Maissaa Almustafa is a PhD candidate at the Global Governance Program at Balsillie School of International Affairs, Waterloo Ontario. Her broad research interest includes the protection gaps for refugees created by clashes between already established frameworks of global migration governance and national policies and practices of immigration and border control.

Maissaa was born in Damascus, Syria, where she completed her Degree in Economics at Damascus University. She joined the British Embassy in Damascus and was actively involved in diplomacy and international business development for more than 17 years. During her position as a Senior Trade & Investment Officer at the Embassy, Maissaa was extensively involved in assisting British companies in expanding their international activities into the Syrian market including the key sectors of infrastructure, transportation, financial services, security, education and training. Her position involved organising and attending a number of business events in Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Tunis, Dubai and the UK.  During her work with the Embassy, Maissaa completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Professional Management with the Open University, Business School (UK). In August 2013, Maissaa completed her Mater studies in International Public Policy at the Balsillie School of International Affairs. During her master studies, she was a Junior Research Fellow at the Centre for International Governance Innovation. Currently she is involved in projects related to refugee camps and humanitarian aid operations.

Academic / Professional Awards

  • Balsillie Doctoral Fellowship (2014), Balsillie School of International Affairs
  • Balsillie Fellowship (2012 – 2013), Balsillie School of International Affairs
  • CIGI Junior Fellowship (2012 – 2013)


  • “The Responsibility to Protect: Ensuring the Norm’s Relevence after Libya, Cote d’lvoire and Syria”, Maissaa Almustafa, Evan Cinq-Mars and Matthew Redding. 2013. The Responsibility to Protect: Ensuring the Norm’s Relevence after Libya, Cote d’lvoire and Syria. Maissaa Almustafa Evan Cinq-Mars and Matthew Redding.
Conflict and Security
Migration, Mobilities, and Social Politics
  • Master of International Public Policy (MIPP), Balsillie School of International Affais, Wilfrid Laurier University, 2013
  • Post Graduate Diploma in Professional Management, The Open University, UK, 2009
  • Bachelor of Science in Economics, Damascus University, Syria, 1993

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2018-09-01T10:15:14-04:00August 24th, 2017|PhD Students|