Author, Researcher, Reporter, Consultant, Educator

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


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


My first book, We Do Not Have Borders: Greater Somalia and the Predicaments of Belonging in Kenya, provides unique inroads into debates over globalization, refugee movements, and urban-rural migration and offers timely insights into the ways in which transnational populations navigate state borders. It draws from extensive archival research and over one hundred interviews that I conducted in Somali, Swahili, and English in Nairobi and the Kenya/Somali borderlands. I am expanding upon many of the questions posed in this book through new research on mobility, marketization, and biometric registration in East Africa. My current project, tentatively entitled "Marketized Identities: A History of ID Cards, Biometrics, and Registration in Kenya," has already been awarded multiple competitive grants from US and UK funding bodies.


I have a PhD from Stanford University and have worked and taught at the University of Pennsylvania and, now, University College London. With years of national and international teaching and public speaking experience, I am able to communicate my findings clearly and effectively to a wide range of audiences. I’ve also published in a variety of forums ranging from top academic presses to popular blogs.


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.