2014-2015 Executive

President: Idil Atak, Ryerson University, Toronto,Ontario, Canada 

Idil Atak is Assistant Professor at Ryerson University’s Department of Criminology. She is a research associate at Hans & Tamar Oppenheimer Chair in Public International Law (McGill University) and a regular researcher at Centre de recherche en immigration, ethnicité et citoyenneté (UQAM). Idil served as a legal expert for the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Ankara, then as deputy to the Permanent Representative of Turkey to the Council of Europe in Strasbourg.

Idil Atak est professeure adjointe au Département de Criminologie de l’Université Ryerson à Toronto. Elle est associée de recherche à la Chaire Hans et Tamar Oppenheimer en droit international public de l’Université McGill et chercheure régulière au Centre de recherche en immigration, ethnicité et citoyenneté (UQAM). Idil Atak a travaillé au ministère turc des Affaires étrangères, d’abord comme experte juridique à Ankara, puis à Strasbourg, en tant qu’adjointe au Représentant permanent de la Turquie auprès du Conseil de l’Europe.

Past President: Nanette Neuwahl, University of Montreal, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Nanette Neuwahl is a Professor of European Union Law at the University of Montreal and Director of studies at the Natolin campus of the College of Europe. She is immediate past president of CARFMS. She teaches European Union Law and fundamental rights and comparative migration and asylum law in an interdisciplinary context. Her research and publications are on legal issues of European Integration, including the free movement of persons inside and to the European Union, as well as the international relations and crossborder activity of the EU and its Member States. A more complete biography can be found here: http://www.crdp.umontreal.ca/fr/chercheurs/neuwahl_nanette/index.html

Director at Large: Christina Clark Kazak, York University, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Christina Clark-Kazak is Associate Professor of International Studies at York University’s bilingual Glendon College. Her SSHRC-funded research analyzes age mainstreaming in migration and development policy. Christina’s recent book, Recounting Migration, explores the political narratives of young Congolese refugees in Uganda. She is editor-in-chief of Refuge: Canada’s Journal on Refugees. For 10 years, she has also worked as a development practitioner. 

Christina Clark-Kazak est professeure agrégée en Études internationales au Collège universitaire Glendon à l’Université York. Sa recherche, subventionnée par le CRSH, porte sur l’âge comme axe transversal en migration et à l’aide au développement. Son livre, Recounting Migration, analyse les narratifs politiques des jeunes congolais en Ouganda. Elle est rédactrice de Refuge: Canada’s Journal on Refugees. Depuis 10 ans, elle travaille comme praticienne en développement.

Director at Large: James Simeon, York University, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Dr. James C. Simeon is an Associate Professor and the Director of the School of Public Policy and Administration (SPPA), Faculty of Liberal Arts and Professional Studies, York University, Toronto, Canada. He is a Member-at-Large of the Executive of the Canadian Association for Refugee and Forced Migration Studies (CARFMS) and a past President of CARFMS. He also serves as the Coordinator of the International Association of Refugee Law Judges’ (IARLJ) Inter-Conference Working Party Process. His primary areas of research are international refugee law, international humanitarian law, international criminal law, public policy and public administration. He has published widely in these areas of research and he has organized and led many highly successful academic and professional conferences, symposia and workshops. Before joining the faculty at York University he served as the IARLJ’s first Executive Director and prior to that he was a Member and Coordinating Member of the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB).

Director at Large: Heather L. JohnsonQueen’s University Belfast, Northern Ireland, UK

Heather is a Lecturer in Politics and International Studies at Queen’s University Belfast, where she teaches in International Relations, Security Studies and Conflict Studies.  She completed her PhD in International Relations at McMaster University in 2011, and has been a member of the executive board of the Canadian Association for Refugee and Forced Migration Studies since 2009. Research Interests: Her  research is interdisciplinary, and relies on qualitative and ethnographic field work in various global sites, including Tanzania, Spain, Morocco and Australia.  Heather is interested in the politics of migration and border security, and particularly in the shifting international refugee regime and the politics of irregularity and irregular migration.  She studies how different kinds of geopolitical spaces, particularly at borders, impact and shape the political agency of migrants – and how these impacts are challenged and resisted from the ‘ground level.’  Broadly, her work considers the politics of citizenship, nationalism and security, but with a specific focus on those “outside” of our traditional political categories.  She also writes on visuality and representation in border politics and humanitarianism.

