2015-2016 Executive

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

Idil AtakIdil 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). Her research interests include irregular migration, refugee protection, and international and European human rights law. She is currently conducting a SSHRC-funded research on the intersection of security, irregular migration and asylum, along with Professors Graham Hudson (Ryerson University) and Delphine Nakache (University of Ottawa). 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.

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

Nanette NeuwahlNanette 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.

Secretary: Stephanie J. Silverman, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario

StephanieJSilvermanDr. Stephanie J. Silverman holds a Social Sciences and Humanities Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, University of Ottawa, and teaches in the Ethics, Society, and Law Program at Trinity College, University of Toronto.  She completed her DPhil in Politics and International Relations at the University of Oxford in 2013, and has previously held a postdoctoral fellowship at Osgoode Hall Law School and a research fellowship at the Refugee Research Network, York University.  She is the co-editor of Immigration Detention: The Migration of a Policy and Its Human Impact (Routledge) as well as the author of book chapters, working papers, policy briefs, and peer-reviewed articles inCRISPP, Forced Migration Review, Politics & Policy, Population, Space and Place, and Refuge.

Treasurer: Michaela Hynie, York University, Toronto, Ontario

Michaela HynieDr. Hynie is a cultural psychologist who is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology at York University, and the founder and Director of the York Institute of Health Research’s Program Evaluation Unit. Dr. Hynie is interested in engaged scholarship; working in partnership with students, communities and organizations, both locally and internationally, on research addressing complex social issues. Her work centres on the relationship between different kinds of social connections  (interpersonal relationships, social networks) and resilience in situations of social conflict and displacement, and interventions that can strengthen these relationships in different cultural, political and physical environments. This includes work on culture, migration and health inequities; climate change adaptation and environmental displacement; and social integration of refugees. Dr. Hynie’s work has been funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, Grand Challenges Canada, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Lupina Foundation, and a range of health and human services agencies.

Communications Officer: Omar Abou El Hassan, Ryerson University, Toronto, Ontario

Omar Abou El HassanOmar Abou El Hassan holds a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice and Criminology with Minors in Psychology from Ryerson University. He has worked as a research assistant for the Department of Psychology at Ryerson University, studying social privilege and structural inequality. He has volunteered for Fostering, Empowering, Advocating, Together (FEAT) as a mentor for children with familial incarceration. He also assisted the Ryerson Law Research Centre in facilitating awareness and access to the law and legal education across campus. With a passion for advocacy, Omar has also participated in several moot court competitions at Ryerson University as well as Osgoode Hall. He is currently awaiting responses from law schools to pursue a legal career.

Policy Partnership Officer: Armin Boroumand, University of Montreal, Montreal, Quebec

armin-bArmin 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.

Practitioner and Advocacy Officer: Ashley Korn, YMCA Greater Toronto, Toronto, Ontario

Ashley Korn has worked in various newcomer settlement programs at the YMCA of Greater Toronto since 2008.  She currently works as Provincial Program Manager in the Client Support Services Program.  Ashley has also been an active contributor to the World University Service of Canada, Student Refguee Programm (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 iversity and Masters Degree in Immigration and Settlement Studies from Ryerson University.

Events Officer: Morgan Poteet, Mount Allison University, Sackville, New Brunswick

Morgan PoteetDr. Poteet’s current research includes: settlement for male youth of Central American background in Toronto; integration of international students in the Atlantic region of Canada; and representations of Canadian immigration and national identity at Pier 21. Poteet has taught courses on immigration, settlement, refugees, racialization, population, and globalization and transnationalism since 2005, and presently holds a position of Assistant Professor in the Sociology Department at Mt. Allison University in Sackville, New Brunswick, Canada.

Student Director: 

Jona Zyfi, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario

Jona ZyfiJona Zyfi is a recent graduate of Ryerson University with a BA in Criminology and Minors in Psychology and Ethics. She will be starting her MA in Criminology at the University of Toronto in the fall. Her research interests include the criminalization of migrants and asylum seekers, security, human rights, detention, smuggling, and refugee law and policy. Jona was the CARFMS15 Conference Coordinator and a research assistant for a number of projects focusing on migrants and human rights. Recently she worked with the Ontario provincial government researching return migration and the positive effects on the socio-economic development of the countries of origin. Jona is currently an RA on a project which explores the criminalization of migration and asylum in Canada including relevant policies and case law. She was also one of the winning SSHRC 2015 Storytellers and the first to win the SSHRC Engagement Prize for her video on “Asylum in Canada: Policy and human rights for refugees”. 

