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Research Associates

> Alvyn Austin > Keith Barney
> Balbinder Singh Bhogal > Pablo Shiladitya Bose
> Kenneth Boutin > Maxwell Brem
> Anthony B. Chan > Annie Cheung
> Afsan Chowdhury > Nga Dao
> Nivedita Das Kundu > Rod Dioso
> Na Dong > Rommel Gavieta
> Derek Hall > Carolyn Hibbs
> Akbar Hussain > Shinyoung Jeon
> Kenneth Lan > Wan Kay Li
> Sonny Lo > Karen Caizhen Li
> Lualhati Marcelino > Melissa Marschke
> Lynne Milgram > Ghazy Mujahid
> Anila Naeem > Thuy Nguyen
> Van Nguyen-Marshall > Máire O'Brien
> Hironori Onuki > Muhammad Habibur Rahman
> Jooyeon Rhee > Zahir Sadeque
> Gunjan Sondhi > Michael Stainton
> Dhirendra Prasad Thakur > Jessica Ticar
> Margaret Walton Roberts > John West
> Mary Young > Sashar Zarif
> Donia Zhang  


Keith Barney

Keith Barney, PhD
Lecturer, Crawford School of Public Policy/Resource Management in Asia-Pacific Program,
Australian National University, Australia

Keith Barney has conducted research on the political ecology and political economy of forestry and resource development in Southeast Asia for the past 14 years, with fieldwork conducted in Lao PDR, Thailand, Malaysia, Cambodia and Vietnam. Through this time Keith has also conducted policy-based research with a number of organizations, including Forest Trends, Rights and Resources Initiative, and the Centre for International Forestry Research, on issues relating to resource tenure, forest markets and sustainable trade. From January to July 2012, Keith was a post-doctoral research fellow with the Centre for Southeast Asian Studies, Kyoto University, Japan. 



Balbinder Singh Bhogal

Balbinder Singh Bhogal, PhD
Sardarni Kuljit Kaur Bindra Chair in Sikh Studies
Hofstra University, United States

Balbinder Singh Bhogal, PhD is the Sardarni Kuljit Kaur Bindra Chair in Sikh Studies at Hofstra University. Before his recent appointment, Professor Bhogal was an Associate Professor in South Asian religions and cultures, Humanities at York University. He received his PhD from London University, School of Oriental and African Studies, 2001, and his BA (hons) from Lancaster University. He has served as a professor in departments of religion, philosophy and humanities in universities in England, the United States and Canada.

Dr. Bhogal’s interests include South Asian religions and cultures, specializing in Sikh Studies, particularly the philosophy and exegesis of the Guru Granth Sahib; hermeneutic and translation theory and its radicalization through deconstruction; the relationship and interaction between Indian philosophy and Western/Continental philosophy; and the study of mysticism, orientalist and postcolonial discourses.

He has authored two articles in the Routledge journal Sikh Formations: Religion, Culture, Theory: ‘Ghostly Disorientations: Translating the Adi Granth as the Guru Granth’” (2006), and ‘Questioning Hermeneutics with Freud: How to Interpret Dreams and Mute-Speech in Sikh Scripture’ (2005). He has also published three chapters in the following books: ‘Text as Sword: Sikh Religious Violence Taken for Wonder,’ in King and Hinnells edited volume on Religion and Violence in South Asia: Theory and Practice (Routledge 2006); ‘Cross-Cultural Dialogues with Western Fictions: “There is no Hindu nor Muslim – nor Sikh”,’ in Hart’s edited volume Multifaith Britain: An Experiment in Worship (O Books 2002); and ‘On the Hermeneutics of Sikh Thought and Praxis,’ in Shackle, Singh and Mandair’s edited volume Sikh Religion, Culture and Ethnicity (Curzon 2001).


Pablo Bose

Pablo Shiladitya Bose, PhD
Assistant Professor, Department of Geography
University of Vermont, United States

Dr. Bose's teaching and research focuses on the study of culture, space and power, transnationalism and diaspora, urban and cultural geography, political economy and ecology, India and South Asia.

He has three research projects currently under way. Dr. Bose is completing a multi-year, multi-country study of various forms of international development, population displacement and ecological degradation. He also has an ongoing project in conjunction with the Transportation Research Center at UVM and several community groups and service providers on mobility and access issues for refugees in Vermont, from the perspective of environmental justice.

His research blog can be accessed at: http://blog.uvm.edu/pbose/.

Dr. Bose also has an ongoing research project on the lives of transnational South Asians in the U.S., Canada, and India, based on fieldwork in so-called "global cities" including Vancouver, New York, and Mumbai. This work grows in part out of his earlier study of luxury condominium development on the fringes of the metropolis of Kolkata and the environmental degradation and socio-economic displacements caused by this new housing construction. The dissertation he produced out of this research won the Urban Geography Specialty Group of the American Association of Geographers Dissertation Award in 2007. In this work, he argues that the idea of diasporic Indians and transnational lifestyles is an important influence on local civic leaders, city planners, private capital, and social movements alike, and a crucial catalyst for transforming both the political and physical landscape of the region.

He holds a B.A. in English from University of British Columbia (1995), a PBD in Communications (1997) and an MA in Communications (2000) from Simon Fraser University, and a PhD in Environmental Studies from York University (2006).

Web site


J.D. Kenneth Boutin
J.D. Kenneth Boutin
, PhD
Lecturer in International Relations
School of International and Political Studies
Deakin University, Australia

Dr. Ken Boutin is a Senior Lecturer in International Relations at Deakin University in Geelong, Australia, which he joined in 2004. He earned a PhD in Political Science from York University, and worked on arms control issues at the Verification Research, Training and Information Centre in London prior to joining Deakin.

His primary research interests are in the area of the political economy of security, including technology policy, defense industrialization, arms transfers, arms control, and economic security, particularly in the context of the Asia-Pacific region and the United States.

