’s environmental thinking, Towers co-founded Sislian Rothstein and Towers Architects. For eighteen years SR+T completed award winning projects and was a testing ground for the integration of research, scholarship and creative practice.
Henry H. Arnhold joined Arnhold and S. Bleichroeder, Inc., in 1947 and served as chairman from 1960 to 2015. From 1955 to 1959, he acted as president and subsequently chairman of General Ceramics and Steatite Corporation and its affiliates. He was president of the Arnhold Foundation and the Mulago Foundation and served as emeritus board member of Conservation International.
Mr. Arnhold was a member of the Board of Trustees at The New School, a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the American Council on Germany and serves on the advisory board of the World Policy Institute. In 2002, he received the honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters from The New School. He was a recipient of the Grand Cross — Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany and was awarded an honorary senatorship by the Technische University Dresden.
The Zolberg Institute’s Advisory Board consists of individuals who have dedicated their lives to the further study of migration and mobility. Board members provide guidance and support for the Institute’s various projects.