Eurasylum Ltd. is a fully independent research and consulting company that was established in 2001 in the United Kingdom. It conducts policy research, evaluation and technical cooperation activities dedicated solely to issues of immigration control and border management (including biometrics), visa policy, labour migration, asylum and refugee law and policy, IDPs, integration policies, migration and development, and trafficking in human beings, in Europe and internationally.
Eurasylum’s services are targeted primarily at relevant national Government agencies, the European Commission, the European Parliament, other EU institutions and relevant international organisations. A selection of recent and on-going research, evaluation and consulting projects implemented by Eurasylum can be viewed here.
Eurasylum’s staff include a mix of former senior Government officials, experienced researchers and specialised consultants of various nationalities. They can all demonstrate extensive experience of devising, implementing, researching or evaluating migration and asylum policies and programmes in a wide range of countries, and in a large variety of contexts, including both in the public and private sectors, and in academia.
The company’s senior staff currently include:
Solon Ardittis has over 30 years of experience in research, evaluation and policy development in the fields of immigration, asylum, employment policy and education in Europe and internationally. He has directed or contributed to over 100 research, evaluation and programme management assignments in over 50 countries, on behalf of various Directorates-General of the European Commission (DG Migration & Home Affairs, DG Employment, Social Affairs & Inclusion, DG International Cooperation and Development, DG Education, Youth, Sport and Culture, DG Regional Policy, DG Research and Innovation, DG Environment, DG Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations, and the Secretariat General), the European Parliament, the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights, Frontex, national government authorities, international organisations (ILO, UNDP, IOM, NATO) and academia. He is a Research Fellow at the Institute of Labor Economics (IZA), a Fellow of the Global Labor Organization (GLO) and a Research Associate at the Center for Comparative Immigration Studies (CCIS) of the University of California at San Diego. He is the author of over 110 publications on migration and asylum policy, as well as on terrorism, and a regular commentator on current EU migration/refugee policy developments in a wide range of European and US media. He is also the founder and former co-editor of Migration Policy Practice, a bimonthly journal directed at senior officials in Government, EU institutions and international organisations that was published jointly by Eurasylum and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) from 2011 to 2022. Full CV. Contact: sardittis (at) eurasylum (dot) org
Colin Manchip served as one of two Directors jointly heading the United Kingdom’s Immigration Service from 1991 to 1996. He spent over 35 years in Government Service, some 34 years of which were in Immigration and Passport Departments of the United Kingdom’s Home Office. Colin Manchip left the UK Immigration Service in 1996, and has since been a consultant on immigration and asylum affairs to several international organisations, the European Commission and national Government authorities. He has worked on two EU Tacis Projects, one, providing broad advice and assistance to the Russian Federal Migration Service, and one in Belarus, and has led projects for the International Organization for Migration in Belarus, the Ukraine and Kyrgyzstan. Other countries to which he has provided advice and assistance on immigration and/or asylum issues have included Croatia (for whom he examined draft legislation on refugees and asylum seekers, on behalf of the Council of Europe), Zimbabwe, Ghana, Bulgaria, the Turks and Caicos Islands, Jersey and Guernsey, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro and Jamaica. He is also highly experienced in the training of senior immigration/asylum officials in developing and transition countries. Between 1986 and 1988 he was the Chairman of the Council of Europe’s Committee on the Movement of People. Contact: cmanchip (at) eurasylum (dot) org
Tony Mercer is a former member of the UK’s Senior Civil Service who has served with both the Home Office (Border Agency) and Foreign Office. He has over 30 years experience in the immigration and identity management business, specialising in the strategic development and operational management of systems in both the UK and internationally. He has managed a large border operation at Heathrow, set up a number of visa regimes, been responsible for migration policy, including the negotiation of bi-lateral MOUs, and has successfully defined and implemented a number of major transformation programmes. This has included the integration of biometric technology (visas and foreign national identity cards), the outsourcing of visa support services to commercial partners, re-designing the global visa network and the introduction of new cross-agency management structures. He has won a number of awards, including ‘innovation in strategy’, leadership and programme management, and received commendations for his work from UK ministers. Tony Mercer has worked across government and at ministerial level and has travelled on official business to over 40 countries worldwide. He has also worked on secondment in the US, China, the Indian Sub-Continent, West Africa and the Maghreb. In 2010, he was awarded the US Congressional Medal for Outstanding Public Service in support of the Department for Homeland Security. Contact: tmercer (at) eurasylum (dot) org
