© UNHCR/Antwan Chnkdji
Abul Azad– Senior Economist
Abul Azad is a Senior Economist with the Center. Prior to this role, he served as the Senior Economist with the Poverty and Equity Global Practice of the World Bank leading on Nigeria poverty work program. Prior to his posting in Nigeria, he led impact evaluations in multiple countries with Development Impact Evaluation (DIME) of the World Bank generating operationally relevant data and research to transform development policies. Over the years, he has worked with academic and research institutes, and multilateral and grassroots level organizations. He has worked extensively on data landscape and statistics systems, capacity building of national statistics offices, analytics, impact evaluations, monitoring and evaluation systems, governance reforms, policy advocacy and program management. He also has worked substantially on data collection from conflict affected states and in the use of evidence to inform programs and policies. Azad holds master’s degrees from Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, North South University and Aligarh Muslim University in International Public Policy, Development Studies and English Literature with foci on international development policy, economics of development, and Shakespearean literature. Azad is currently pursuing a PhD (part-time) in Development Economics and International Development Policy from the University of Göttingen in Germany.
Agnes Gaga – Digital Communications Consultant
Agnes E. Gaga is supporting the team with digital communications. She has worked with UNHCR’s Digital Engagement Section on a wide range of areas including donor engagement, data analysis, digital tracking, email marketing, e-commerce and project management. She has previously held positions with UNICEF and Save the Children where she worked on fundraising and communication. Agnes has a B.Sc in International Economics and an M.Sc in International Public Administration and Politics from Russia and Denmark respectively.
Arthur Alik Lagrange – Senior Economist
Arthur Alik-Lagrange is a Senior Economist with the Center. He joined the World Bank in 2016 as a poverty economist with the Africa Chief Economist unit, working on the impact evaluation of Gender and Social Protection programs for the ultra-poor, including in fragile countries and forced displaced populations. He holds a Ph.D from the Toulouse School of Economics, a M.Sc from the Humboldt University of Berlin and a degree in statistical engineering from the ENSAE, Paris.
Björn Gillsäter – Head of the Center
Björn Gillsäter is the Head of the Joint Data Center on Forced Displacement, based in Copenhagen, Denmark. Prior to this, he was the World Bank Group’s Special Representative to the United Nations in New York. Björn joined the Bank in 2001 as Senior Advisor to the Nordic-Baltic Executive Director. He brings over two decades of experience of working on multilateral affairs, both as a government official with the Ministry of Finance of Sweden, and with several international organizations. Some of the other positions he has held include the Alternate Executive Director at the African Development Bank, the Chief for Multilateral System Analysis with UNICEF, the Head of the Multilateral Organization Performance Assessment Network (MOPAN), which is a function hosted by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.
Charlotte Persson – Management Support Consultant
Charlotte Persson is a Management Support consultant at the Center. She has previously worked on projects such as ‘Scaling Fences’ (UNDP), a large-scale empirical study on irregular migration from Africa to Europe and the ‘SDG Accelerator’ (UNDP), an innovation journey for small and medium sized enterprises to contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals. She has broad experience in operational processes from public and private international organizations and research experience from fieldwork in rural Tanzania and Ghana. Charlotte holds a B.Sc in International Business from Copenhagen Business School and a M.Sc. in Global Development from Copenhagen University.
Domenico Tabasso – Senior Economist
Domenico Tabasso is a Senior Economist with the Center. Previously, he worked with the Policy Evaluation Unit of the International Labour Organization (ILO) Research Department, where he analyzed the effects of labor market policies in emerging and developing countries. He has also contributed to the work of the ILO within the IFC-ILO-UNHCR-UNICEF-WB and Government of Netherlands partnership on Inclusive Jobs and Education for Forcibly Displaced Persons. Domenico has held academic positions at the universities of Essex, Geneva, and Melbourne, publishing several policy reports and academic articles. He holds a B.Sc in Economics from Bocconi University, and an M.Sc and a Ph.D in Economics from the University of Essex.
Felix Schmieding – Senior Statistician
Felix Schmieding is a Senior Statistician with the Center. His earlier work includes assignments with UNHCR, UNDP, and the UN Statistics Division. Felix has implemented or provided technical assistance to numerous statistical activities in Asia, Africa, and the Caribbean–including living conditions surveys, labour force surveys, population censuses, and administrative registers. He has worked closely with the National Statistical Offices and National Statistical Systems of various countries, building technical and institutional capacity. He has also held key roles in global processes aiming at the development of international statistical standards under the auspices of the UN Statistical Commission. Felix holds an M.Sc degree from the University of Oxford.
Harriet Mugera – Senior Data Scientist
Harriet Mugera is Senior Data Scientist with the Center. She joined the World Bank in 2015 as an Economist with the Development Data Group and was the focal person on migration and forced displaced-data related issues. As a member of the Living Standards Measurement Study (LSMS) team, Harriet has expertise in survey instrument development, field operations, data quality control and analysis of household and survey data. She was also among the World Bank experts who contributed to the drafting of the International Recommendations on Refugee Statistics (IRRS) and the Manual on Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons, working closely with UNHCR, International Organization for Migration (IOM), among other stakeholders. She holds a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Trento (Italy) and was a visiting fellow at Cornell University (USA). She also holds a Master’s (MSc.) degree in Finance and a Bachelor’s Degree (B.Sc.) in Commerce.
