Although I am happily ensconced in academia now, I am a lawyer by training having completed my legal education at McGill University and having previously worked as legal counsel for the Department of Justice in Ottawa. After discovering my love of teaching, I completed my Doctorate of Civil Law in 2015 at McGill University. My dissertation, entitled Legal Empowerment for a Dignified Life: Fiduciary duty and human rights-based capabilities in protracted refugee situations, addresses the role of legal empowerment in situations of long-term refugee encampment. Exploring themes of human dignity, governance and human rights, and drawing on fieldwork conducted in a Burmese refugee camp in Thailand, I apply the capabilities approach to protracted refugee situations to argue that the legal empowerment of refugees needs to be incorporated as a central focus of refugee assistance. I completed my education with a post-doctoral fellowship at the Human Rights Research and Education Centre at University of Ottawa and as a Grotius Visiting Scholar at the Faculty of Law at the University of Michigan.
As reflected in both my research and my professional activities, my areas of interest include forced migration, refugee law, human rights law, and international law with an emphasis on topics related to human rights, social justice and legal empowerment. The organizing concept that underpins all of my work, as a researcher, a lawyer and as an activist, is that of the inherent dignity of the human being and so I seek to explore the ways in which law can act as an instrument of both oppression and empowerment of vulnerable and marginalized groups.
When not working, I can usually be found on my bike, enjoying the outdoors, or indulging at the local markets.