With an avid interest in migration and displacement issues, Melissa’s PhD at the London School of Economics focuses on state responses to internally displaced people living in cities. She explores the topic of the "local governance of internal displacement" by analysing policy discourse and data collection practices across different contexts, specifically in Colombia and eastern Ukraine. Undertaking a PhD within the Urban and Regional Planning Studies program of the Department of Geography and Environment enables her to bring governance, urban and geographic theory into issues traditionally viewed as 'humanitarian'.
She brings an interdisciplinary approach to her research with a Bachelors in Anthropology and German from the University of Chicago and a Masters in International Relations from the Fletcher School at Tufts University. She worked professionally on migration and displacement issues in the legal and humanitarian fields since 2010, most recently supporting governments and other partners to collect data on displacement at the Joint IDP Profiling Service, based in Geneva.
PhD Title: Governance Practices Affecting the Local Governance of Internal Displacement
- Baal, Natalia, Laura Kivelä, and Melissa Weihmayer. 2018. “Improving IDP Data to Help Implement the Guiding Principles.” Forced Migration Review, Twenty Years of the Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement, FMR 59 (October).
- Weihmayer, Melissa, Margarita Lundkvist-Houndoumadi, Laura Kivelä. 2019. “Displacement profiling in urban areas: Methodological approaches for collecting and analysing data on internal displacement in cities.” Background Paper, Global Report on Internal Displacement, GRID 2019.