Web site


Max Brem
Max Brem, MA
Independent Writer, Editor, Researcher
Toronto, Ontario

Max Brem is an independent writer, editor and researcher with a longstanding professional interest in Asian affairs, development and the global economy. Trained in journalism in New Zealand, he spent seven years working in Southeast Asia and Hong Kong for local, regional and international media, including The Times of London, NBC News and the Development News Service of the Press Foundation of Asia. Among his “firsts,” he helped launch and was the founding editorial director of the first two English-language business magazines in Thailand. He also worked as a journalist in New Zealand, Australia and several European capitals.

He has held numerous positions and consultancies as a researcher and communications specialist working with think tanks and educational institutions in Canada and as an international development consultant.

After obtaining an MA in economics from the New School for Social Research, New York, and doing graduate work in development studies at SUNY Binghamton, he taught sociology and communications at Ryerson University (then a polytechnic), Toronto, from 1975 to 1980. In addition to teaching, he managed a project for Ryerson’s Third World Centre, in conjunction with the School of Journalism, aimed at publicizing Canadian involvement in developing countries and promoting public awareness of development issues. From 1981 to 1983, working with the OISE-based International Development Education Committee of Ontario, he helped coordinate efforts to produce and disseminate curriculum resources incorporating a global perspective in Ontario high schools.

From 1983 to 1988 he was a staff member at The North-South Institute, Ottawa, editing the Institute’s studies and serving as its first director of communications. More recently, between 2007 and 2012, he held similar roles as head of publishing and communications at The Centre for International Governance Innovation, Waterloo. In these two positions he edited several hundred policy-oriented reports and studies in addition to writing briefing papers and other material. He has written and implemented communications strategies and arranged co-publication of several studies in China. In addition, he has led teams of journalists covering United Nations' conferences and development-related topics.

While working at the Canadian Centre for Philanthropy from 1997 to 2000, he promoted cooperation between the corporate and non-profit sectors and produced and disseminated tools for building effective business-community partnerships. He joined York University in late 2000 as external relations manager in the Faculty of Environmental Studies and was a member of YCAR’s Executive Committee between 2004 and 2007.

His articles have appeared in various media, newsletters and websites over the years. His most recent publication is "An Unfinished House: Towards Filling the Gaps in International Governance" (CIGI, June 2012).

Alongside his communications work, Mr. Brem has considerable experience as a research, policy and program consultant to government organizations and NGOs, particularly the Canadian International Development Agency. Among his many consulting assignments for CIDA between 1989 and 2008 he conducted a review of humanitarian operations and programming options in Sri Lanka during the civil war; analyzed rural poverty issues in Vietnam in connection with CIDA’s poverty reduction strategy; completed a multi-author study of poverty and incomes in Nepal; wrote a policy framework to guide the agency’s relief assistance to refugees; consulted widely within the agency to research and identify new social development programming initiatives in advance of the World Summit for Children; documented CIDA’s regional ocean initiatives, including cooperation with ASEAN; conducted two annual reviews of CIDA’s project portfolio in basic education; edited policy and strategy documents for Asia Branch.  

In the field of migration, his consulting reports have included “Refugee Processing Abroad: Review of ‘Best Practices’” commissioned by Citizenship and Immigration Canada, and a national evaluation of the 1979-1980 Indochinese Refugee Sponsorship Program, also conducted for the federal government, for which he was the lead analyst. He authored a policy brief on the Canadian Seasonal Agricultural Workers Program and co-authored a working paper published by the International Labour Organization exploring conceptual linkages between development aid and migration. He has carried out applied research on immigrant settlement.

He is currently interested in unresolved, long-term refugee situations in Asia and is working on a proposed publication about Laotian Hmong refugees living in Canada. Whereas very few Hmong traveled beyond the highlands of Asia before 1975, there is now a burgeoning, self-conscious Hmong diaspora in the West that includes a small contingent in Canada. His current research focuses on this group’s origins, settlement, adaptation experiences and external connections. In addition, he maintains his interest in broader Asian developments and Asia’s growing influence in world affairs. 



Anthony B. ChanAnthony B. Chan, PhD

An accomplished scholar, teacher, academic leader, filmmaker, television journalist, and writer, Anthony B. Chan's last academic position was Professor and Associate Dean of Communication in the Faculty of Education at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology, Oshawa, Ontario.

Chan is currently co-authoring a new book about the lives of Chinese Canadians in Victoria and Vancouver from 1931 to 1932. This is based on his parent's letters and primary archival sources. In this manuscript, he recounts the notion of arranged marriages, the economics of managing a cafe catering to a predominantly European clientele, 1930s fashion, greeting cards communication and a swing band among Chinese Canadians, interracial relations and the murder of Mary Shaw, and the social impact of the Depression among the Chinese in Victoria and Vancouver, among other topics. His latest film project is entitled "Cosmic Energy". He continues to serve as a Consulting Editor on the Editorial Board of Asian Affairs: An American Journal (Washington, D.C.).



Annie CheungAnnie Cheung

Annie Cheung, PhD, MCIP, RPP is a professional urban planner and her research focuses include sustainable development, environmental policy, urban and regional planning. She has published internationally. She was a co-editor with David Bell for a theme of 19 articles in the printed and web-based UNESCO publication, Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems (EOLSS). This publication was launched during the Johannesburg Summit. An article that she co-authored with David Bell, “Introduction to Sustainable Development” explored principles and practices of sustainable development as an approach to climate change mitigation and adaptation. The focus was on exploring policy options for government and governance, on the role of civil society, businesses and industry, and implications for agricultural practices and education.

Dr. Cheung is also listed in the Asia Pacific Foundation Directory of Asia Pacific Experts and the Cooperant list in the CIDA database. Dr. Cheung has taught "Environmental Impact Assessment" and “The Environment and International Relations” at Glendon College, York University. She has also served as the adviser for an Honours Thesis, titled: “NAFTA's Investment Arbitration – Challenging Canada's Environmental Commitments”. Her academic teaching involved communicating how sustainable development informs domestic and international governance, how it factors into arbitration and negotiations, and provides opportunities for international collaboration towards common human development goals.

