Karibu! I wear several different hats in Rwanda. I am an Assistant Professor at African Leadership University in the interdisciplinary Global Challenges program. I teach international political economy, serve as our graduate school advisor, and help lead our growing research activities. My research focuses on the nexus of gender politics, law, and environmental conflict. I am transitioning away from looking at oil conflicts, which was my focus in Nigeria, towards minerals and environmental policy in Central Africa.
I am also a Senior Research Fellow at the Center of Excellence in Biodiversity and Natural Resource Management (CoEB) at the University of Rwanda. In this role, I am part of an international research team working on the UKRI-funded, “Climate Change & COVID-19 (CCC19): Achieving a Sustainable and Equitable Recovery in Malawi and Rwanda.” In partnership with Glasgow Caledonian University in Scotland, two Malawian universities, and two NGOs, we ask, “What is the interrelationship between the COVID-19 pandemic and climate resilience?” I am the Gender Equity Officer for the project so I am particularly focused on how rural women navigate climate change challenges during the pandemic.
I was a 2021 Harry Frank Guggenheim Distinguished Scholar and am currently writing up my reserach results from this project. HRG’s generous funding allowed me to conduct qualitative field work for my book manuscript, “Women, Conflict, and Modern Mining in Rwanda.” I examined the gender dynamics of Rwanda’s growing mining sector through ethnographic mapping methods. I looked at the gender impacts of mining operations, the role of women in extractive activities, and the interaction between state law and traditional law on the ground. I recently incorporated an analysis of COVID-19’s impacts.
As an international development consultant, my collaborative consulting work has focused on gender mainstreaming, legal analysis, poverty alleviation, and environmental studies. I have contributed to the planning of baseline studies, audits of national budgets, and impact assessments for government agencies (e.g., USAID), NGOs (e.g., Global Communities), and corporate clients (e.g., IKEA Social Entrpreneurship). I specialize in structuring qualitative methodologies and leading field teams for both short-term and long-term projects. I see my academic research, my mentoring of students, and my consultancies as all mutually buttressing.
As part of my work on forced displacement that I conduct independently, I am also an active contributor to the Africa Research Group at UNSW’s Kaldor Center for International Refugee Law in Australia, Emerging Scholars and Practitioners in Migration Issues (ESPMI), and I am now contributing to a book on everyday insecurities for the Migration Institute of Finland that will be published next year.
I hold an interdisciplinary Ph.D. in Law and Society from New York University (2015) and an interdisciplinary M.A. in Human Rights from Columbia University (2008). My interest in African sociopolitical affairs began during my Peace Corps service in Mozambique (2004-2006) and was further fostered during my Boren Fellowship to study the Igbo language in Nigeria (2011-2012). I completed a research fellowship at the School of Conflict Analysis and Resolution (SCAR) at George Mason University Korea.
I am a member of the International Studies Association, African Studies Association, Women’s Caucus for Political Science, Association for Women’s Rights in Development, International Association for the Study of Forced Migration, Law and Society Association, and the IUCN Commission on Environmental, Economic, and Social Policy for the Theme on Environment and Peace.
You can contact me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I only use Twitter sporadically, @LaineMunir.
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