Our research group is composed of academics from different disciplines. You can find their bios below.


Nada Basir Picture

Dr. Nada Basir

Assistant Professor at the Conrad School of Entrepreneurship and Business

Dr. Basir holds a BSc and MSc in Molecular Biotechnology and a PhD in Strategic Management from the Schulich School of Business, York University. Her research interests are at the intersection of strategy, organization behaviour and entrepreneurship.  Her work explores how organizations and institutions effect entrepreneurship and innovation, with a special focus on gender, emotions, and social impact. Her current projects look at the role of incubators and cooperative education programs in entrepreneurial identity, how immigrant women entrepreneurs leverage business support organizations, how star scientists emerge, and infertility and the effects of this on women’s career. Prior to her doctoral studies, Dr. Basir worked in the pharmaceutical industry in Marketing and Business Development. She is herself an entrepreneur with experience in both the non-profit and for-profit sector.

Dr. Basir teaches courses in Entrepreneurial Strategy, Organization Design, and Social Entrepreneurship.


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Dr. Ana Ferrer

Economic Professor and Associate Dean of Research for the Arts Department

Dr. Ferrer's current research focuses on the outcomes of immigrants to Canada, particularly immigrant women. Her research is published in journals such as The Journal of Human ResourcesThe Journal of Labour EconomicsThe Canadian Journal of Economics. Professor Ferrer is also involved with the labour community of researchers internationally and in Canada. She serves as the immigration-subject editor for IZA World of Labour, a publication aimed at disseminating economic research in non-academic circles. She is also the Secretary of the Canadian Economic Association (CEA) and the director of the Canadian Labour Economic Forum (CLEF) a group aiming to facilitate research discussion and promote networking opportunities among Canadian researchers in labour economics.


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Dr. Bessma Momani

Political Science Professor and interim Assistant Vice-President of International Relations

Dr. Momani is Full Professor in the Department of Political Science and interim Assistant Vice-President of International Relations at the University of Waterloo. She is a senior fellow at the Centre for International Governance Innovation and non-resident fellow at the Arab Gulf States’ Institute in Washington, DC, and a Fulbright Scholar. She was a 2015 fellow of the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation and also previously served as a non-resident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and at the Stimson Center in Washington, DC, and was a visiting scholar at Georgetown University’s Mortara Center. She has worked as a consultant to the International Monetary Fund, both in the communications office and the Independent Evaluation Office.

Bessma currently sits on the board of the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation and serves as an adviser to the National Security Transparency Advisory Group at Public Safety Canada.

Bessma has received a number of awards and prizes for her research and work. She has been awarded multiple Insight Development Grants, Insight Grants, and Connection Grants funded by Canada’s Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council. She is currently the leader of a three-year-funded Department of National Defence network called the Defence and Security Foresight Group tasked with providing policy-relevant advice to the Department of National Defence. In recent years, Bessma spearheaded the Pluralism Project which explored the link between Canadian diversity and economic prosperity. This has led to a multi-million-dollar funding grant from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada on bringing visible minority women into the Canadian economy.




Dr. Melissa Finn

Postdoctoral Fellow, Transnationalism, Populism and Security

Melissa Finn, Ph.D is a researcher in the Department of Political Science at the University of Waterloo. Her research focuses on citizenship, Arab youth, transnationalism, political participation, and anti-racism and youth empowerment frameworks through positive community engagement. She is the co-author of multiple academic articles on Arab youth and citizenship and has one single-author manuscript on al Qaeda and sacrificial agencies.


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Kersty Kearney

Research Manager and Network Manager for the Defence and Security Foresight Group

Kersty is Dr. Momani's Research Manager for all of her ongoing research projects, as well as the Network Manager for the Defence and Security Foresight Group, a network funded through the Department of National Defence's MINDS program. She previously worked at Interpol’s Global Complex for Innovation within the ’Capacity Building and Training Directorate’, where she assisted in conceptualizing and monitoring ongoing programs in Southeast Asia, including a number of efforts related to improving border security and training police forces in the region. During her undergraduate studies, she worked for the House of Commons and the Ministerial Office of the Finance Minister.

Kersty obtained a Master of Human Geography from Radboud University in the Netherlands, specializing in Globalization, Migration, and Development in 2018. Her thesis sought to understand the parallels between the migration industry literature regarding migration brokers and its relevance within international sport. 

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Jesse Uszkay

Research Project Officer

Jesse Uszkay is a Research Project Officer in the Department of Political Science at the University of Waterloo. She graduated from her Master’s in Economics at the University of Waterloo in 2020 and has since worked on contract with the Federal Development Agency of Southern Ontario researching and performing quantitative analysis on the impact of COVID-19 on the Canadian economy. Her research focusses primarily on Canadian labour market equality, the economics of discrimination, and health economics.