Rick Norton has over 30 years of experience in the field of immigration and asylum affairs. Between 1971 and 1990, he served as an officer, manager and Associate Commissioner of the US Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS), where he headed, inter alia, multilateral international working groups of senior government representatives entrusted with the automation of passenger security processes and the counteracting of document fraud. After his career at the INS, Rick Norton served as managing director of the Air Transport Association of America, where he led the design and implementation of automated passenger check-in, screening and inspection programmes on behalf of the airline industry, as well as industry research on anti-fraud, anti-counterfeiting technologies, and the use of biometrics to expedite international travellers. In 1996, he established Global Technology Management, Inc., a company specialising in border operations and related technologies, that currently assists the US Department of Homeland Security with the implementation of the US-VISIT border control program. In 1998 he founded and served as the first Executive Director of the International Biometric Industry Association. Rick Norton is widely recognised for his leadership in introducing new technologies and processes to address complex border management challenges worldwide. Contact: rnorton (at) eurasylum (dot) org
Ken Richardson served in the UK Immigration Service for some 30 years with experience at seaports, airports and entry clearance offices. As Assistant Director for Information technology he was project manager of the very successful Warnings Index project. During this period he represented the UK Immigration Service on various technical experts groups in the International Civil Aviation Organisation, International Standards Organisation and European Commission on passport and visa matters. Since leaving the Home Office he worked for major companies (Sema, Schlumbuger and Atos Consulting) as a senior service manager, providing IT services for the Metropolitan Police Service and the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency. More recently he was involved with biometrics and the specification of biometrics-based border management systems for use in the Middle East and Europe to provide entry control and reconciliation of arrivals and departures. Since joining Eurasylum, he has been involved in many studies and evaluations on immigration and asylum policy on behalf of DG Migration and Home Affairs of the European Commission. Contact: krichardson (at) eurasylum (dot) org
Dr Frank Laczko has over 30 years of experience in the field of international migration. From 2015 to 2022, he was the Director of the International Organization for Migration’s Global Migration Data Analysis Centre (GMDAC) in Berlin, which was set up to respond to public authorities’ calls for better international migration data and analysis. Prior to establishing GMDAC he was the Head of IOM’s Migration Research Division in Geneva as well as Co-Chair of the UN Expert Group on Migration Statistics. Before his involvement in international migration, he worked for ten years in the field of social policy (employment, social security and health), including three years on the EU Anti-Poverty Programme. He has published extensively on a wide range of migration policy issues (migration and development, labour migration, irregular migration, migration and the environment and migration governance), as well as on social and employment policy. He has acted as a consultant to UNHCR, ILO, the OECD and the European Commission and was the co-editor of the Migration Policy Practice bimonthly journal from 2011 to 2022. Contact: flaczko (at) eurasylum (dot) org
Dr Joanne van Selm has over 25 years of experience in policy and academic research on EU migration, asylum and refugee issues. During almost five years at the Washington DC-based Migration Policy Institute (MPI), she worked closely with the Greek and Dutch Presidencies of the European Union (2003 and 2004). She also conducted studies for the European Commission, including a major feasibility study on resettlement and a study on the transfer of protection status. In 2005-2006, she was a member of the core team led by the Danish Institute for Human Rights, Eurasylum and MPI carrying out the Final Evaluation of the European Refugee Fund, on behalf of the European Commission. Dr. van Selm, who is the author of several books and articles, has lectured in Political Science at the University of Amsterdam and the Vrij Universiteit Amsterdam, and holds a PhD in International Relations from the University of Kent at Canterbury, UK. She is the co-editor of the Journal of Refugee Studies (Oxford University Press) and Senior Researcher at the Institute for Migration and Ethnic Studies at the University of Amsterdam. From 2003 to 2005 she was President of the International Association for the Study of Forced Migration. Contact: jvanselm (at) eurasylum (dot) org
