Prof. Dr. Melissa Siegel


Melissa Siegel is a Professor of Migration Studies and Head of Migration Studies at UNU-MERIT & Maastricht University where she manages several migration research projects, coordinates the Migration Studies Specialization as part of the Master’s Program in Public Policy and Human Development and formerly headed the Migration Management Diploma Program. She is Co-Director of the Maastricht Center for Citizenship, Migration and Development (MACIMIDE). She currently holds the Chair of the UNU Migration Network and is a Research Associate at the Center on Migration, Policy and Society (COMPAS) at the University of Oxford. She is also on the advisory board of the Migration Policy Center, EUI and was formerly on the board of the Hague Process on Refugees and Migration. She has done visiting research fellowships at Harvard University, the Kiel Institute for the World Economy and the University of Oxford. She has advised, worked on or headed projects for several governments and international organisations. She is also regularly involved in migration-related trainings/capacity building for governments and international organizations  as well as teaching at the Bachelor’s, Master’s and PhD level. She has also given advice at the United Nations and European Commission on migration issues. Her main research interests lie in the causes and consequences of migration with a strong emphasis on the linkages between migration and development.



September 2005 –May 2010                                                                

Maastricht Graduate School of Governance, Maastricht University, the Netherlands

PhD Social Protection Policy, Dissertation title: Money and Mobility: Migration and Remittances

September 2004 – August 2005             

Utrecht University, Utrecht, the Netherlands

MA Policy and Organization, Master’s Thesis: Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Underground Banking: Policy Review

September 2003 – August 2004

Utrecht University, Utrecht, the Netherlands                                             

MSc Law and Economics,  Graduated first in class with Honorable Mention

Master’s Thesis: A Comparative Law Approach to Public Debt

#1 in graduating class

August 1999 – May 2003

College of Charleston, Charleston, SC, USA

B.S. Economics, Graduated from the Honors College and with Honors in Economics

Studied abroad in Utrecht, The Netherlands and Jonkoping, Sweden (2000-2001)

Research Note

Prof. Siegel's current work lies in the causes and consequences of migration including but not limited to:

  1. The effects of migration on children and elderly left behind

  2. The linkages between different forms of migration and multi-dimensional poverty

  3. The linkages between migration (including return) and development

  4. Remittance, effects, usage and channels

  5.  Migration policy and practice

  6. Migration and corruption

  7. Migration and health