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Emma Murray (Fall 2023)
Emma was born in Belfast, (Northern) Ireland, but grew up between there and the United Arab Emirates, and is a recent Masters graduate of international affairs from Columbia SIPA. Prior to attending SIPA, she worked mostly with youth in care and teaching capacities, but decided to shift her professional goals to align with human rights/social justice/anticolonial/gender-based advocacy work that she was doing ‘on the side’.
Throughout the past two years, she has gained experience at: a global gender rights non-profit that works with survivors of gender-based violence; the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) developing an e-course on the role of businesses in the protection of migrant workers’ rights; and a Palestinian advocacy organisation. During this time, she also focussed her studies around human rights policy and gender and public policy, taking relevant classes such as: gender, conflict and peacebuilding, international human rights law, transitional justice, and climate-security.
Emma’s interest in women, peace and security stems from growing up in the immediate aftermath of the Good Friday Agreement, which was the peace agreement signed to end The Troubles in Ireland. Observing the ongoing reality in a place that she cares deeply about has been a major motivating factor. This personal background has also heavily informed her anticolonial and feminist politics, which were then compounded by her experience living in, and her interest in learning about, the Middle East. As a teenager, she began to engage in advocacy for Palestine in particular, and remains involved in challenging settler colonialism and apartheid, as well as transnational solidarity campaigns between Ireland and Palestine.