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Prof. Dr. Melissa Siegel


Melissa Siegel is a Professor of Migration Studies at the United Nations University-MERIT and 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 has more than 10 years of management experience and 18 years of experience in the field of migration, public policy and development. She is Co-Director and heads the Migration and Development research theme of the Maastricht Center for Citizenship, Migration and Development (MACIMIDE). She currently holds the Chair of the UNU Migration Network and positions as 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, the International Institute of Social Studies (ISS), Erasmus University Rotterdam 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 the Dutch Government, Swiss Development Cooperation, German Development Cooperation, the IOM, UNHCR, ILO, UNDP, ICMPD, World Bank, OECD and others. She is also regularly involved in migration-related trainings for governments and organizations (i.e. UNICEF, UNRWA, EIPA, Dutch Government, Iranian Government, Turkish Government) and teaching at the Bachelor’s, Master’s and PhD level as well as teaching in the United States, Kenya, Rwanda, Malaysia, Mozambique, Afghanistan, Georgia, Azerbaijan and Suriname. She has also given advice at the United Nations and European Commission on migration issues.


Her main research interest lies in the causes and consequences of migration with a strong emphasis on the linkages between migration and development. She has proven experience in writing successful research funding proposals and has several publications in the area of migration studies. She has previous field research experience in several countries as well as knowledge of designing, administering and evaluating surveys. She is also familiar with other techniques of data collection such as interviews and focus groups and analysis using NVIVO and STATA.



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

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