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BCARS Scholar Advisory Board

A diverse group of academics and Arab Region professionals serve on the BCARS Scholar Advisory Board. The Board regularly contributes their valuable expertise in the fields of migration, human rights, humanitarian studies, and Arab Region geo-politics to BCARS projects.

For more information on the support of graduate students, please click here.

Zeynep Balcioglu
Zeynep is a PhD Candidate at the Political Science Department, Northeastern University. She graduated from Bogazici University in 2012 and completed her MA at King's College London. Before coming to Northeastern, she worked for several NGOs in Turkey and assisted projects focused on improving the civil society infrastructure in Turkey. Her research interests include: Middle East, refugee crisis and domestic policy integration for migrants. 
Alice Verticelli
Alice is a PhD Candidate in Political Science at Northeastern University, where she is researching on Middle East politics and Migration. She previously studied at the University of Bologna - Italy, where she wrote her Master’s thesis on Saudi-Iranian relations before 1979. She worked, volunteered and studied in Egypt, Palestine, and Jordan.
Vicky Kelberer
Vicky received her MA in International Affairs in May 2017 from the Pardee School of Global Studies at Boston University. She co-founded the Pardee School Initiative on Forced Migration and Human Trafficking (FMHT) with Profs. Lori and Schilde and served as an inaugural Graduate Chair from 2015-2017. During her MA, Vicky conducted research on refugee policy in Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey, and Switzerland. Her research focuses on reassessing international approaches to urban (non-camp) refugees and internally displaced persons, and integrating urban planning theories and practices into humanitarian responses. She currently works  in the Philadelphia area managing a research team at a multibillion dollar grantmaking institution.
Emily Cury was a Carnegie visiting scholar and Assistant Director of the Boston Consortium for Arab Regional Studies at Northeastern University. She received her Ph.D. from The Graduate Center, The City University of New York, where she specialized in international relations and comparative politics. Her research interests include narrative and identity in Middle East politics, U.S. policy toward the Middle East, diasporas in international politics, and Muslims in the U.S. and Europe. 
Jonathan Sullivan

Jonathan is currently a PhD student at Northeastern University studying political science. His research interests include political Islam and failed developmentalism. He received his BA in political science from Indiana University and his Masters in Urban Planning from Ball State University. Prior to studying at Northeastern Jonathan interned at Exodus Refugee Resettlement in Indianapolis and worked for the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority.

Ahsen Utku
Ahsen Utku is a PhD student in Political Science at Northeastern University. She has earned a dual Master’s degree from the Fletcher School, Tufts University and Harvard Divinity School. Her research focuses on forced displacement, conflict resolution and identity building, particularly in the Balkans and the Middle East. Her master's thesis explored the Jewish and Roma communities in post-war Bosnia and Herzegovina. Prior to her studies in the United States, Ahsen worked as a journalist in Istanbul while pursuing her first master’s degree in International Relations at Marmara University.
Lillian Frost is a pre-doctoral research fellow at the Harvard Belfer Center's Middle East Initiative and a Ph.D. candidate in political science at George Washington University. Her research interests include citizenship, forced migration, nationalism, identity, and Middle East politics. Focusing on cases in Jordan, her dissertation examines variations in the sets of rights and forms of citizenship statuses host states offer to protracted refugee groups, including shifts in formal laws as well as how these laws are enforced in practice. 
Lillian Frost
Yoana Kozmova is an attorney practicing in the areas of citizenship, immigration and refugee law. She is a fellow at the Boston University Pardee School of Global Studies and clinical instructor at the Boston University School of Law’s International Human Rights Clinic. Her research focuses on protracted statelessness and the future of citizenship law. 
Yoana Kozmova
Ivo Bantel is a research associate at the American University of Beirut, where he is researching citizenship and alienation in the Middle East. His research interests include political violence, terrorism, extremism and radicalization, data science-approaches to social science, and Middle Eastern politics. He holds a MPhil in International Relations from the University of Oxford (St Antony’s College).
Ivo Bantel
Merissa Khurma
Merissa is a Fellow at the New America Foundation and holds a Master of Public Administration from Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government. Prior to joining Harvard, she worked in various economic development projects in Jordan focusing on fiscal reform, workforce development and the Syrian refugee crisis. Merissa served as Director of the Office of HRH Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein (2010- 2013) and as press attaché of the Embassy of Jordan in Washington, DC. She has an MS in International Security and Foreign Policy from Georgetown University.
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