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Current SIS PhD Students

Davina Durgana

Davina Durgana Picture

I am originally from Long Island, NY and I am happy to have returned to the area after spending two years in Paris, France! I enjoy playing club volleyball, volunteering with the National Court-Appointed Special Advocates and Big Brothers Big Sisters, and playing with my puppy, Bailey. I first became interested in human trafficking after a mission trip to El Salvador where I encountered the effects of human trafficking on vulnerable children directly. Since then, working with national non-profit, The Polaris Project has been a transformative experience in terms of my understanding and work in this field.

Why I chose SIS

I selected SIS for many reasons, but not the least of which is the impressively diverse, collegial and student-centered faculty that we have. I also enjoyed the flexibility with which so many of the Professors approached their own subject areas and multidisciplinary approaches. The program is strong and I feel as though I am receiving a comprehensive and substantive treatment of international affairs, as well as obtaining critical tools to use in my own field of specialization. We are also strongly supported by our program and university and various forms of funding for our research and presentations are regularly made available to us. Finally, I really enjoy my international and diverse cohort.

Previous Education

B.A. 2010 in International Affairs and International SecurityThe Elliott School, The George Washington University

Masters 1 et 2 Certificats (MaÎtrise) 2011 in Sciences Politiques Université Panthéon-Sorbonne

Masters 2012 in International Affairs, Conflict Resolution and Civil Society DevelopmentThe American University of Paris

Previous Employment

The Polaris Project National Human Trafficking Resource Center

The White House Office of Presidential Personnel Associate Program 

The White House Office of Vice President Biden Internship Program 

The Department of Justice Office for Victims of Crime 

The International Center for Missing and Exploited Children

Research Interests

Human Trafficking, Transnational Human Security and Human Rights


AU Faculty Page


  • "A Theory of Human Trafficking Prevalence and Forecasting: Unlikely Marriage of the Human Security, Transnational Organized Crime, and Human Trafficking Literatures" (2014), Vol. 1, Iss. 2, Slavery Today Journal - A Multidisciplinary Journal of Human Trafficking Solutions, pp. 1-23.
  • "Civil Society Engagement: Solutions to Domestic Human Trafficking" Forthcoming publication in Journal of International Service, fall 2013. 
  • "Transnational Effects on the International Commodity Chain of Trafficked Persons" Published by The American University of Paris Graduate Academic Journal, 2011.  

Selected Presentations

  • University of Toledo 2014 International Human Trafficking, Prostitution and Sex Work Conference, "Correlates of Trafficking: Measuring Human Insecurity of Vulnerable Minors to Human Trafficking in the United States"
  • American Political Science Association Annual General Meeting 2014 Presentation, "Correlates of Trafficking: Measuring Human Insecurity of Vulnerable Minors to Human Trafficking in the United States"
  • University of Nebraska-Lincoln Interdisciplinary Conference on Human Trafficking, "Correlates of Trafficking: Measuring Human Insecurity of Vulnerable Minors to Human Trafficking in the United States"

Select Awards

  • 2013 Service Award in the Anti-Trafficking Field by the Trafficking in America Task Force, May 2013 
  • 2013 Public Diplomacy Google Fellowship Recipient, June 2013 - selected as one of 15 women in the United States who is using technology in innovative ways to resolve a social issue. I