GDF 2018: The Global Forced Migration Crisis - A European Perspective
More people are forcibly displaced now that at any other time in human history. Europe, traditionally seen as a bastion of welfare and opportunity, has become a reluctant host to millions of people fleeing danger, underdevelopment, and bad governance from the developing world—particularly from the Middle East and North Africa. Dealing with the brunt of forced migration into developed and donor countries has contributed to a schism in Europe among policymakers, citizens, and the displaced themselves. This panel focuses on the European perspective of forced migration as the crisis of our time, and how development could serve to not only stifle current flows, but prevent future growth.
Ambassador David O’Sullivan
Prior to his appointment as EU Ambassador to the U.S., Ambassador O’Sullivan was the Chief Operating Officer of the ‘European External Action Service’ and responsible for establishing this new EU diplomatic service. The Service is one of the largest diplomatic networks with 140 delegations across the globe.
Ambassador O’Sullivan’s career includes a number of notable and senior positions within the European Commission: Head of Commission President Prodi’s Cabinet (1999-2000), Secretary General of the European Commission (2000-2005). He has extensive trade experience as Director General for Trade (2005-2010) and Chief Negotiator for the Doha Development Round. He was responsible for overseeing the launch of a number of free trade agreements and concluded the EU’s agreement with South Korea. Before joining the Commission, he started his career with the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (1977-1979).
Mr. O’Sullivan graduated from Trinity College, Dublin with a degree in Economics and Sociology (1975) and completed post-graduate studies at the College of Europe, Bruges (1976).
He holds an Honorary Doctorate from the Dublin Institute of Technology (2005) and was awarded a second Honorary Doctorate from his alma mater Trinity College, Dublin (2014). He has also been a visiting Professor at the European College of Parma.
Elizabeth Collett is the Founding Director of Migration Policy Institute Europe and Senior Advisor to MPI's Transatlantic Council on Migration. She is based in Brussels, and her work focuses in particular on European migration and immigrant integration policy. Ms. Collett convenes MPI Europe’s working group on the future of the Common European Asylum System (EU Asylum: Towards 2020), bringing together senior policymakers from more than a dozen European countries to discuss future asylum policy reform.
Prior to joining MPI, Ms. Collett was a Senior Policy Analyst at the European Policy Centre, a Brussels-based think tank, and was responsible for its migration program, which covered all aspects of European migration and integration policy. She has also worked in the Migration Research and Policy Department of the International Organization for Migration in Geneva and for the Institute for the Study of International Migration in Washington, DC. She also served as a Research Associate at the Centre for Migration Policy and Society, Oxford University (2011-13), and consulted for numerous governmental ministries and nongovernmental organizations, including foundations, nonprofits, and UN agencies.
She is a member of the Advisory Board of the International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD). She is also a member of the Dahrendorf Committee, which advises the Dahrendorf Forum, a joint initiative between the Hertie School of Governance and the London School of Economics and Political Science that encourages constructive reflection on the mid- to long-term strategic challenges facing Europe.
Ms. Collett holds a master's degree in foreign service (with distinction) from Georgetown University, where she specialized in foreign policy and earned a certificate in refugee and humanitarian studies, and a bachelor's degree in law from Oxford University.
Jonathan Prentice is currently the Chief of Office to the UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General for International Migration. He has 23 years of experience with the United Nations and International Crisis Group in political analysis, human rights and protection, and migration. Previous postings include New York, Brussels, Jakarta, Geneva, Baghdad, Dili, and Phnom Penh. He was educated at Cambridge and Oxford Universities.
Jeremy Konyndyk is a senior policy fellow at the Center for Global Development. His research focuses on humanitarian response, USAID policy reform, and global outbreak preparedness. He previously served in the Obama Administration from 2013-2017 as the director of USAID’s Office of US Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA), where he led the US government’s response to international disasters. Konyndyk led a global team of nearly 600 humanitarian professionals, managed annual resources of more than $1.4 billion, and oversaw OFDA’s responses to an average of 70 disasters in 50 countries every year. He led major US government humanitarian responses to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, the 2016 Ethiopia Drought, the complex emergency in Northern Nigeria, the Nepal earthquake, the Iraq crisis, Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, the conflict in South Sudan, and the ongoing war inside Syria, among other crises. He also led the Agency’s preparations for the 2016 World Humanitarian Summit.
Konyndyk previously worked for Mercy Corps as director of Global Policy and Advocacy. From 2008-2013, he led the organization’s high-level strategic outreach to governments, donors, the United Nations, and other partners. From 2003-2008, he served as the American Refugee Committee’s country director in South Sudan, Uganda, and Guinea, designing and leading humanitarian responses in conflict and post-conflict settings. Konyndyk earlier worked with the US Department of State’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration, and for an NGO in the Balkans.