Secretary: Monica Abdelkader, York University, Toronto, Ontario, Canada 

Monica Abdelkader is currently working towards her PhD in Health Policy and Equity. She received her MA in Health Policy and Equity from York University where she examined the changes to Interim Federal Health for refugees in Canada, focusing on the intersections between health and immigration policies. Monica has several years of experience working with forced migrants as a mental health and psychosocial practitioner, as well as a community-based educator/developer, in Canada and Egypt. She has also volunteered with communities in Guatemala and Uganda. In Cairo, Monica directed two courses, one at the undergraduate and the other at the graduate level, on “Psychosocial Issues in Forced Migration” at the American University of CairoShe was formerly on the Executive Committee of the Canadian Council for Refugees and is current co-chair of the Student Caucus at the Centre for Refugee Studies at York University. Monica is currently employed at COSTI Immigrant Services as the Manager of Client Support Services, a program which supports government-assisted resettled refugees upon arrival in the Greater Toronto Area.

Treasurer: Michaela Hynie, York University, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Dr. Hynie is a cultural psychologist who is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology at York University, and the Associate Director of the York Institute for Health Research. In 2007, Dr. Hynie founded the Program Evaluation Unit in the YIHR to support community organizations in conducting and building capacity around program evaluation. Dr. Hynie conducts qualitative and quantitative research that addresses social and health inequities associated with culture and migration, both in Canada and internationally. This includes using community based research methods in diverse immigrant and refugee communities to study culturally appropriate health and mental health care, health care access, and the development of culturally appropriate community based mental health interventions. Dr. Hynie also conducts research on how basic interpersonal or social psychological processes are affected by culture, such as looking at how stress and social support differ by culture.

Communications Officer: Armin Boroumand, University of Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Armin Boroumand is conducting a Postdoctoral research at Centre de recherche en droit public (CRDP) at University of Montreal. He obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Law from Tehran University and a Master’s degree in International Law from Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran, Iran. He holds a Ph.D. degree in Comparative Law from University of Strasbourg, France. He is a member of the Executive Committee of Canadian Association for Refugee and Forced Migration Studies. Mr. Boroumand’s research centers on Children’s rights, European Fundamental Rights (within the framework of European Union and the Council of Europe) and protection of Refugees and Immigrants.

Armin Boroumand est chercheur postdoctoral au Centre de recherche en droit public (CRDP) de l’Université de Montréal. Après avoir complété un Baccalauréat de droit à l’Université de Téhéran et une maîtrise en droit international public à l’Université Shahid Beheshti (Université nationale de Téhéran), il a obtenu un doctorat en droit comparé de l’Université de Strasbourg (France). Il est membre du comité exécutif de l’Association canadienne des études sur les réfugiés et la migration forcée (ACERMF). Les recherches de monsieur Boroumand portent sur le droit des enfants, la protection des droits fondamentaux en Europe (au sein de Union européenne et le Conseil de l’Europe) et les droits fondamentaux des réfugiées et des migrants.

Policy Partnership Officer: Najib Raie, Simon Fraser University, British Columbia, Canada

Najib Raie studies Political Science at Simon Fraser University and works as Case Manager at MOSAIC in Vancouver British Columbia. Prior to arriving in Canada, he has worked as Senior Advisor for Adam Smith International and Centre of Government Reform Project in Afghanistan. Najib has worked in different capacities for Crown Agents, Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation and United Nations.

Student Director: Sarah Barrere, University of Montreal, Montreal, Quebec, Canada 

Sarah is a Ph.D candidate and a lecturer at the University of Montreal. She received her Master degree from Paris 11 University, Faculty of law. Her thesis deals with the fight against human trafficking and the possibility to conclude an agreement between Canada and European Union . Her research interests are european law, international law, refugee law and policy. She was coordinator of Conference CARFMS 2014.

