Local Authorities Engagement

Dr. Colleen Thouez is Director of the Welcoming and Inclusive Cities Division at the Open Society Foundations, a division first created when she joined the organization in 2018. She has spearheaded major global mayors-led initiatives, and served as advisor to Sir Peter Sutherland, the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative on International Migration until 2018.

Dr. Thouez supports governments and other major players in the field of migration since her appointment as policy director for the first Global Commission on International Migration established by Secretary-General Kofi Annan in 2002. From 2004-2010, she headed the UN Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) in New York as one of the youngest designated directors within the UN system.

Among her many academic affiliations, she is faculty at Bard College, adjunct faculty at American University and the University of Geneva, and until recently senior advisor at Columbia University’s Global Policy Initiative. Her research centers on international cooperation and UN institutions, and the rise of cities as global actors in the field of migration.

Her most recent publication “Cities as Emergent Actors in the Field of Migration” is being published by Global Governance in November 2020. She is a Canadian and French national.

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