Elizabeth Ferris

Elizabeth Ferris
Research Professor
 

Research Professor 

Institute for the Study of International Migration


Elizabeth Ferris is a Research Professor at Georgetown University and nonresident senior fellow in the Foreign Policy program at Brookings, where her work encompasses a wide range of issues related to internal displacement, humanitarian action, natural disasters, and climate change. She is the co-author of “The Consequences of Chaos: Syria’s Humanitarian Crisis and the Failure to Protect” (Brookings Institution Press, April 2016), which considers the long-term economic, political, and social implications of Syria’s displaced and offers policy recommendations to address the humanitarian crisis.

Ferris spent 20 years working in the field of humanitarian assistance, most recently in Geneva, Switzerland at the World Council of Churches. There she was responsible for the council’s work in humanitarian response and long-term development. In this capacity, she worked with many local, national, and international nongovernmental organizations to support capacity building and to advocate for the protection of refugees, internally displaced persons, and other populations affected by conflict.

She has also served as the director of the Church World Service’s Immigration and Refugee Program, the research director for the Life & Peace Institute in Uppsala, Sweden, and a Fulbright professor at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. Her teaching experience has included positions at Lafayette College, Miami University, and Pembroke State University.

Her articles have appeared in Refugee Survey Quarterly, Forced Migration Review, Journal of Refugee Studies, The Washington Post, The Washington Times, International Review of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and many other publications. Ferris is also the author of “The Politics of Protection: The Limits of Humanitarian Action,” published by Brookings Institution Press in April 2011.

Ferris received her bachelor’s from Duke University and her master’s and doctorate from  the University of Florida.


  • Master’s, Doctorate Degrees, University of Florida
  • Bachelor’s Degree, University of Florida