Taraf Abu Hamdan

Year of Enrollment: 
Departmental Affiliation: 
Political Science
Public Policy
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Taraf is a researcher, environmentalist, and community engagement facilitator with significant experience in multinational organizations in the Middle East, Africa, South East Asia, and North America. Currently, Taraf is pursuing a PhD in political sciences at the Central European University, her research focuses on how rural agricultural and pastoralist communities in Jordan cope with natural resource stresses (especially related to soil) as they relate to their livelihood practices, and how their coping strategies and livelihoods are influenced by dynamics within and between formal and informal institutions. She is particularly interested in how formal and informal institutional dynamics influence community vulnerability, livelihood practices, and marginalization patterns, and how state and tribal / community relationships impact access and control over critical natural resources and livelihood and coping strategies.
She is the co-founder of South/South Movement (@southsouthmvmt). She holds an MPA in Environmental Sciences and Policy from Columbia University, and a BSc in Environmental, Soil, and Water Sciences from the University of Arkansas. Her expertise are in sustainability, environmental sciences, impact assessment, policy analysis, humanitarian relief, livelihoods, and community engagement. Taraf was involved in the initial relief efforts following the December 2015 refoulment of Darfuri refugees from Jordan and was the co-founder of the grassroots community-led volunteer group that inspired the eventual creation of Sawiyan, an NGO which supports and advocates for marginalized refugees in Jordan, of which she is currently an advisory board member. Previously, Taraf worked with Aramex International Ltd. as a sustainability leader, managing projects on carbon emissions reduction, entrepreneurship, and youth education. She supported Ruwwad Development in establishing an alternative tourism project in Beidha, Jordan to create livelihoods for the community, and worked on a project building houses from eco-friendly materials in Thailand.

(twitter @tarafjamal)

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