advisory council

The Institute benefits from an Advisory Council whose members are drawn from diverse fields and provide advice in relation to the Institute’s work, including research, partnerships, policy-advocacy, and strategies. Appointed for 3-year terms, Advisory Council members provide guidance on, among others: how the Institute can appropriately and effectively engage with, and work on behalf of, stateless people and other beneficiaries; how the Institute can best work with academia, civil society, UN bodies, governments, media, the arts and other relevant stakeholders; technical and substantive questions relating to the Institute’s ongoing work; and the creation and testing of strategies, plans and ideas, in particular for strategic planning purposes.

Advisory Council Members

The Institute's Advisory Council is currently composed of the following members:

Fateh Azzam

Fateh Azzam is the Director of the Asfari Institute for Civil Society and Citizenship and Senior Policy Fellow at the Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Relations, both at the American University in Beirut. He previously served as the Middle East Regional Representative of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Director of Forced Migration and Refugee Studies at the American University in Cairo, Human Rights Program Officer at the Ford Foundation in Lagos and Cairo, and Director of the Palestinian organization Al-Haq. He led the process of establishing the Arab Human Rights Fund.

Prof. Ernst Hirsch Ballin

Ernst Hirsch Ballin is leading expert on issues related to citizenship, human rights and statelessness and serves as Professor of Human Rights Law, University of Amsterdam and Professor of European Constitutional Law Tilburg University. He is a former Minister of Justice of the Netherlands and President of the Judicial Division of the Dutch Council of State. In 2005, he was elected to the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences. Since 2014, he is also a member of the Advisory Council on International Affairs and of the Scientific Council for Government Policy.

David Baluarte

David Baluarte is an Assistant Clinical Professor of Law and Washington and Lee University, where he teaches Transnational Law and directs the Immigrant Rights Clinic. Baluarte has acted as the lead researcher and project director for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) on a variety of initiatives to identify and protect stateless persons in the United States and the Caribbean. Most notably, he performed a study of statelessness in the US that led to the publication of the UNHCR report Citizens of Nowhere, and he subsequently established a pilot law clinic to provide pro bono legal services to stateless persons in the US.

Prof. Seyla Benhabib

Seyla Benhabib is the Eugene Meyer Professor of Political Science and Philosophy at Yale University and was Director of its Program in Ethics, Politics and Economics from 2002 to 2008. A leading philosopher of her age, she has written extensively on citizenship and statelessness. She is the recipient of the Ernst Bloch prize for 2009 (one of Germany’s most prestigious philosophical prizes) and of the Leopold Lucas Prize from the Theological Faculty of the University of Tubingen for 2012. She has previously taught at the New School for Social Research and Harvard Universities, where she was Professor of Government from 1993-2000 and Chair of Harvard’s Program on Social Studies from 1996-2000.

Prof. Jackie Bhabha

Jacqueline Bhabha is Director of Research at the Harvard FXB Center for Health and Human Rights, Professor of the Practice of Health and Human Rights at the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, the Jeremiah Smith Jr. Lecturer in Law at Harvard Law School, and an Adjunct Lecturer in Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School. She received a first class honors degree and an M.Sc. from Oxford University, and a J.D. from the College of Law in London. She is the author of Child Migration & Human Rights in a Global Age (Princeton University Press, 2014), and the editor of Human Rights and Adolescence (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2014).

Greg Constantine

Greg Constantine is a self-taught photographer, currently living in Bangkok. Since 2005, he has been working on his project Nowhere People, about stateless communities throughout the world. Since 2011, a large scale exhibition of Nowhere People has been travelling the world and showcased in a number of venues including Geneva, Brussels, New York, Washington, Madrid, Budapest, Belgrade and Busan. Greg has published 2 books on stateless persons – Kenya’s Nubians: Then and Now (2011), and Exiled to Nowhere: Burma’s Rohingya (2012). His third book on statelessness, Nowhere People was published in October 2015. His work has been featured in publication and websites like the New York Times, International Herald Tribune, the Economist, PDN Magazine, Forced Migration Review, Al Jazeera and CNN.

Prof. Cees Flinterman

Cees Flinterman is honorary professor of human rights at Utrecht University Utrecht and Maastricht University since November 2007. Before that he was inter alia professor of human rights and director of the Netherlands Institute of Human Rights (SIM), Utrecht University, and Director of the Netherlands School of Human Rights Research (1998-2007), professor of constitutional and International law at Maastricht University (1982-1998) and Dean of the Faculty of Law of Maastricht University (1984-1986). From 2011-2014 Cees Flinterman was a member (and rapporteur) of the United Nations Human Rights Committee (2011-2014). Before that he was inter alia an alternate member of the UN Sub-Commission for the Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities from 1986-1991. He served as a member of the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) from 2003 – 2010.

Thomas Hammarberg

Thomas Hammarberg served as Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights in Strasbourg from 1 April 2006 to 31 March 2012. Prior to this he was Secretary General of the Stockholm-based Olof Palme International Center (2002–05), Ambassador of the Swedish Government on Humanitarian Affairs (1994–2002), the Secretary General of the NGO “Save the Children Sweden” (1986–92), and Secretary General of Amnesty International (1980–86). Presently, he is EU Special Adviser on Constitutional and Legal Reform and Human Rights in Georgia and UN Senior Expert on Human Rights in Transnisstria.

Prof. Jane McAdam

Jane McAdam is Scientia Professor of Law and Director of the Andrew & Renata Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law at the University of NSW. She holds an Australian Research Council Future Fellowship, is a non-resident Senior Fellow in Foreign Policy at The Brookings Institution in Washington DC, a Research Associate at Oxford University’s Refugee Studies Centre, and an Associated Senior Fellow at the Fridtjof Nansen Institute in Norway. Professor McAdam publishes widely in international refugee law and forced migration, with a particular focus on climate change and mobility. She is joint Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal of Refugee Law, the leading journal in the field.

Benyam Mezmur

Benyam Mezmur is associate professor as well as the head of the Children’s Rights Project and Acting Director of the Community Law Centre of the University of the Western Cape. He has published a number of articles on children's rights in Africa and related topics is also a research fellow based at the Centre. He also lectures at the Addis Ababa University in Ethiopia. Dr Mezmur serves as Chair of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child and as Chairperson of the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (ACERWC). He has been closely involved in the work of the African Committee since 2002.

Saiful Huq Omi

Saiful Huq Omi is an award winning photographer, film maker and activist. Renowned for his work on the Rohingya, Omi’s photos have appeared in The New York Times, Newsweek, Time and Asian Photography, among others. His work has also been exhibited in galleries from Zimbabwe and Russia to Japan and the UK and his home country Bangladesh. Omi’s documentation of Bangladeshi push-backs of Rohingya refugees in 2012 was screened globally through Al Jazeera, Channel 4 and other news corporations. His first photo book, Heroes Never Die - Tales of Political Violence in Bangladesh, was published in 2006.