Practiotioner and Advocacy Officer : Ashley Korn, Ryerson University, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Ashley Korn has worked in various newcomer settlement programs at the YMCA of Greater Toronto since 2008.  She currently works as the Program Coordinator in the Client Support Services Program, leading the implementation of the Regional Youth Advisory Council and Youth Engagement Strategy across Ontario.  Ashley has also been an active contributor to the World University Service of Canada, Student Refugee Program (SRP) since 2009, providing orientations and integration assistance to refugee students in both Malawi and Canada.  She has assisted International Organization for Migration in Kenya, helping develop the Canadian Orientation Abroad, Refugee Youth Curriculum. Her research interests include understanding factors that contribute to effective resettlement and integration of refugee populations with a  focus on youth, and the role of pre-departure information and the impact on the resettlement experience.  Ashley holds a Bachelors Degree in Cultural Anthropology from Saint Mary’s University and Masters Degree in Immigration and Settlement Studies from Ryerson University.

Events Officer: Venus Filali

Venus holds a BA in International Studies from Utah State University and is currently finishing her LL.M in International Law at University of Montreal. She previousely worked as a project manager at the Moroccan Organization for Human Rights (OMDH) in Rabat Morocco, where she managed the partnership with the UNHCR and the EU, providing legal assistance to subsaharan refugees and asylum seekers. In 2012, Venus was a member of the organizing committee for the regional conference on abolishing death penalty in North African and Middle Eastern countries. She also worked as a journalist in South Korea, Turkey and Morocco from 2009 to 2011.

Student Director: Jona Zyfi

Jona Zyfi is in her final year of her Bachelors of Arts degree in Criminal Justice and Criminology with Minors in Ethics and Psychology at Ryerson University. She is currently the President of the Criminal Justice Students’ Association and a member of the Ryerson University Senate. She has volunteered with the Red Cross and Red Crescent societies in Albania, the Ontario Justice Educative Network, and the Youth Advocacy Training Institute among other organizations.  Her extensive work as a peer mentor with international students in higher education coupled with her passion for the Criminal Justice system led Jona to founding a mentorship program for F.E.A.T. to help and support at risk youth affected by familial incarceration. She is currently in the midst of applying for her Master’s in Criminology and the Studies of Law, with the intention of attending Law School and specializing in International Law.

Student Affairs Officer : Stella Ha, York University, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Stella Ha is a recent graduate of York University with a Bachelors of Arts degree in Sociology and Human Rights and Equity Studies. Stella’s passion for policy development and higher education led her to becoming involved with the Centre for Refugee Studies (CRS) in order to deepen her knowledge of refugee and resettlement issues. Since 2011, Stella has been heavily involved with the development of many CRS research endeavours, as well as providing support to the expansion of the CRS Resource Center archives and playing an active part in increasing the CRS’s online presence through the strategic use of social media. She also took part as a research assistant in the recent Sudan/South Sudan Symposium hosted by the CRS, GLOCOL, and the MPEPIL, and was the conference coordinator for the Indochinese Refugee Movement Conference hosted by the CRS, CIHS, CIC, and SAHS.

Student Affairs Officer: Khamael Al-Faris, Plymouth University, Plymouth, United Kingdom

Khamael is a PhD candidate in Criminology and Criminal Justice at Plymouth University/School of Law. She is researching the relationships between immigration and crime in the UK. Prior to that, she was an assistant lecturer in the Ministry of Higher Education in Iraq for four years and also as a theoretical supervisor for law students in the Iraqi courts. Khamael undertook several empirical research studies in both quantitative and qualitative methods, many of them published such as  ‘The justification to Cancel the death Penalty’ and ‘Denial from the Breadwinner.’ Khamael’s research interests are: immigration, violence and property crimes, foreign nationals prisoners, discrimination, religion, homosexuality and gay marriage. Khamael is a member with Sustainable Leadership, Governance and Policy (SLGP) in Plymouth University and also the British Higher Education Academy.


Centre for Refugee Studies, York University

8th Floor, Kaneff Tower

4700 Keele Street

Toronto, Ontario  M3J 2P3