Apr 1 2017

SIPA Forum Panel: Migration and Refugee Crisis - Building a Better Future

3:00pm - 4:45pm
Faculty House
Past Event


Organized by the School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) at Columbia University, this global policy forum brings together a remarkable group of world-renowned experts, academics, and global policy-makers to discuss some of the most pressing challenges that we face today: a global economic slowdown, national security threats, climate change, refugee crisis, economic development and poverty alleviation, and social and economic transformation.

The facts from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees are shocking: An unprecedented 65.3 million people—one person out of every 113 worldwide—have been forcibly displaced due to persecution, conflict, or human rights violation. Over half of all refugees are under the age of 18. Yet “the rate at which solutions are being found for refugees and internally displaced people has been on a falling trend since the end of the Cold War.” A panel of leading experts on migration issues will discuss new approaches to this unprecedented human crisis and concrete plans that will help protect the human rights of all migrants and refugees, ensure their access to education and healthcare, and expand opportunities to relocate.

  • Michael Doyle, University Professor; Director, Columbia Global Policy Initiative, Columbia University

This event is by invitation only. For more information, contact Susan Storms, Director of Alumni Affairs, ss5020@sipa.columbia.edu.


Michael Doyle is a University Professor at Columbia University, where he is a faculty member at SIPA, the Law School, and the Department of Political Science, and currently serves as Director of the Columbia Global Policy Initiative. Before joining Columbia, Doyle served as Assistant Secretary-General and Special Adviser to United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan from 2001 to 2003. His responsibilities included strategic planning (Millennium Development Goals), outreach to the international corporate sector (the Global Compact), and relations with Washington. His research has focused on international relations, international law and the United Nations. A member since 1996, Doyle now chairs the Board of Directors of the International Peace Institute. In 2001, he was elected a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences; in 2009, to the American Philosophical Society; and in 2012, to the American Academy of Political and Social Science. He served as chair of the board of UNDEF (the UN Democracy Fund) from 2006 to 2013. On July 15, 2014, the University of Warwick conferred upon Doyle an honorary degree of doctor of laws (honoris causa) in recognition of his research and publications on peace theory. Doyle holds an AB from Harvard College and an MA and PhD from Harvard University.

David Donoghue has been Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Ireland to the United Nations since 2013. In 2016 Donoghue served as co-facilitator (with Jordan) for the UN Summit on migration and refugee issues, which took place in New York on September 19, 2016, and which produced the “New York Declaration.” In 2014-15 he served as co-facilitator (with Kenya) of the major UN negotiations that led to the adoption in September 2015 of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Prior to his appointment as Permanent Representative to the UN, Donoghue held the position of Political Director of Ireland’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (2009-2013). He previously served as Irish Ambassador to Germany (2006-2009), Irish Ambassador to Austria and the Vienna-based UN agencies (2004-2006), and Irish Ambassador to the Russian Federation, with side accreditations to Belarus, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, and Uzbekistan (1999-2001). From 2001 to 2004, Donoghue was Director-General of the Irish Government’s development cooperation programme. He also has extensive experience in Anglo-Irish relations, and was closely involved in the negotiation of both the Anglo-Irish Agreement (1985) and the Good Friday Agreement (1998). Donoghue served as Irish head of the Anglo-Irish Secretariat in Belfast from 1995 to 1999, and from 1977 to 1991, he had postings in various Irish Embassies. Donoghue holds a BA (Hons) in French and an MA in German from the National University of Ireland.

Per Heggenes is the CEO of IKEA Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the Swedish home furnishings company IKEA. Heggenes sets and drives the Foundation’s funding and innovation strategies, and is a tireless advocate for children living in some of the world’s poorest communities. Since becoming the Foundation’s first CEO in 2009, Heggenes has presided over the Foundation’s evolution into a global grantmaking philanthropy that funds programs in more than 43 countries. Heggenes serves on the Advisory Board of the Refugee Studies Centre in the University of Oxford’s Department for International Development and is a member of the Advisory Group on the Planning From the Future project, a multi-organization project hosted by King’s College London. Before joining IKEA Foundation, Heggenes was the Global Head of Corporate Affairs for the shipping and logistics company Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics. Before that he was the UK President and CEO for the global public relations firm Burson-Marsteller and Co-CEO for Europe. In 2012, Heggenes was appointed to the UN Commission on Life-Saving Commodities for Women and Children by then UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who created the commission to increase access to lifesaving medicines and health supplies for the world’s most vulnerable people. Heggenes graduated from the University of Augsburg in Germany with a “Diplom Oekonom” (MBA).

William Lacy Swing of the United States is the Director General of the International Organization for Migration (IOM). He was first elected in June 2008 and re-elected in October 2013. From May 2003 till January 2008, as UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) for the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Swing successfully led all facets of the largest UN peacekeeping operation in history. Prior to this appointment, Swing served as the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Western Sahara and Chief of Mission, United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO). Swing has had a long and distinguished career as a member of the Senior Foreign Service of the U.S. State Department, spanning some 40 years including five postings as Ambassador to African countries – South Africa, Nigeria, Liberia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (formerly Zaire), and the former People’s Republic of the Congo (Congo Brazzaville). Swing was assigned to the Republic of South Africa in 1989, shortly before Nelson Mandela’s release from prison. The posting was the culmination of a diplomatic career begun twenty-six years before in Port Elizabeth. Swing has been the recipient of numerous professional, diplomatic and academic distinctions, including the Annenberg Award for Excellence in Diplomacy from the American Academy of Diplomacy, the Presidential Certificate of Commendation, and the American Foreign Service Association’s award for “Lifetime Contribution to American Diplomacy.” He is an Honorary Fellow of the Harris Manchester College, Oxford University, and a recipient of the Order of Merit, First Class, of the Federal Republic of Germany. Swing was born in 1934 in Lexington, North Carolina. He graduated from Catawba College (BA, 1956) and Yale University (BD, 1960) and pursued postgraduate studies at Tuebingen University, Germany.