Dr. Ifrah Magan currently serves as a Faculty Fellow/Assistant Professor at New York University. A qualitative researcher and social worker, Dr. Magan incorporates storytelling as a method of understanding the lived experiences of refugee and immigrant populations, particularly with regard to faith and culture. Dr. Magan’s approach to research in vulnerable communities is one of intersectionality, focusing particularly on race, religion, gender and class. Her current projects include serving as the Qualitative Research Lead on the MacArthur Foundation 100&Change funded partnerships of Sesame Workshop and the International Rescue Committee to provide early childhood programming for refugee families in the Middle East.
Dr. Magan received a Bachelor of Science degree in Family and Community Services from Michigan State University, where she was a Ronald E. McNair Scholar. She then went on to receive a Masters degree from the University of Chicago’s School of Social Service Administration where she was a recipient of many awards including the Kathryn Davis Peace Award, and served as a Child Advocate for unaccompanied undocumented children through the Young Center at the University of Chicago School of Law. She received her doctorate degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago, Jane Addams College of Social Work, where she was a recipient of the Abraham Lincoln Fellowship and the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Service Award. Her doctoral dissertation explored the migration paths of Somali refugees in Chicago, and in particular, how ethnic and religious identities impact their resettlement and integration. Dr. Magan has extensive experience working with Somali, Rohingya, Iraqi, and Syrian refugee populations in the United States. She’s fluent in Somali, Arabic, and English.