Sarah Barrere, University of Montreal, Montreal, Quebec

sarah-barrereSarah Barrere 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 and student director in 2015.

Student Affairs Officer:

Alizee Bodson, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario

Alizee Bodson

Alizee is a recent graduate from the Diaspora and Transnational Studies and Near Middle-Eastern Civilizations program at the University of Toronto. She is currently living in Istanbul where she is interning at the Association for Solidarity with Asylum Seekers (ASAM), a multi-service centre offering legal advising and psycho-social services for Syrians in Istanbul. In addition to this, she is also interning at the Migration Research Centre at Koc University (MiReKoc) where she is working on a project looking at temporary transnational migration and mobility in the Turkish context. Her own research interests include Turkish asylum policy, international refugee law, transit migration, smuggling and human trafficking. In the fall she will begin studies in the Forced Migration and Refugee Studies program at Oxford. 

Enwiya Awishalem, Ryerson University, Toronto, Ontario

Directors at Large:

Christina Clark Kazak, York University, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Christina Clark KazakChristina Clark-Kazak is Associate Principal – Research and Graduate Studies at York University’s bilingual Glendon College and Acting Director of the Centre for Refugee Studies. Her SSHRC-funded research analyzes age mainstreaming in migration and development policy. She is past president of CARFMS and editor-in-chief of Refuge: Canada’s Journal on Refugees

James C. Simeon, York University, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

James C. SimeonDr. James C. Simeon is an Associate Professor in the School of Public Policy and Administration (SPPA), Faculty of Liberal Arts and Professional Studies, York University, Toronto, Canada. He is a past-President of CARFMS and currently serves as a  Member-at-Large on the Executive of the Canadian Association for Refugee and Forced Migration Studies (CARFMS), with the lead for the Online Research and Teaching Tool & Practitioners Forum (ORTT&PF). He is an Associate Member of the International Association of Refugee Law Judges’ (IARLJ) and serves as the Coordinator of its Inter-Conference Working Party Process. His primary areas of research are international refugee law, international humanitarian law, international criminal law, and 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). For further information, please see his personal website.

Stephanie Stobbe, University of Winnipeg, Winnipeg, Manitoba

Stephanie StobbeStephanie Stobbe, an Associate Professor in Conflict Resolution Studies, is a leading expert on Southeast Asian processes of dispute resolution. As an active educator, trainer, and ADR practitioner with a Ph.D. in Peace and Conflict Studies, she has worked and conducted research in Canada, United States, South America, Lithuania, India, and Southeast Asia. In 2006, she was invited to work with local citizens in the development of the first peace program in Laos. Between 2007 and 2009 she completed research on traditional mediation and conflict resolution rituals in three provinces in Laos. In 2013, she co-facilitated a series of seminars and workshops for political leaders in Myanmar (Burma) on institutional designs in conflict resolution, peacebuilding, and reconciliation as the country transitions to democratic governance.

In 2011 Stephanie co-edited a book, Critical Aspects of Gender in Conflict Resolution, Peacebuilding, and Social Movements (2011) for Emerald Publishing’s series on Research in Social Movements, Conflicts and Change. Her work on the subject of Gender and Conflict Resolution was recognized in 2012 when she was invited to join the American Bar Association team of experts to discuss “Gender-Responsive Peacebuilding: Implementing the Secretary-General’s Report on Women’s Participation in Peacebuilding,” and provide recommendations to the United Nations Development Programme, Peacebuilding Support Office as they address UN Security Council Resolutions 1325 and 1889. In that same year, she also served as a Visiting Professor/Researcher at the Matsunaga Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution at the University of Hawaii. Her current research projects include Experiences of Professional Immigrants in Canada’s Labour Market: A Study of the Past 25 Years; and Transnational Histories of Homeland, Violence, and Migration: Intergenerational and Digital Storytelling Among Refugees in the Diaspora, 1945 to the Present. Her new book, Conflict Resolution and Peacebuilding in Laos: Perspective for Today’s World, was released in 2015.


Centre for Refugee Studies, York University

8th Floor, Kaneff Tower

4700 Keele Street

Toronto, Ontario  M3J 2P3