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.


Ana Ferrer Picture

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.


Bessma Momani Picture

Dr. Bessma Momani

Political Science Professor and Interim Associate Vice-President of Interdisciplinary Research

Dr. Bessma Momani is Full Professor in the Department of Political Science and Interim Associate Vice-President of Interdisciplinary Research at the University of Waterloo. She is also 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 interim Assistant Vice-President, International at the University of Waterloo, Assistant Vice-President, Research and International in the Office of Research, a 2015 fellow of the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation, 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. Bessma is a Fellow of the School of Public Policy at the University of Calgary and sits on the Advisory Council to the Middle East Institute’s program on Economics and Energy. 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. She is currently consulting for Global Affairs Canada as a Visiting Scholar in its International Assistance Research and Knowledge Division by looking at economic security in the Middle East with a particular focus on women and youth. She sits on the Editorial Board of the Canadian Foreign Policy Journal.

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 director 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.

Bessma has authored, co-authored and co-edited more than ten books. In addition, she has written more than 80 peer-reviewed academic articles or book chapters that examine international organizations, international political economy, gender and diversity, political economy of the Middle East and geopolitics of the Middle East.

As a frequent media and political analyst on the Middle East, international affairs and the global economy, Bessma has written editorials in The Globe and Mail, The New York Times, Time, Newsweek, the Economist, the National Post and the Toronto Star. She is also a regular media contributor, having done thousands of live broadcast interviews, with CNN, CBC News, CTV, Al Jazeera, PBS, TRT World and BNN Bloomberg.



Melissa Finn picture

Dr. Melissa Finn

Research Associate, Transnationalism, Populism and Security

Melissa Finn specializes in citizenship, transnationalism, feminist economics, and youth studies. She holds a Ph.D in Political Science from York University (2011) and has co-published in Citizenship Studies, Journal of Youth Studies, Journal of International Migration and Integration, Canadian Political Science Review, Canadian Ethnic Studies, International Political Sociology, Critical Terrorism Studies, and Journal for Deradicalization. She has also co-published numerous chapters in edited volumes and has a single-author manuscript on al-Qaeda's political thought published by Pluto Press (2012). Melissa is also a spoken word poet who distributes long poems backed by soul music on political and spiritual topics under the artist name, Aurora Elms (The Panopticon, 2020; The Music is Listening, 2021). She sees this work as a form of feminist scholarly activism. Her album supporting #endFGM (female genital mutilation) funded by the Ontario Arts Council and written in collaboration with FGM survivor and educator, Maryan Deeqa, will be released in 2023.


Kersty Kearney Picture

Kersty Kearney

Research Manager

Kersty Kearney is a Research Manager at the University of Waterloo. In her role she manages Dr. Bessma Momani’s various research projects, including ongoing projects under the Women, Work, and the Economy Research Group. he 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.

She holds a Master of Human Geography from Radboud University in the Netherlands. Her thesis focused on the migratory journey of African football (soccer) players to Europe and their desire to enter into professional football leagues. Kersty also received an Honours Bachelor degree in Political Science from the University of Ottawa.

Melanie Slimming

Melanie Slimming

Project Coordinator

Melanie Slimming is a Project Coordinator in the Department of Political Science working on several of Dr. Momani's gender research initiatives and supporting various activities for the Defence and Security Foresight Group. She previously obtained a Master of International Public Policy at the Balsillie School of International Affairs, where she was granted the opportunity to work with Global Affairs Canada as a research fellow. The research conducted focused on gender equality, migrants, and Canada’s health care system. During her undergraduate studies at Wilfrid Laurier University, she completed a double major in Global Studies and Communications and participated in several community engagement clubs on campus.