Currently, she serves on the board of the Canada-DPR Korea Association. A paper, which she co-authored with Donald S. Rickerd, titled, “A Necessary Balancing Act: The Role of International Human Rights NGOs in a Multicultural Society” was presented in October 2012 at the international conference of the Institute of Multicultural Studies, Sookmyung Women’s University, Seoul, Korea. This paper is now published in OMNES – The Journal of Multicultural Society (Vol. 3, No. 2, 2012). 




Afsan Chowdhury
Afsan Chowdhury

Afsan Chowdhury is a multi-media journalist, filmmaker, environmental advocate, human rights specialist, social communicator and researcher. Chowdhury has worked with BRAC, UNICEF, OXFAM and South Asia Panos Institute among others in Bangladesh, Nepal, Nigeria, Uganda, Sri Lanka, India, Turkmenistan etc. In 2008, he was named the Oak Fellow at the Oak Institute for the Study of International Human Rights at Colby College in Maine. He is currently teaching at the University of Dhaka.

As a journalist, he has worked for the Dhaka Courier, The Daily Star and Ekushey TV as well as the BBC, Deutsche Welle and CNN. His interview on the PBS international affairs series 'Foreign Exchange' is available at: http://revver.com/video/1251999/why-is-bangladesh-drowning-foreign-exchange-episode-442/.

From 1978 to 1984, he worked in the Bangladesh 1971 War History Project that produced 15 volumes of edited documents and recently led a research team to produce a four volume series on the history of 1971 Movement published in 2007. He produced four radio series for the BBC on the topic.

His research work on rights of the marginalized, minorities and migrants have been published in Bangladesh, India and Nepal. He is currently a Research Associate of South Asian Forum on Human Rights ‘Partition of 1947’ Project. He has worked in various rights spheres ranging from child rights to migrant rights and has served as a rights monitor for several organizations, including the United Nations.

He has authored seven books to date, including two novels, a collection of short stories, translation, poetry, media analysis and a multi-volume book on history.




Nivedita Das Kundu

Nivedita Das Kundu, PhD
Assistant Director, Institute on Social Science Research, Indian Council for Social Science Research
New Delhi, India

Nivedita Das Kundu, PhD, is Assistant Director for the Government of India’s Institute on Social Science Research, the Indian Council for Social Science Research in New Delhi. She is also a Senior Fellow with the Center for Joint Warfare Studies and guest faculty with United Services of India, New Delhi. Before her current position, she was a Research Fellow with the Ministry of External Affairs Think Tank Indian Council for World Affairs (ICWA). She has also worked as an Associate Fellow with a Security and Defence Studies Think Tank, the Institute of Defense Studies and Analyses (IDSA) and news analyst with All India Radio.

She has received her doctorate degree from the School of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. She was associated with Pushkin Institute, Moscow, for her Masters Study and associated with the University of Hannover for short term study on International relations & Gender studies.

She has taught at the University of Helsinki (Finland) at the University of Hannover (Germany) and at Sichuan University (China). She was a Fellow with the Aleksanteri Institute & Cristina Institute in Finland and a visiting fellow with the Institute for Oriental Studies, Moscow Institute for International Relations & Moscow State University. She was a Post-Doctoral Fellow with Woodrow Wilson Center for Scholars, Kennan Institute in the United States.

Her research expertise includes: geopolitical issues, foreign policy and strategic dimensions of security including energy security with focus on the Former Soviet States, India, Afghanistan and China, multilateral organizations like SCO, BRICS, CSTO, NATO, NAM and EU. She also works on Border, Migration & Women’s issues. She has contributed widely on her research expertise in India and abroad.

She is the author of Russia and it's Near Abroad: Strategic Dynamics and Implications, and editor of Russia-India-China: Evolution of Geopolitical Strategic Trends, India-Russia Strategic Partnership: Challenges and Prospects, and India-Azerbaijan: The Silk Route Connection. She has published research articles in various research journals, in edited books, in newspapers and in websites. 

Her ongoing research projects are a) SCO in Afghanistan Post 2014, b) Central Eurasia’s Relevance for India: Transport Corridors, Security Implication and Energy Potential, c) South and Central Asian Connectivity: From Silk Route Connection till the Contemporary Era.

She is a Recipient of various prestigious fellowships including DAAD (Germany), CIMO (EU), RAS (Russia), ICSSR (India) and Post-Doctoral Fellowship from US Government.She has expertise on languages apart from English, in Russian, Hindi and Bengali.

Her Blog can be accessed at http://valdaiclub.com/blogs/50000.html




Rod Dioso

Rod Dioso, PhD Candidate
Arts & Computational Technology
Goldsmiths, University of London

Rod Dioso is a digital artist and post-graduate researcher in Arts & Computational Technology at Goldsmiths, University of London in the UK. He is also an instructor in Digital Futures at OCAD University in Toronto.

His current research involves digital art in the context of the Global South with a focus on the Philippines.  He is interested in the ways the ‘third world’ provides examples of an open source global paradigm that characterize Web 2.0.

His digital art practice incorporates open source software to create interactive moving image installations that address the Philippine diaspora in global centers such as Toronto and London.

Rod completed his MA in Digital Art (2010) at Camberwell College and is a graduate of the Ontario College of Art and Design (2000). He has exhibited in Toronto, Montréal, London and Tokyo and is a recipient of an Ontario Arts Council Visual Artists Grant. His work is also part of the City of Toronto Art Collection.