Giuseppe Magnani holds engineering and business degrees from the University of Bologna and the Solvay Business School of Brussels. Through previous positions with the European Commission and multinational technology companies, he developed considerable experience in the design and management of complex e-strategies, business and public sector IT policies and web-enabled information systems. Giuseppe Magnani is responsible for all of Eurasylum’s online services, including for the development of new interactive information systems tailored to the immigration and asylum policy sector. Contact: gmagnani (at) eurasylum (dot) org
Maria Cavilla is a former senior official at UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI). She has over 17 years of experience in the field of Immigration and Asylum within UKVI where she worked as Deputy Director in the Case Resolution Directorate leading on Policy, Design and Performance. She has also worked as Deputy Director in the e-Borders programme and spent several years running three London Enforcement offices responsible for dealing with illegal migration and asylum across London and the South East of England. During that time she established the first ever Family Migration team, responsible for the effective relocation of Migrant families. Contact: mcavilla (at) eurasylum (dot) org
Robin Chalmers has spent over 40 years within the UK government at operational and policy levels in the border and travel document areas. After twenty years spent within the UK Immigration Service at various management levels (including managing a UK visa operation overseas) he moved to the Identity and Passport Service (IPS) in 1990. In this role he managed one of the UK’s passport offices and gained extensive practical experience of working in a highly secure, production based environment. He also developed significant expertise in overseas travel document issuance systems including a period spent with the US State Department’s Bureau of Consular Affairs. He played a key role in encouraging the creation of an international function within IPS and in 2004 took on responsibility for all international policy and operational issues. He has also been closely involved with the introduction of biometric passports in the UK. Throughout the 2000s he has represented the IPS in various working groups within the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) Technical Advisory Group. He also represented the UK within the G8 Lyon/Roma Migration Experts group. He has worked closely with the EU and with the OSCE where he played a key role in their travel document security programme. He has carried out a number of assessments for the UK, European and non-EU governments relating to travel document systems where his in-depth knowledge and practical experience has given him a unique insight into this specialist area. Contact: rchalmers (at) eurasylum (dot) org
Alan Craig’s involvement in border control has been extensive. In a career spanning over 40 years, he undertook a broad range of operational, policy and managerial posts in the UK and worked overseas supervising visa operations in India. For the last two decades, Alan Craig was closely involved in international work dealing with a range of organisations both from government and industry. He represented the UK Border Agency at the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) Facilitation Division and was a member of their Facilitation Panel. He was a delegate to the IATA/ Control Authorities Working Group and the first government lead on the IATA Passenger Experience initiative. Until his retirement from the Agency in September 2010, he had been chair of the European Civil Aviation Conference (ECAC) immigration sub-group for the past five years. A regular speaker at border control industry events, Alan Craig currently uses his experience to provide independent advice on integrated border management issues with an emphasis on harmonising facilitation and security. Contact: acraig (at) eurasylum (dot) org
Andy Holden has thirty years operational and policy experience in the field of immigration and asylum affairs. He left the UK Border Agency in August 2008 after four years in West Africa on secondment to the Foreign & Commonwealth Office as Director of Visa Services in Ghana and latterly West Africa. Since that time he has worked as a consultant with IBM on various European border control projects for the EU, the Netherlands, Spain and the UK. He has extensive experience of UK visa operations, having managed the operation in Turkey and worked in Saudi Arabia and Pakistan as well as in Africa. In 2000 he undertook the scoping study which prepared the way for the e-Borders programme, taking the lead on the introduction of a new ‘authority to carry concept’, the development of an electronic audit trail of passenger movements in and out of the UK and the use of biometrics to assist in the process of identity management. He supported Ministers in steering the relevant legislation through the UK Parliament and represented the UK on passenger information issues at international fora including the ICAO conference in Cairo in 2004. Andy Holden played a key role in the establishment of the intelligence function of the then UK Immigration Service, adapting the principles devised by the UK police for use in an immigration environment. He has also undertaken an attachment at the office of Inter-governmental Consultations on Asylum, Refugee and Migration Policies (IGC) in Geneva to research clandestine maritime immigration into the EU. Contact: aholden (at) eurasylum (dot) org
