On all politics is local

A screenshot from this week’s (brilliant) New Yorker hits incredibly close to home —

it all comes down to waukesha


On updates

In the world post-thesis (!!), updates are coming to this site. Watch this space!

On visiting the neighbors

Long time neighbor, first time visitor: I finally got to take a tour of the US Embassy today (..unsurprisingly, zero cameras or phones allowed) just before giving a briefing on refugee issues to D.C. and Oslo staff. The building is shaped like a triangle — stairwells included!

On back to the stacks

I spent 7-10 March back in Geneva, visiting the archives at IOM, IFRC, and the UNOG:

With thanks to the three offices for my visits!

On finding inspiration


Beyond thankful that my singular wish of 2015 – to see Hamilton – came true! The cast album is certainly wonderful, but the brilliance of the live experience is something I won’t soon forget. Happy to report the show exceeded my (very high) expectations and deserves every superlative.


While in NYC, K and I tried to absorb as much other inspiration as we could. ANHM and the Hayden Planetarium playfully reminded us how much more there is to the universe beyond our day jobs and research.


Piet Mondrian, Composition No. 11, with Red and Blue (1929)

MoMA was another favorite stop – I appreciated getting to see the work up close, brushstrokes and pencil guidelines and all. Coming home full of creative inspiration makes the transition back to CET and thesis writing a little less brutal. (Also: the knowledge that we flew out before the east coast shut down due to blizzard Jonas!)


Piet Mondrian, Composition No. 11, with Red and Blue (1929)

On introductions and pep talks


Bonus perk of working out of UNHCR’s archives this week? Getting to watch the new UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi’s introductory remarks to the HQ —

“UNHCR is navigating extraordinarily difficult waters,” Grandi said. “The combination of multiple conflicts and resulting mass displacement, fresh challenges to asylum, the funding gap between humanitarian needs and resources, and growing xenophobia is very dangerous. The road ahead is a challenging one, but I hope that  working with governments, civil society, and other partners  we will make progress in ensuring international protection and improved living conditions for millions of refugees, internally displaced and stateless people.”