Writer, Researcher, Consultant, Educator

Working at the Intersection of Science and Technology Studies, Migration Studies, & Critical Race Studies


I am a researcher and writer with extensive, on-the-ground expertise in East Africa. Working at the intersection of science and technology studies (STS), migration studies, and critical race studies, I examine problematics related to mobility, digital identity, and biometrics. I have over a decade of experience carrying out archival research, fieldwork, and interviews in East Africa and collaborating with scholars, artists, and practitioners from across the continent. Over the years, I have honed a deep expertise based, in large part, upon listening to people.


In recent years, I have become increasingly focused on the human rights and ethical implications of digital technologies. I am particularly interested in the impact of biometric and digital identity systems on migrants, nomadic populations, refugees, and border communities, who have historically struggled to access identity documents. My interest in the intersections between migration and digital identity evolved out of research for my first book, We Do Not Have Borders: Greater Somalia and the Predicaments of Belonging in Kenya, which examined Somali transnational networks in Kenya.


With years of national and international teaching and public speaking experience, I'm able to communicate my findings clearly and effectively to a wide array of audiences. I’ve published in a variety of forums ranging from top academic presses to popular blogs and have been cited and featured in media outlets such as The New York Times, The Washington Post, Quartz Africa, and BBC World Service. My research has been funded by a number of US and UK grants, including a Fulbright US Scholar Award, an American Council for Learned Societies (ACLS) Fellowship, and a British Academy/Leverhulme Small Research Grant. Out of a commitment to producing participatory, impactful, accessible work, I've collaborated with photographers, filmmakers, non-profit organizations, and legal advocacy and civil society groups. I received my PhD from Stanford University and have worked and taught at the University of Pennsylvania and University College London.


I am available to do social scientific research using mixed-methods and participatory methodologies, policy-oriented writing and editing, media outreach, and monitoring and evaluation (M&E) work.


This website highlights my research and written work, but I also have extensive experience convening national and international conferences; designing curricula and study-abroad programs; successfully raising funds through grant writing and fundraising; and working with a diverse array of nonprofits and civil society groups.

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