Na Dong

Na Dong, PhD
Associate Professor,
Department of English, Beijing Language and Culture University

Na Dong conducts research on Translation Studies, translation of Tao Te Ching, and Chinese-Canadian Literature. She is the author of Corpus-based Study of Translator’s Imprints--A Study of Lin Yutang’s Translations (2010) and Translation of Classics and Canon Reconstruction (2013). She is the principal investigator of a research project on Cultural Translation and Reconstruction of Literary Canon funded by Ministry of Education of China (2010-2014). She is also the principal investigator of a research project on Self-translation in Asian Diaspora Literature funded by the Ministry of Education of China (2013-2016).




Rommel Gavieta

Rommel Gavieta, MS
Associate Professor, Graduate School of Business and Economics
De La Salle University, Manila, Philippines

Rommel Gavieta specializes in project management of infrastructure and real estate projects in the public and private sectors, particularly in the area of finance and privatization as well as strategic corporate planning. He is a project management consultant to the Philippine Department of Transportation and Communication's light railway systems. He is co-editor for the Formulation of Case/Industry Studies to Develop ASEAN Industry, Baselines and Benchmarks Reports for SMEs in Three Identified ASEAN Priority Sectors Study, funded by Japan-ASEAN Integration Fund. As an Asian Development Bank technical writer, he is also working on a project for the Establishment of e-Systems in Support of Infrastructure Finance in Asia. Dr. Gavieta has written a wide array of articles on mass transit and housing systems, currency exchange risk and financing structure, private funds, utility development and government policy.



Derek Hall

Derek Hall, PhD
Associate Professor, Department of Political Science and Balsillie School of International Affairs
Wilfried Laurier University, Waterloo, Ontario

Derek Hall is Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science at Wilfrid Laurier University. He is currently working on three main research projects: a comparative historical study of land and property in East and Southeast Asia, a study of certification and regulation in the global shrimp and salmon aquaculture sectors (with Peter Vandergeest of York University), and an analysis of food traceability in Japan.

His research has appeared in journals including Geoforum, Review of International Political Economy, Journal of Agrarian Change, Asia-Pacific Viewpoint, New Political Economy, Journal of Southeast Asian Studies, and Global Environmental Politics.

He has been a visiting researcher at the Institute for Social Science at the University of Tokyo on several occasions, and his research has been funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the MacArthur Foundation. He was on sabbatical for the 2009-2010 academic year as an S.V. Ciriacy-Wantrup Visiting Research Fellow in the Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management at the University of California, Berkeley.

Web site



Akbar Hussain

Akbar Hussain, PhD
Department of Anthropology
Jahangirnagar University, Bangladesh

Akbar Hussain is an anthropologist with 15 years of teaching and research experience. Currently, he is teaching anthropology at Jahangirnagar University, Bangladesh. He obtained his PhD and MA in Anthropology from the University of Tsukuba, Japan. He conducted a post-doctoral research work under the fellowship of the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS). He conducted fieldwork among the island communities in Bangladesh and fishing communities in Japan. Dr. Hussain taught courses at the College of International Studies, and the Graduate School of Area Studies, the University of Tsukuba, for many years. He is the author of a book and published numerous articles in journals. For last three years, he was the Chair of the Department of Anthropology, Jahangirnagar University.

His research interests are in issues of environment, health and culture, human rights and legal issues, migration and diaspora studies. The major courses he has directed include: Anthropology for Social Development; International Culture; Public Policy; Educational Anthropology; Environment, Society and Culture; Asian Studies, Visual Media and Culture; Anthropology of Law, among others.



Sailaja Krishnamurti, PhD
Lecturer, History of Religion
University of Toronto Mississauga, Toronto, Ontario

Sailaja Krishnamurti’s research explores the historical migration of South Asian people, religions, and politics through the lens of popular culture. Before joining Historical Studies, Sailaja taught at the University of Toronto and York University in South Asian Studies, Humanities and Political Science. Her PhD dissertation, undertaken in Social and Political Thought at York University (2008), analyzed representations of history, religion, and nationalist ideology in the Indian comic book series Amar Chitra Katha.

Recent projects include forthcoming articles on the representation of Tamil migrants in the Canadian media and on discourses of human rights in South Asian diasporic poetry. Sailaja is a Research Associate at the York Centre for Asian Research (YCAR). Along with Dr. Luin Goldring, she was co-editor of Organizing the Transnational: Labour, Politics, and Social Change (UBC Press 2007). Alongside her academic interests, Sailaja has worked with the GTA's South Asian communities on a range of social justice issues.



Kenneth Lan

Kenneth Lan , PhD
Assistant Professor, Government & International Relations Program
United International College, Zhuhai, China

Kenneth Lan is a York University graduate who completed his PhD from the Center of Asian Studies, University of Hong Kong in 2006. His dissertation was on the foundation of Rennie’s Mill; a unique enclave in colonial Hong Kong which was better known for its pro-Kuomintang atmosphere. In the fall of 2007, he joined the BNU-HKBU United International College in Zhuhai where he specializes on courses related to Chinese history and politics. Throughout the past year, he has been offering foundation courses to a group of wonderful Chinese university students on contemporary Chinese politics, international relations and Overseas Chinese. This fall, he will be teaching two additional courses on Sino-Western interchanges and international organizations.

Ken currently has two areas of research focus. One is on the politicization of Chinese in Hong Kong and in North America. He is particularly interested in looking at the infiltration of the Kuomintang and the Chinese Communist in various non-governmental institutions in the Chinese Diaspora. The other focus is on the development of East Asian Studies as a separate academic field in Canada. How did this come about? Who first implemented this? What role did Chinese Canadians and China bound missionaries have on this development? Are there political factors as well?



Wan Kay Li,  PhD
One of the founding members of the International Shaw Society, Dr. Kay Li examines cultural globalization and China and Hong Kong films and humanistic globalization. She is also President of Asian Heritage Month--Canadian Foundation for Asian Culture (Central Ontario) Inc. Her publications focus on cross-cultural literary and cultural encounters, especially on China and Hong Kong in relation to Bernard Shaw, Virginia Woolf, and Charles Dickens and on the intersections of arts and technologies in contemporary films. Her book Bernard Shaw and China: Cross-Cultural Encounters was published by the University Press of Florida, Bernard Shaw Series.

