Critical Conversations on Refugee and Migrant Education:
Toward Commitment and Concrete Action

The coronavirus pandemic has upended educational systems and practices worldwide, but for refugees and migrants the pandemic exposed just how desperate their already difficult plight has become. Throughout 2021, the Refugee & Migrant Education Network will be hosting a series of conversations about issues within refugee education.

The series of programs will explore

  • Reimagining innovation in a time of global uncertainty;
  • Educating university students about refugees and migrants;
  • Developing effective partnerships advancing educational access to displaced persons.

Critical Conversations: Program 2

 Organizational Innovation in Times of Unprecedented Change: Leadership Lessons from the Jesuit Refugee Service.

Tuesday April 20, 2021

11am – 12:30pm EDT / 5:00 pm to 6.30 pm CET

How does a humanitarian organization remain agile and responsive to the changing needs of forcibly displaced learners worldwide? Can leaders embed innovation into their organizations’ practices, programs, and cultures, without compromising mission or core values? What enables broad buy-in and sustainability in managing organizational change in diverse contexts? Learn how the Jesuit Refugee Service, which serves 800,000 refugees each year, tackles these questions and challenges to improve outcomes and opportunities for forcibly displaced communities in 56 countries around the world.
Join a candid conversation with experts from the Jesuit Refugee Service:  Thomas H. Smolich, International Director;  Melly Preira, Director of Human Resources; Andre Atsu, Regional Director for East Africa. The program will be moderated by Arnout Mertens, JRS Director of Programmes and Innovation.
Participants may register at no cost by clicking the button below.


  • Critical Conversations: Innovations in Refugee Education

    We invite you to register for our first program to take place on April 20, 2021 @ 11am-12:30pm EST, / 5:00-6.30 pm CET. Once registration is complete we will be in contact with event details and link information.
  • If not affiliated with the Refugee and Migrant Education Network, please specify your affiliation.
  • Please submit any questions you would like to be asked at the event.


Previous Events:

Program 1 — Critical Conversations 2021 with UNHCR’s Filippo Grandi

February 16, 2021, 11am – 12:30pm EST


The current state and importance of refugee education as a pathway to opportunity


UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi visits refugee children from Aleppo, Idlib and Homs at Taalabay school in Bekaa Valley.

The Refugee & Migrant Education Network, in partnership with the Gregorian University in Rome, invites you to join us for our  first program of 2021! The discussion will feature Filippo Grandi, the 11th United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

As United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, he heads the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) leading the international response to refugee crises around the world, working with governments to ensure that refugees have access to protection and support, and helping find solutions to displacement and statelessness. Mr. Grandi has been engaged in international cooperation for 33 years, primarily with the United Nations. He has served in field operations in many of the major refugee and humanitarian crises of the last three decades.

This powerful and pertinent discussion will focus on the realities and challenges of educating displaced people around the world. Fernando M. Reimers, Harvard University’s Ford Foundation Professor of the Practice in International Education and Director of the Global Education Innovation Initiative, will moderate the conversation and add valuable insights.

Following their remarks, members of RME Network—both administrators as well as refugees themselves—will join the conversation to present their projects and challenges they face in their work.

Attendees will be able to SUBMIT QUESTIONS for Dr. Grandi and Dr. Reimers prior to the event for the Q&A portion of the program.