Lana Gonzalez Balyk

PhD in Global Governance

Lana Gonzalez Balyk is a Ph.D. candidate (ABD) in Global Governance at the Balsillie School of International Affairs, Waterloo, Ontario. Her broad research interests include forced migration, transnationalism and migration, gender and migration, focusing on refugee community building, migrant community building, refugee governance, and migration policy.

Lana’s Ph.D. dissertation is influenced by intersectional feminism and transnationalism and focuses on women’s refugee community building in Portugal. Her research explores the impact of refugee governance policies and practices on the lived experiences of refugee women living in Portugal, with the purpose of informing refugee governance policies and practices. Furthermore, she aims to illustrate the actions large and small that refugee women take to become active participants in their resettlement in Portugal.

Prior to her studies, Lana engaged in contract work for the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, held the position of Refugee Case Manager for an Immigration Consultant, and worked as an English as a Second Language Teacher. Prior to this, she worked as a Program Manager for a micro-finance organization in Nicaragua, People Helping People Global (PHPG), and as a research assistant for the Centre for Mediation, Peace and Resolution of Conflict (CEMPROC) in Ecuador.

She previously completed her MA in Human Security and Peace building at Royal Roads University in Victoria, a program concentrated on international development and human rights. Before that, she completed her BA in History at the University of Calgary, where she focused on Latin American History. She attended a field school in Uganda, focusing on refugee studies, and an archeology field school in Mexico.

Lana is fluent in Spanish and speaks intermediate-level Portuguese.


  • Briarhurst Travel and Research Award, 2022
  • Ontario Graduate Scholarship (OGS), 2022
  • President’s Graduate Scholarship, 2022
  • David Johnston International Experience Award, 2022
  • University of Waterloo International Experience Award, 2022
  • Balsillie Doctoral Fellowship, 2019-2024

Select Publications

  • Ilcan, S., S. Daǧtaș and L. Gonzalez Balyk. 2023 (In Press). “Borderland Porosities: Migratory Journeys and Migrant Politics in Lebanon and Turkey.” Journal of Refugee Studies.
  • Gonzalez Balyk, L. “Soledad o Solidaridad: Cooperation and Tensions in the Regional State Response to the Venezuelan Migration Crisis”. Studies in Social Justice. Vol 16-3. November 2022)
  • Lana Balyk and Jeff Pugh. “Networked governance in Ecuador’s border regions“. Forced Migration Review 43, May 2013.


  • MA Human Security and Peacebuilding, Royal Roads University, 2012.
  • BA History, University of Calgary, 2008.
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