She is conducting a research project titled 'Interactive Inclusive Cross Cultural Encounters on Ultra High Speed Optical Networks: The Sagittarius ORION - Shaw Literature Digitizing Project' funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.



Shiu-Hing (Sonny) Lo

Shiu-Hing (Sonny) Lo, PhD
Department of Social Sciences, Hong Kong Institute of Education, Tai Po, New Territories, Hong Kong

Sonny Shiu-Hing Lo recently joined the Hong Kong Institute of Education. Prior to this, he was a faculty member of the Department of Political Science at the University of Waterloo since July 2004. He had taught at the University of East Asia (Macau), Lingnan College (Hong Kong), the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, and the University of Hong Kong. In 1992-1993, he was a Research Fellow at the Asia Research Center, Murdoch University.   

His research interests include political development, democratization, cross-border crime, bureaucratic corruption and policing. His new publications include: “The Influence of Hong Kong’s Policing on China: Mechanisms of Knowledge Transfer,” published in Asian Survey 51(4) and “The Changing Context and Content of Policing in China and Hong Kong: Policy Transfer and Modernisation,” published in Policing and Society in August 2011. Both focus on police cooperation, including joint anti-crime campaigns, as well as intelligence sharing, evidence collection, and mutual exchanges and training between police in Mainland China police and in Hong Kong.



Karen Caizhen Lu

Karen Caizhen Lu, PhD
Department of International Development Studies
Dalhousie University

Dr. Lu is Assistant Professor, Department of International Development at Dalhousie University where she teaches Development Studies.

Her research and teaching interests focus on poverty studies, social and gender equity, participation and development, participatory development. She is currently working on Multidimensional Poverty Indicators, vulnerability and adaptation to climate change, and benefit distributions mechanism in Payment for Environment Services. She has written on poverty studies, social and gender equity, participation in China and has published on Journal of Peasant Studies, Gender, Technology and Development, and the Journal of Rural Society. She is the author of Poverty and Development in China: A Comparison of Alternative Approaches (Oxford: Routledge Taylor & Francis Group, 2011),  a ground-breaking book in poverty epistemology which makes major original contributions to poverty research and to understanding how we conceptualize and identify poverty by using multiple quantitative and qualitative methods of poverty assessment  on a single population.

Dr. Lu holds a PhD in Development Studies with “Distinction” from International Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University Rotterdam (2009), a Post Doctorate from Chinese Academy of Sciences (2011), a Masters Degree in Development Management from Asian Institute of Management (2000) and a BA in English Language and Literature from Yunnan University (1988). 



Melissa Marschke

Melissa Marschke, PhD
Assistant Professor, School of International Development and Global Studies
University of Ottawa, Canada

Melissa Marschke is an Assistant Professor at the School of International Development and Global Studies, University of Ottawa (Canada), where she teaches courses on sustainable development, political ecology and research methods. Melissa’s research interests are in the broad area of human-environment relations, with a particular interest in environmental politics and resource management (i.e. community based management and adaptive co-management). Her current research projects include working with researchers in a watershed area of central Vietnam to enhance the management of common pool resources and working with a Cambodian NGO to pilot the process of supporting community forestry groups poised to enter the carbon market.

Prior to joining the university of Ottawa, Melissa spent two years as a post-doctoral fellow working with Dr. Peter Vandergeest at YCAR as part of the SSHRC-funded "Challenges of the Agrarian Transition in Southeast Asia" project. Prior to this, Melissa spent much of the past decade as a researcher, trainer and consultant working on resource management issues in the Greater Mekong Region, with a particular interest in Cambodian community fisheries.



Lynne Milgram

Lynne Milgram, PhD
Professor, Faculty of Liberal Studies
OCAD University,
Toronto, Ontario

Lynne Milgram is a cultural anthropologist whose research explores the commercialization of crafts, the operation of craft cooperatives, and issues in gender and development in the Philippines. She started teaching at OCAD in 1991 in the Department of Material Art and Design. She transferred to the Faculty of Liberal Studies in 1998 where she currently teaches issues-based courses on different aspects of material and public culture, material art and design and arts of Asia and Oceania. Lynne is the 2008/2009 recipient of the OCAD Award for Distinguished Research and Creation.


Ghazy Mujahid, PhD

Dr. Ghazy Mujahid has a Masters in Economics from the University of Karachi (Pakistan) and a Doctorate in Economics from the University of Cambridge (UK). He has more than 30 years of experience of working in the area of population and development in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia.

He started his career at the Institute for World Economics in Kiel (Germany) and during the 1980s served as an Advisor to the Ministry of Planning of Saudi Arabia. For more than 20 years, he worked for the United Nations International Labour Organisation and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). He served as Population Advisor to the Governments of Jordan, The Gambia and then Malawi. His last assignment was as UNFPA Advisor on Population Policies and Development for East and South-East Asia based in Bangkok (Thailand). In recent years he has been working increasingly in the area of population ageing.

He has a number of publications to his credit including “Population Ageing in East and South-East Asia: Current Situation and Emerging Challenges” published by UNFPA in 2006. He is also the principal author of “The Impact of Social Pensions: Perceptions of Asian Older Persons” published by UNFPA in 2008. His most recent work - "Demographic Prognosis for South Asia: a future of rapid ageing" - was published by UNFPA in June 2009.

Dr. Mujahid has also worked closely with the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs in developing the Guidelines for the National Implementation of the Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing and is an Advisor to the Asia Pacific Population Journal of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific.

Dr. Mujahid's presentation on Population Ageing in Asia: Trends, Issues and Implications for Diaspora in Canada in March 2011 is available here.



