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College of Law > Academics > Centers, Institutes & Initiatives > DePaul Migration Collaborative > Projects > Reframing Refugee Project

Reframing Refugee Project

​​​​The DePaul Migration Collaborative (DMC) presents its Practitioner in Residence program as part of the Reframing Refugees Project. This initiative invites experts on migration, immigration, and human rights to collaborate, address migration challenges, and inform policies. Participants gain access to DePaul resources and have the opportunity to influence various migration-related discussions. The residency lasts 3-6 months and promotes practical solutions for contemporary migration issues.

Meet Our PIRs

Elizabeth Kennedy

Elizabeth G. Kennedy, Ph.D., is a 2023-2024 DePaul Migration Collaborative (DMC) practitioner in residence, 2023-2024 Fulbright Scholar to El Salvador and LAPOP’s 2023-2024 Honduras expert. While in residence with DMC, Dr. Kennedy will produce country conditions reports and editorials, in addition to trainings with immigrant-serving organizations, university students and faculty, and hopefully, the broader community.

Dr. Kennedy is a social scientist researching human rights, gender, violence and migration primarily based from Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala or the US-Mexico border since 2011. In July 2023, she concluded work as the Central America Monitor research director for the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA). She also worked as a case worker and teacher for several years in low-income communities and holds an executive certificate in nonprofit management from Georgetown University.

For over a decade, Dr. Kennedy has led widely-cited, collaborative research with gendered analyses on complex humanitarian crises examining overlapping impunity, inequality, violence, climate change and other factors. Qualitatively, she has interviewed over 1,700 Central American migrants and 250 officials and service providers in aforementioned nations, in addition to compiling innovative and substantial quantitative databases to triangulate the information collected in these interviews. She has done the research independently and with WOLA, Human Rights Watch (HRW), the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), a Fulbright student fellowship, Tinker Grant, and others, including film makers, journalists, a playwright, and numerous immigration attorneys. 

Dr. Kennedy has authored or co-authored peer-reviewed articles in high-impact academic journals, policy reports, book chapters, media articles, internal reports and blog entries, including regional and country reports for the Central America Monitor and Deported to Danger: United States Deportation Policies Expose Salvadorans to Death and Abuse (2020). She has further disseminated this research through frequent presentations to legal, medical and social service providers, government officials, immigration courts and print, radio and television outlets in various countries.

Rob Paral
Rob Paral is a demographic and public policy 
consultant with specialties in immigrant, Latino and Asian populations; community needs for health and human service programs; and Midwestern demographic change.
As Principal of Rob Paral and Associates, Rob has assisted more than 100 different human service, advocacy and philanthropic organizations in understanding the communities they are trying to serve.  He works with large-scale data and geographic information systems to develop insight into community assets and needs.
Rob Paral is a Research Specialist with the Great Cities Institute of the University of Illinois at Chicago and a nonresident fellow in the Global Cities program of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs.  He was the Senior Research Associate of the Washington, DC office of the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials, and was Research Director of the Latino Institute of Chicago.  He has been a fellow or adjunct of the Institute for Latino Studies at Notre Dame University, DePaul University Sociology Department, and the Latin American and Latino studies program at the University of Illinois-Chicago.  More information may be found at

Ways to Connect with Our PIRs​

​​​​​​​​​Guest Lecturer Request Form

If you are a faculty member at DePaul and would like to request our PIR’s to speak in your classroom, please fill out this form and someone from the DMC will reach out to you. If you have questions, contact: