Erica Harper Joins the Geneva Academy as Head of Research and Policy Studies

The Geneva Academy is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr Erica Harper as its new Head of Research and Policy Studies. Dr Harper succeeds Felix Kirchmeier who remains the Executive Director of the Geneva Human Rights Platform, one of our flagship projects.

Dr Harper is a leading practitioner and academic with extensive expertise in international criminal law, international human rights law, international humanitarian law (IHL) and post-conflict governance. Having worked for a variety of UN agencies and non-governmental organizations in Timor Leste, Indonesia, the Philippines, Jordan, Ethiopia and Somalia, she brings to the position extensive programming and policy experience. Prior to joining the Geneva Academy, Dr Harper established and served as the Executive Director of the West Asia-North Africa Institute, a Jordan-based policy think tank specializing in security studies, economic policy and good governance. During her 5-year tenure, the Institute grew to become one of the region’s leading think tanks, producing approximately 70 publications annually, including academic journal pieces, policy white papers, books and print media pieces. She also served as an Assistant Professor at Leiden University’s Van Vollenhoven Institute, teaching on aid effectiveness, human rights programming and non-state justice systems.

‘We are thrilled to welcome Dr Harper in this position: her solid expertise in our fields of research as well as her extensive experience in project management and fundraising make her the perfect person to lead our research and policy studies’ says Professor Gloria Gaggioli, Director of the Geneva Academy.

Crafting our Research Agenda

In this position, Dr Harper will lead our research and policy studies on our four priority areas – digitalization and new technologies, non-state actors, implementation and accountability, and sustainable development.

‘I look forward to crafting an agenda that leverages the Geneva Academy’s convening power, commitment to academic rigour and geopolitical insight to produce content fit for an increasingly complex and multi-polar world. It is this approach that distinguishes our work from other initiatives. The Geneva Academy’s research aims to be a process that builds partnerships and creates opportunities to shape the multilateral policy architecture in constructive and rights-affirming ways’ underlines Dr Harper.

‘This is an exciting opportunity to grow the research function in a way that consolidates the Geneva Academy’s reputation as a trusted source of knowledge, and a platform for analytical discourse on IHL, human rights and global security’ she adds.


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