Anila NaeemAnila Naeem, PhD
Professor and Co-Chairperson,
Department of Architecture and Planning,
N.E.D. University of Engineering and Technology, Pakistan

Anila Naeem is a researcher, academic and heritage conservation professional with over 12 years of experience in curriculum development/ planning and undertaking research based initiatives on historic environments/ buildings, socio-cultural traditions and sustainable development. Having graduate degrees from Dawood College of Engineering and Technology, Karachi and Middle East Technical University, Ankara, Turkey; she pursued a doctorate from Oxford Brookes University, UK. Her most recent works include developing systematic methods for documenting and assessing historic built form traditions, taking historic towns (Sindh), historic districts (Karachi) and cultural landscapes (Indus Wetlands) as case studies. Providing an institutional platform for applied research she spearheaded establishment of ‘Heritage Cell’ (HC-DAPNED) in 2006; which provides advisory and technical support to government departments and other stakeholders in issues pertaining to management and monitoring of historic environments and cultural traditions. Dr. Naeem has also been associated with international networks including ICOMOS and Forum UNESCO – University and Heritage.

Most recent publications include a monograph Shikarpoor: Historic City, Sindh, Pakistan -Inventory and Mapping of Heritage Properties, Volume 1& II(Endowment Fund Trust for Preservation of the Heritage of Sindh, 2013) and book chapter "The Conflict of Ideologies and Ambiguities in Conservation Policy: A Legacy of Shared Built Heritage in Pakistan" in Asian Heritage Management: Contexts, Concerns and Prospects (K. Silva and N.K. Chapagain eds. Routledge, 2013). Her present research endeavours are towards developing an understanding of indigenous communities in Sindh and impacts of governance and development on traditional livelihoods and economies.



Xuan Thuy NguyenXuan Thuy Nguyen, PhD
Post-doctoral Fellow and Adjunct Faculty
Critical Disability Studies programme
York University

Xuan Thuy Nguyen is a post-doctoral fellow and an adjunct faculty in the Critical Disability Studies program, School of Health, Policy and Management at York University. She completed her doctoral degree in the Department of Integrated Studies in Education with a major in inclusive education and policy studies at McGill University. She has been involved in the Disability Rights Promotion International (DRPI) within her postdoctoral research at York University. Prior to her PhD, she was a teacher and educational specialist in inclusive education at the Department of Education and Training, Thua Thien Hue Province, Vietnam. Her areas of research include inclusive education, disability studies, human rights, international development, policy studies, and participatory visual methodologies. She is currently working on a book on disability and inclusion within the context of social change in Vietnam.



Van Nguyen-Marshall

Van Nguyen-Marshall, PhD
Associate Professor, Department of History
Trent University, Peterborough, Ontario

Van Nguyen-Marshall's research interests are associational life and the public sphere in modern Vietnamese history; the Middle Class in Vietnamese society; and gender and cultural-identity issues in colonial and post-colonial societies. Her current research projects focus on the public sphere in Saigon, 1954-1975 and the Vietnamese Middle Class in South Vietnam.

She is the author of In Search of Moral Authority: the Discourse on Poverty, Poor Relief and Charity in French Colonial Vietnam (2008). Earlier publications include: “The Ethics of Benevolence in French Colonial Vietnam: A Sino-Franco-Vietnamese Cultural Borderland,” in Diana Lary’s The Chinese State at the Borders (2007) and "The Moral Economy of the Colonialist: The Right to Subsistence and Famine Relief in French Indochina" in The International History Review (2005).



Maire O'BrienMáire O'Brien, PhD
Co-Director, International Leadership and Management Institute, School of Public Administration
Florida Atlantic University

Dr. O’Brien’s commitment to advocacy for change and social justice is longstanding and integral to her personal and professional life. Motivated by global issues, she is a change agent for bringing executive level skills in stakeholder relations, government funding and strategic partnerships to the opportunities ahead. Her international outlook and analytical insights are proven assets in managing the challenges of complexity.

For ten years, Dr. O’Brien ran the Executive Development Program for international government and business leaders at York University’s Asian Business and Management Program (ABMP) partnered with the Schulich School of Business. Specializing in developing commercial and business opportunities with China, she participated in the Canada China Business Council Mission’s 30th Anniversary Celebration of Canada-China relations in November 2008. As part of the delegation that included five Premiers and high-profile CEOs, she brokered business relationships for on-going commercial opportunities. The large-scale environmental program she initiated for Beijing, Chongqing and Shanghai was also key to the mission. She continues to be active in building and facilitating the delivery of cutting edge professional development training for clients primarily from Asia delivering these in academic institutions around the world. Her expertise in fostering strong relationships with senior public, private and academic officials contributes to her reputation of excellence, discretion and integrity.

She found her social activist roots early on in her career as she developed policy recommendations for submission to The UN Commission on Human Rights and expanded linkages between NGOs in North America, Europe and Asia. Additional contributions include work with The Federation of Canadian Municipalities and KAIROS, Canadian Ecumenical Justice Initiatives where as a Human Rights Advocate, she discovered the value of networking to build consensus in decision-making.

In 2000 Dr O’Brien completed graduate degrees in comparative and international relations at York University where her natural leadership and presentation skills made her a top rated instructor. As an active member of the Renascent Fellowship Board of Directors and the Executive Committee of the York Centre for Asian Research, she continues to work to make a meaningful difference in the community.

As the Co-Director of the International Leadership and Management Institute (ILMI) in the School of Public Administration at Florida Atlantic University (FAU) from 2011, Dr. O’Brien has been expanding the international dimensions of the School’s communities of public policy and administration and deepening research opportunities both faculty and students.



Hironori Onuki, PhD
Postdoctoral Researcher, Department of Political Science
York University

Hironori Onuki received his PhD from the Department of Political Science at York University in 2012. His principal fields are International Political Economy (IPE), International Relations (IR) and Comparative Politics. His research is concerned with the international political economy of work, citizenship and human in/security in the so-called “age of migration,” with a special reference to Japan and Asia.