Chris Hurrey is a former Assistant Director in the UK Border Agency with 34 years experience of front line operations (both in the UK and abroad) and of the technology which supports border control and migration processing. He has led database projects in visa processing, intelligence and knowledge management and has provided operational input into a number of recent high-profile technology projects. Chris also led the prototyping of biometric-based admission systems and other innovative approaches to passenger processing, as well as being a point of contact for advice to technology suppliers and UKBA senior management. He was an early collaborator and R&D lead in the UKBA’s e-Borders programme and went on to work with overseas agencies on passport verification. He has been a contributor to IATA, ICAO, IGC, EU and Frontex seminars as well as a speaker at international border security conferences. Contact: churrey (at) eurasylum (dot) org
Geoff Kemble has wide experience of immigration control work gained in a career that spanned more than 41 years until his retirement from the United Kingdom Border Agency (UKBA) in April 2011. Most recently his work involved negotiating and maintaining returns agreements on behalf of the UKBA with a particular focus on eastern and south-east Asian countries. He has considerable experience of work in and around the EU and related bodies, having chaired the EU Council CIREFI Working Group during the UK EU Presidency in 2005. He was also closely involved in the development of the Common Integrated Risk Analysis Model, subsequently adopted by the EU Border Agency (FRONTEX), and he represented the UK during 2009/10 on an EU-funded, ICMPD administered project to enhance the migration management capacity of the Ukraine. Contact: gkemble (at) eurasylum (dot) org
Graeme Kyle is a former senior civil servant in the Home Office with 26 years’ experience in immigration, customs and border security matters. He has a track record of operational delivery domestically and internationally, including as: director of immigration and customs operations at Heathrow Airport; regional director for the South of England with responsibility for migration, asylum and enforcement; Border Security Advisor for the Canadian government based in Kuala Lumpur and managed the UK Visa operation in Mumbai. He is also a former head of Border Policy with significant experience of developing immigration and customs legislation, and supporting government ministers in Parliament. Graeme Kyle has been a UK government delegate to international bodies such as International Air Transport Association (IATA), International Air Transport Association (ICAO) and the World Customs Organisation (WCO). He has also provided immigration and border management subject matter expertise to private sector companies and Middle East governments as an independent consultant. Contact: gkyle (at) eurasylum (dot) org
Dr Landis MacKellar is a leading international expert on the economics of population, including population displacement. His current research and technical cooperation activities focus on the socio-economic impacts of natural and human-driven catastrophes in developing countries and appropriate international response mechanisms. This includes research on economic and political aspects of pre-event insurance vs. post-event humanitarian aid. Dr. MacKellar, who is former Executive Director of the International Union for the Scientific Study of Population (IUSSP), and current co-editor of Population and Development Review, has published extensively on a range of population issues and has directed major assignments for the European Commission, ILO, the OECD Development Centre, UNFPA, UNDP, UNCTAD, the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank and the African Development Bank. He was the Team Leader for the mid-term Evaluation of the Thematic Programme of cooperation with third countries in the areas of migration and asylum, on behalf of the European Commission (2009-2010), as well as for the Evaluation of the EU’s interventions on migration in third countries, on behalf of the European Commission (DG NEAR and DG DEVCO) in 2019-2020. Contact: lmackellar (at) eurasylum (dot) org
Geoffrey Care is the current Chairman of Eurasylum’s International Advisory Board. He is the founder and, until 2003, the first President of the International Association of Refugee Law Judges (IARLJ), the main international organisation in the field of asylum appeal law with a membership of over 300 judges in 53 countries. He is also a former Chairman of the United Kingdom’s Immigration Appeals Tribunal. Geoffrey Care has been an immigration adjudicator for over 20 years, serving in both the UK and several African countries. He is a former High Court Judge in Zambia and Head of the Department of Law at the University of Jos. He has also taught at several other universities, including the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) of the University of London, and regularly conducts training sessions for asylum decision-makers in Europe and internationally. He is the author of several publications on asylum law and policy. Contact: gcare (at) eurasylum (dot) org