Name: Alexander Betts
Local: United Kingdom
Occupation: Professor; Author
Fields of Expertise: Politics and economics of refugee assistance; written extensively on migration and humanitarianism.
Professor Alexander Betts is the Director of the Refugee Studies Centre. He has sought to consolidate the Centre as the leading independent academic research centre in the area of Refugee and Forced Migration Studies. He is best known for his advocacy to reframe refugees as potential economic contributors to their host societies. Professor Betts has argued for a new approach to refugee assistance based on development rather than just humanitarianism.
Throughout the refugee crisis of 2015 and 2016, he contributed with opinion pieces to the New York Times, The Guardian, and Foreign Affairs, as well as appearing regularly on CNN, the BBC, and Al Jazeera, and advising numerous governments in international processes.
In 2016, Professor Betts was named by Foreign Policy magazine one of its 100 Global Thinkers. During that same year, he also gave TED talks on refugees and Brexit with combined views of over 2.5 million.
He is the author, co-author or editor of 10 books including, most recently, Refuge: Transforming a Broken Refugee System (with Paul Collier, Penguin, 2017), Refugee Economies (Oxford University Press, 2016), Mobilising the Diaspora (Cambridge University Press, 2016) and Survival Migration (Cornell University Press, 2013), which was a candidate for the Estoril Global Issues Distinguished Book Prize of 2015.