His PhD dissertation investigated the global politics of migration, specifically focusing on the context of Japan as the major migratory destination of Asian and other migrant workers. Drawing on materials gathered through his field research in Japan and the Philippines, it illustrated the everyday struggles of labour immigrants in Japanese society within the transformation of both the form of state/civil society complex and social relations of production and reproduction.

Currently, he is developing the research project that explores the regulatory trends of immigration labour flows in developed countries over the past three decades and particularly in the wake of the 2008 global financial crisis. This project seeks to historically scrutinize and theoretically explain how the states of labour-receiving societies have reformed their immigration policies to accommodate the shifting conditions of their labour markets and how such changes in the regulatory regimes has influenced the everyday spaces of migrant workers.

His published articles include “Migration Workers as Political Subjects: Globalization-as-Practices, Everyday Spaces, and Global Labour Migrations” (Refuge, 2007) and “Care, Social (Re)production and Global Labour Migration: Japan’s ‘Special Gift’ toward ‘Innately Gifted’ Filipino Workers” (New Political Economy , 2009). He has also contributed a chapter to a collection edited by Rianne Mahon and Fiona Robinson, entitled Feminist Ethics and Social Policy: Towards a New Global Political Economy of Care (Vancouver: UBC Press, 2011). In addition, he has another article featured in the York Centre for Asian Research’s Working Paper Series and two chapters in edited books (written in Japanese).



Muhammad Habibur RahmanMuhammad Habibur Rahman, PhD
Associate Professor
Mohammed Bin Rashid School of Government
Dubai, UAE

Habib obtained his PhD from the University of Wales in the UK and later held two visiting positions - Senior Fulbright Scholar at Syracuse University, USA and Visiting Fellow at YCAR in York University, Canada.

He has been teaching since 1987 in the fields of public administration, political science, and development studies in a number of universities including University of Dhaka (Bangladesh), Lakehead University (Canada), University of South Pacific (Fiji) and University of Brunei Darussalam (Brunei). During his tenure at the University of Brunei Darussalam, he served the Faculty of Business, Economics and Policy Studies and the Institute of Policy Studies as Program Leader of Graduate Studies.

Habib specializes in public administration and governance, human resource management, environmental policy as well as strategic management. His research interests are on governance reforms, poverty alleviation in South Asia and the South Pacific, knowledge management, public sector performance, decentralization and public services. He has published and presented a number of papers on governance, civil service reforms, local government, e-government, poverty alleviation and knowledge sharing on Bangladesh, Fiji, Singapore and Brunei.

His long professional experience also includes advising UNDP and providing consultancy to a range of international agencies including the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, the United States Agency for International Development, the Commonwealth Secretariat and Asia Foundation on governance and public policy areas. He was a coordinator and facilitator of executive development program for civil servants in Fiji and Brunei as well as a consultant to the Government of Brunei on national service and youth development.



Jooyeon RheeJooyeon Rhee, PhD
Department of Asian Studies, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel

Jooyeon Rhee received her PhD from the Department of Humanities at York University in Canada in 2011. She was a Luce Postdoctoral Fellow at Wittenberg University (2012-3) and is a lecturer in the Department of Asian Studies at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem where she teaches social and cultural history of modern Korea, Korean cinema and popular culture, gender and family in Korea, and memory and trauma in Korean and Japanese literature and film. She is currently working on her manuscript, which explores gender representation in literature, film, and visual culture of colonial Korea. Her research interests include literature and film of Korean diaspora in Japan, art and human rights, and gender and ethnic identity in Korean popular culture. 

Jooyeon is a recipient of The Daesan Foundation Research of Korean Literary Works Grant (2012-3); Korea Foundation and the Northeast Asia Council Short-term Research Travel Grant (2012); Canada Graduate Scholarship from the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada (2006-2009); Ontario International Education Opportunity Scholarships (2008); and Albert C.W. Chan Foundation Fellowship (2005), which have generously supported her research.



Zahir SadequeZahir Sadeque, PhD
International Development Planner and Manager

Zahir Sadeque has over 20 years of experience in teaching, research and international development planning and management in Asia and North Africa.

Sadeque started his professional career with the Bangladesh Ministry of Planning before joining the University of Dhaka and Rajshahi as a lecturer in sociology. After completing his Ph.D. in development sociology at Cornell University in the United States, he returned to Bangladesh to continue his teaching career. He was later engaged by CIDA, USAID and the World Bank in Bangladesh on agriculture and rural development, environment and social assessment, and water and sanitation issues.

From 1996 to 2000, Sadeque worked as a social scientist at the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development in Kathmandu, focusing on social development and indigenous people in the Himalayan region.

From 2001 to 2003, he worked for ILO as a chief technical adviser on child and bonded labour in Nepal, where he oversaw a project for the reconstruction of livelihoods of over 14,000 former bonded-labour families. He then joined UNDP as Policy Adviser on Poverty and MDGs, supporting country offices in Nepal, Sri Lanka, Cambodia and Bangladesh on local poverty initiatives. He also provided occasional assistance to UNDP projects in Indonesia, Iran, Vietnam, Pacific island areas and many other countries in the region.

From 2005 to 2007, Sadeque served as head of planning, research, monitoring and evaluation for UNICEF-Sudan overseeing the programme of work, developing country action plans, and preparing analytical reports on the development situation in the country.

His areas of specialization include: local level poverty reduction; poverty among vulnerable groups; inclusive planning and pro-vulnerable group national planning; programme and project formulation; social policy and development; social assessments; capacity development for social policy and planning, monitoring and evaluation; children and youth.



