Aurora Lofton recently completed her Bachelors of Arts from the University of Virginia where she had a special interest in refugees studies and conflict resolution. During her time at the University, she studied abroad in London twice and in Paris. In the summer of 2016, she worked as the primary investigator in a global sustainability project through the Center of Global Health. Specifically, the project was to aid indigenous communities on the Lake Atitlan basin with achieving potable drinkable water and livable life conditions. She is fluent in English, speaks Spanish, and she has studied French for three years. She has been accepted into a Masters of European Studies program at the University of Virginia, however she is uncertain of what her future endeavors will be at this point in time.
Fadumo Mohamed Isse
Fadumo M. Isse completed her Law Degree and Masters in International Human Rights Law at Oxford Brookes University. Her dissertation concentrated on Somali minorities’ under international human rights law. In addition, she has been a full time mother and has engaged in volunteer work, including with Oxfordshire Advocacy where she assisted people with mental health issues. Fadumo has an understanding of refugees’ life situations; most of her extended family are refugees all over the world. She speaks Somali, English, and Italian.
Louize Libeert completed her Bachelors in International Politics and Sociology at City University of London, where she focused on refugees and migration. Her dissertation, 'European Normative Power: The Effect on Turkish Asylum Policy', examines the extent accession negotiations shaped Turkey's asylum policy. She is fluent in English, French, and Spanish with basic knowledge of Flemish, and has lived in the United States, Belgium, and the United Kingdom.
Ana-Maria has completed her LL.M in Human Rights Law at Queen Mary University of London and her undergraduate degree in law at Humboldt University Berlin and the European University Viadrina. During her studies she focused on International Refugee and Migration Law, Comparative Social Justice and International Law on the Rights of the Child. Besides this, Ana-Maria has worked for various human rights organisations, including Amnesty International UK and the European Council on Refugees and Exiles. She is fluent in Romanian, English, German and Spanish and has basic knowledge of French language.
Abeera Arif-Bashir trained as a lawyer in Lahore, Pakistan, participating in relief operations with the United Nations Association of Pakistan directed towards displaced peoples in earthquake-hit areas in 2005 and 2007. Soon after, she moved to London to pursue her Master of Laws from Queen Mary University of London, gaining varied professional and academic experience in matters related to refugee access to legal assistance and refugee agency in political and civic participation. Since graduating Abeera has undertaken professional training and internships to gain casework and field experience with Medical Justice, SOAS Detainee Support, and AVID, and regularly provides support to asylum claimants held at UK detention centres such as Yarl’s Wood, Campsfield House, Colnbrook, and Harmondsworth. Alongside her longstanding interest in cultures of procedural informality in the admittance and integration of refugees in Pakistan, her recent activities have led her to examine and explore the experience of refugees in transit across the Western Balkans. Her findings have been published on platforms such as OpenDemocracy and the Balkanist. Abeera joined the Rights in Exile Programme after undertaking the International Summer School on Refugee Law at the Centre for Refugee and IDP Studies (CESI) at the Faculty of Political Sciences in Sarajevo. Abeera speaks Urdu, Punjabi, Saraiki, and English, and is fast becoming proficient in Arabic and Pashto.
Kate is working as a consultant in Oxford, evaluating the Southern Refugee Legal Aid Network (SRLAN). Kate Ravin holds a Master of Arts in International Studies from the Korbel School for International Studies (University of Denver) and speaks English and French. While in graduate school, Kate completed an internship at the International Committee for the Red Cross (ICRC) office in Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and volunteered for a Denver-based NGO that provided pro bono legal services to asylum-seekers. She has over four and a half years of experience in refugee resettlement working with Church World Service and UNHCR (Uganda, Namibia, Malawi), and has extensive experience working with persons from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, Burundi, Ethiopia, and Somalia. While at RSC Africa, Kate also accompanied adjudicating officers from United States Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) on field missions, and reviewed their case decisions.
Alessandra Di Cataldo
Alessandra is a fourth year undergraduate student at the University of Edinburgh, studying towards a degree in Arabic and Politics. She is a dual citizen of the United States and Italy, and grew up in Baltimore, USA, while her family currently lives in Rome. She has just finished her year abroad in Amman, Jordan, where she studied Arabic language and Middle Eastern culture, media, and literature at the Institut Français du Proche-Orient. Alessandra plans to pursue a master’s degree in refugee studies after graduating next year, and will hopefully go on to work at an NGO which deals with refugees in the future.
Gabriel Bonis completed his MA in International Relations from Queen Mary, University of London in 2014. In his dissertation, he analysed if the 2008 financial crisis led France and Germany to reduce their average asylum recognition rates between 2008 and 2013. He also holds a Honors Postgraduate degree in Politics and International Relations from the Foundation School of Sociology and Politics of Sao Paulo and a Honors BA in Social Communications/Journalism. He was a visiting researcher at the Centre for Refugee and IDP Studies (CESI), University of Sarajevo, and a Refugee Caseworker at the British Red Cross in London. Currently he is a refugee researcher in Thessaloniki, Greece. He edits the international affairs website Politike, editorial partner of OxPol, the University of Oxford politics blog.
Vera completed her BA in Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Oxford University in 2014. She works as an intern for the Sexual Orientation and Identity (LGBTI) programme and is coordinating Oxford Migrant Solidarity, a group visiting detainees in Campsfield IRC near Oxford. Vera is fluent in English, German, and Spanish, and has good oral and written knowledge of French. Seeking to expand her academic and practical engagement with refugee rights, Vera plans to pursue an LLM in Human Rights with specific focus on refugees next year.
Tamara van Doorn
Tamara holds a M.Sc. in Cultural Anthropology & Development Studies from Radboud University, Netherlands, where she focused on migration, specifically pilgrimage in Northern India, spending several months in Asia and the Middle East. At the Rights in Exile Programme, she assists with the Post-Deportation Monitoring Network and the Sexual Orientation and Identity (LGBTI) programme. Tamara has spent significant time with refugee organizations in Israel, and hopes to continue working and learning about refugee law through IRRI. She speaks Dutch and English.