Daniel Ghezelbash will step into the role of Director at the Kaldor Centre in August, taking the world’s first centre dedicated to the study of international refugee law into its second decade.

Founding Director Jane McAdam will spearhead a new research program within the Kaldor Centre, the Evacuations Research Hub, thanks to a highly prestigious Australian Research Council (ARC) Laureate Fellowship.

‘Under Jane’s guidance over more than a decade since its establishment, the Kaldor Centre has evolved into a powerful force – shaping debates, influencing policies, and contributing to a more just world,’ said the Dean of UNSW Law & Justice, Andrew Lynch. ‘This momentum only builds further with Daniel Ghezelbash at the helm.’ 

Andrew and Renata Kaldor, whose generous support laid the foundations for the Centre, said:

‘We are immensely grateful for Jane’s incredible leadership and dedication, which has built the Kaldor Centre into a global intellectual powerhouse, driving positive change for and with refugees and other forced migrants. We believe Jane’s new project on evacuations will add another critical focus to the Centre’s range of research.

‘We couldn’t be more excited to welcome Daniel as the next Director, confident that under his leadership, the Kaldor Centre will continue to thrive and make a real impact on law, policy and the lives of refugees and forced migrants in Australia and worldwide. This leadership evolution will take the Kaldor Centre’s inspiring team from strength to strength at a time when we need their work more than ever.’

Since he joined the Kaldor Centre in June 2022 as Deputy Director, Ghezelbash has delivered an innovative approach. This is evident in the Kaldor Centre Data Lab and his other initiatives that leverage new technology to increase access to justice and to counter systemic bias in the legal system. At the same time, he is building an evidence base for reforms aimed at increasing the fairness and efficiency of asylum procedures, as part of his ARC Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA) project. He is also a practising refugee lawyer, acts as Special Counsel at the National Justice Project, and sits on the boards of not-for-profit legal centres, including the Refugee Advice and Casework Service (RACS).

Ghezelbash emphasised his excitement about leading the agenda-setting work of the Kaldor Centre.

‘I am so honoured to lead the stellar team at the Kaldor Centre, building on the remarkable track record of impact that the Centre has earned under Jane’s visionary leadership,’ he said.

‘I look forward to continuing to work closely with Jane and our ground-breaking research team, and with our wider networks across Australia and around the globe, including at the forefront those who have themselves experienced displacement.’ 

‘Together, there is so much potential for us to advance sustainable, rights-based solutions to the challenges of growing displacement worldwide.’

With the establishment of the Evacuations Research Hub at the Kaldor Centre, McAdam will turn her focus to generating legal and policy innovations to protect the rights of evacuees, building on the Centre’s pioneering work on displacement in the context of climate change and disasters.

McAdam said, ‘I am immensely proud of all the Centre has achieved over the past decade and look forward to being part of the Centre team under Daniel’s extremely capable leadership. With his personal experience as the child of Iranian refugees, his practical legal expertise and a powerful record of cutting-edge scholarship, Daniel is ideally placed to lead the Centre into its next phase of growth and impact.’

For more information, contact the Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law.