Michael Stainton

Michael Stainton

Michael Stainton specializes on Taiwanese domestic politics and society, religious cultures and transformations. He has published and presented a number of papers on aboriginal self-government, religion and rights, and democracy in Taiwan. He worked in Taiwan for 10 years in rural community development and was a member of the Taiwan Election Canadian Group of Observers in 1992. He is the former President of the Taiwanese Human Rights Association of Canada.



Jessica Ticar Jessica Ticar
PhD Student,
Educational Studies, Western University

Jessica holds a B.A. Honours in Anthropology from York University and a M.Ed in Counselling Psychology from UWO. She is currently a Ph.D. Student at Western in Educational Studies in the Equity, Critical Policy, and Leadership stream. She is a Canadian Certified Counsellor (CCC) and is a member of the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association. She has worked in children's mental health agencies, child and family services, individual, group and couples counselling, abuse and domestic violence services, crises services, and career & educational consultation with youth and young adults. She is most passionate about how young students of colour constantly negotiate their identities within the context of global migration as well as race and racism and its intersection with class, gender, sexuality, religion/spirituality, age, immigration status, etc. She challenges the notion that students of colour are helpless victims of global processes and proposes that they are active agents in their own identity construction and meaning-making.

Her proposed dissertation will investigate the school experiences of Filipino/a high school students who are children of former migrant workers, particularly women who have participated in Canada's Live-in Caregiver Program (the LCP). She will identify the diverse and nuanced cultural and social capital within the Filipino/a community to challenge stereotypes and internalized cultural shame. The perspectives of educators and school administrators will be included. Her proposed dissertation is a qualitative study using Critical Ethnography and Critical Race Theory. This study intends to make curriculum and pedagogical changes in educational systems with its findings.



D.P. Thakur Dhirendra Prasad Thakur
PhD, Researcher

Dhirenrda P. Thakur has PhD in food biochemistry from the Ehime University, Japan and Master in Aquaculture from the Asian Institute of Technology (AIT), Thailand and in Aquatic Chemistry from the Kochi University, Japan. He worked as a Research Scientist at the AIT for nine years with primary responsibility of research and graduated teaching in the Aquaculture Program.

He has over 15 years of research experience in a wide spectrum of food, water and environment that includes aquatic food production, environmental management, food safety and certification. He has worked on several aquaculture research and development projects and has implemented multi-partners externally funded projects in South and Southeast Asia. He has taught graduate level courses on post-harvest management and food safety; aquaculture certification and quality control; water quality management; analytical techniques in aquaculture; and coastal and inland aquaculture. He took lead role in developing professional mater program in Aquaculture Business management at AIT and has developed courses, such as aquaculture certification and quality control, post-harvest management and food safety, and environmental management for sustainable aquaculture.

He has published 18 papers in peer reviewed international journals. In addition, he has 23 papers in international conferences/workshops and a number of non-refereed publications. Other than academic publications he has been actively involved in development and implementation outreach programs for local aqua farmers, and has worked with small-scale shrimp farmers in South Asia to build their capacity on adoption of better management practices. He has collaborated with Food and Agricultural Organization of United Nation and Networks of Aquaculture Centers in Asia on several projects and provided expert consultation for development aquaculture certification guidelines.

As an aquatic scientist Dr. Thakur strives to achieve and maintain sustainability from environmental, economic, social and technical perspectives. His research interests include developing understanding of climate change vulnerability and adaptation to aquaculture, impacts of introduction of farm certification schemes in Asia on sustainable sourcing of aquatic food and its environmental and economic implications, technological solution for farm level issues and extension of new knowledge for adoption into practice.


Mary Young Mary Young, PhD
PhD, Researcher

Mary Young specializes in the political economy and political ecology of Asia with particular interests in Indonesia and Taiwan. She has written about agro-food systems, environment, and food security issues. Her ongoing projects include work on the growth of natural markets and organic agriculture in Southeast Asia since the late 1990s, Asian experiences in food and financial crises, and an examination of peasant and women’s rights in Asian literature. She has a PhD in Political Science from York University.



John West John West, PhD
Executive Director, Asian Century Institute

John West has had a long career in Asian affairs, notably at: the Australian Treasury, where he was Director of Balance of Payments; Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, where he was Head of Public Affairs and Director of the OECD Forum; and the Asian
Development Bank Institute, where he was Senior Consultant for Capacity Building and Training.  He is currently Executive Director of the Asian Century Institute, and Adjunct Professor at Sophia University in Tokyo. John West completed a Masters Degree in Economics at the University of New South Wales, Australia.



Sashar Zarif
Sashar Zarif
Course Director
Department of Dance, York University

Sashar Zarif is an internationally renowned multi-disciplinary artist, educator, and researcher in the field of dance ethnology and ethno musicology. His areas of interest are identity, globalization and cross-cultural collaborations. His research, artistic practice and education activities are based on the arts of Central and Western Asia including Azerbaijan, Persia/Iran, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Georgia and Chechnya.

Sashar has collaborated with such renowned artists as Alim Quasimov, Rizwan-Muazzam Qawwali, Holly Small, Soheil Parsa, Katherine Duncanson, Susan Cash and Heidi Strauss as well as many esteemed colleagues in Toronto. He performs nationally and internationally with his company, Sashar Zarif Dance Theatre, and is the recipient of many awards including the New Pioneers Award Arts Award - artistic ambassador for diversity in arts; and a 2008 Dora Mavor Moore nomination for outstanding performance in his dance creation, 'Choreographies of Migration'.

Web site



Donia Zhang
Donia Zhang

Donia Zhang is a graduate of Oxford Brookes University (BArch, MA, PhD) in the UK and Brock University (MEd) in Canada. She has published three books: Courtyard Housing and Cultural Sustainability: Theory, Practice, and Product (2013), Courtyard Houses of Beijing: Past, Present, and Future (2009/2010/2011), and Schoolyard Gardening as Multinaturalism: Theory, Practice, and Product (2009). She is working on another book, Courtyard Housing for Health and Happiness: Chinese Design in North America.

Web site



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