I was born, raised, and educated in Poznań, Poland. I received my Ph.D. in Cultural Anthropology from Adam Mickiewicz University (AMU). My professional career was disrupted by martial law declared by General Jaruzelski in December 1981 to outlaw the Solidarity movement, and its aftermath. Since my arrival in the United States in 1984, I have held a variety of research and policy positions. I worked at a small think tank, historically black university, the Federal Government, and since 2002 for the Institute for the Study of International Migration (ISIM) at Georgetown University where I serve as Research Director and editor-in-chief of International Migration, a peer reviewed journal on international migration policy and research. I also serve as a Senior Adviser to the Center on Migration Studies (Centrum Badań nad Migracjami–CeBaM) in Poznań.
My research interests are very broad and include immigrant integration, migrant children, human trafficking, child labor, urban refugees, health disparities, migration from and to Poland, religion and spirituality, and medicalization of human suffering. My current projects include: urban refugees in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; evaluation of anti-trafficking programs in Nepal; and research on adults trafficked to the United States.
I have published in a variety of peer-reviewed journals: Journal of Refugee Studies, Human Organization, Anthropological Quarterly, Migration Studies, and International Migration. I am author or editor of several books and journal’s special issues, including Migrant Children: At the Crossroads of Vulnerability and Resiliency. Palgrave: 2010 (with Marisa O. Ensor); Od gości do sąsiadów. Integracja cudzoziemców spoza Unii Europejskiej w Poznaniu w edukacji, na rynku pracy i w opiece zdrowotnej (From guests to neighbors. Integration of third-country nationals in the labor force, education, and health care in Poznan). Poznan: UAM Press: 2010 (with Natalia Bloch); New Immigrants, Changing Communities. Best Practices for a Better America. Lexington Books: Lanham, MD 2008 (with Micah N. Bump); Beyond the Gateway: Immigrants in a Changing America. Lexington Books: Lanham, MD 2005 (Editor, with Susan F. Martin); Data and Research on Human Trafficking: A Global Survey. International Migration 2005 43(1/2) (with Frank Laczko); Religion and Forced Migration. Journal of Refugee Studies. 2002. Volume 15 Number (with Dianna J. Shandy); and Rethinking Refuge and Displacement. Selected Papers on Refugees and Immigrants 2000: VIII. American Anthropological Association, Washington, D.C. (with Dianna J. Shandy).
I teach medical and applied anthropology courses as well as a seminar on immigrant integration in North America and Europe at Georgetown University.
I am a recipient of two prestigious Fulbright grants to teach and conduct research in Poznań, Poland and a residential fellowship at the Rockefeller Center in Bellagio, Italy to participate in the Migration Dialogue sponsored by the Rockefeller and the German Marshal Foundations.
I am a member of Editorial Boards of Studia Migracyjne (formerly Przeglad Polonijny) and Lud.