Jeffery Tanner – Senior Economist
Jeff Tanner is a Senior Economist with the Center. Prior to this role, he served as the lead for results and evaluation for the Global Financing Facility. He was also the lead for impact evaluation activities at the World Bank’s Independent Evaluation Group. Jeff was the lead economist for the US Millennium Challenge Corporation’s (MCC) work in Honduras, Guatemala, Burkina Faso and Georgia, and led the MCC’s work on the Partnership for Growth Initiative in El Salvador. He holds an MPA/ID from Harvard and earned his Ph.D at RAND, where his dissertation focused on social, demographic, and economic effects of migration.
Katherine Perkins – Program Associate
Katherine Perkins is the Program Associate for the Center. Katherine joined UNHCR in January 2020 after working as Executive Assistant for the American Medical Association Foundation in Chicago and, prior to that, as the Programme Coordinator for OECD in Paris. Her professional expertise centers around event coordination and planning, office management, as well as administrative and budget oversight. Katherine holds a B.A Hons degree in Latin American Studies from the University of Liverpool.
Maja Lazić – Deputy Head of the Center
Maja Lazić is the Deputy Head of the Joint Data Center on Forced Displacement, based in Copenhagen, Denmark. Prior to this, she was the Deputy Representative for the UNHCR Representation in Malaysia where she worked towards the objectives of the Global Compact for Refugees and the UN Sustainable Development Goals agendas in a national context. She brings over two decades of experience of working in conflict, post-conflict areas and in emergency settings in the Balkans, South East Asia and Central Asia predominantly with UNHCR but also with the UN Human Rights (OHCHR) and non-governmental organizations. She has further served in UNHCR’s Headquarters in different policy and management capacities. While Maja’s profile is anchored in protection of the forcibly displaced and stateless populations, she is experienced in sectors including education, programme oversight, public engagement, donor and partner relations in humanitarian and development contexts.
Marie Gertz Schlundt – Administrative Associate
Marie Gertz Schlundt is an Administrative Associate at the Center. She has previously worked with UNHCR’s Partnership and Coordination Service around inter-agency coordination, research and analysis, information collection, reporting and administration. She joined UNHCR in 2016 working in Myanmar focusing on the return and reintegration of Myanmar refugees from Thailand and IDPs within Myanmar. She has previously held positions with the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Danish Embassy in Uganda, OHCHR and the NGO; the International Dalit Solidarity Network. Marie holds a BSc in International Development Studies and a MSc in Global Studies from Roskilde University, Denmark.
Olumurejiwa (Mureji) Fatunde – Fellow
Olumurejiwa (Mureji) Fatunde is a Ph.D. Candidate in Operations Management & Decision Sciences at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where she is affiliated with the Center for Transportation and Logistics. Her research interests include manufacturing strategy, revenue management, innovative sourcing models such as crowdsourcing, and behavioral operations, with a focus on increasing the competitiveness and effectiveness of organizations in emerging markets. Her work leverages methods from diverse fields including operations research, statistics, computer science, and economics. Before beginning her PhD, Olumurejiwa worked on several projects related to improving public health supply chains in Nigeria. She holds an undergraduate degree in Biomedical Engineering from Harvard University and an MSc in International Health Policy (Health Economics) from the London School of Economics.
Paddy Brock – Senior Data Scientist
Paddy Brock is a Senior Data Scientist with the Center. Paddy joined from the UK Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), where he worked as a Senior Statistician, leading a cross-divisional team of analysts supporting a variety of policy areas, including the UN Sustainable Development Goals, working closely with the UK Office for National Statistics. Previously, he was the statistics, results and evaluation lead for the UK Department for International Development (DFID) office and programmes in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and as a Data Scientist at DFID he helped build the organisation’s data handling and analytical capability. Paddy holds a PhD from the University of Leeds, an MRes from Imperial College London, and a BSc from the University of Oxford.
Petra Kaps– Data and Economic Analysis Intern
Petra Kaps is a Data and Economic Analysis intern at the Center. Prior to this role, Petra worked with UNICEF Cambodia where she supported UNICEF’s activities through data collection, data analysis and data dissemination. She also supported research and data analysis activities at Project BluePrint where she focused on medical supply chain in East Africa. Petra holds a MSc from the University of Copenhagen where she focused on evidence-based decision making in the topic of health and socio-economic determinants of Early Childhood Development.
Velma Mukoro– Fellow
Velma Mukoro is a Fellow at the Center. She is also a PhD researcher at the Tyndall Center for Climate Change Research at the University of Manchester. She employs life cycle assessments and participatory decision-making approaches to investigate the sustainability of renewable energy business models in Sub-Saharan Africa. Velma is interested in the links between clean energy systems, circular economy, innovative business models, society, and private-public partnerships. Previously, she was an advisor at The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) in Kenya for a project that implemented solar-mini-grids in off-grid areas and displacement settings. She supported policy and strategy advisory to county and national governments, private-sector pilot projects, monitoring and evaluation, and capacity building. Velma has a master’s degree in Renewable Energy from the University of Hull and BSc in Environmental Science.