Anna, a cohort, speaks at a podium in front of a projected slideshow.

Habitat-USAID/BHA's Humanitarian Shelter and Settlements fellowship cohort

Habitat-USAID/BHA’s Humanitarian Shelter and Settlements fellowship offers graduate students a chance to deepen their research and boost their careers, supporting their efforts with professional mentorship, networking opportunities and financial support.

Students gain firsthand experience in the shelter and settlements sector and lay critical groundwork for their professional futures.


Interested in applying?

Interested in applying? Learn more about requirements and the application process.

“The program fellows exemplify the kind of innovative and empathetic thought leadership that is needed in today’s world,” says Charles A. Setchell, senior shelter and settlements advisor of USAID/BHA.

“They are addressing some of the most vexing issues facing the humanitarian community with creative thinking and approaches, doing their part to improve the lives of populations affected by disasters and crises, while also raising the visibility of shelter and settlement concerns in North America.”

Learn about the inspiring work of the current and former fellows below.

Fellows not pictured: Casie Venable (2019); Miriam Hacker (2018); Shaye Lyn Palagi and Jessica Wolff (2017); Kirsten Larson and Jen Pepson (2014).

Headshot of Madeline Burnham
Madeline Burnham

Madeline’s research includes interviewing displaced Syrian refugees in Lebanon and analyzing the role of humanitarian programs in long-term shelter recovery.

Headshot of Melina Holder
Melina Holder

Melina’s graduate school research focuses on housing, land and property rights in humanitarian assistance, especially the HLP rights of women. She is currently studying the Venezuelan refugee crisis in Latin America and working with humanitarian organizations to integrate those principles into migrant and refugee assistance measures.

Headshot of Ilham Siddiq
Ilham Siddiq

Ilham’s research focuses on the long-term outcomes of post-disaster residential construction and livelihood programs implemented in response to the 2004 earthquake and tsunami damage sustained in Aceh, Indonesia.

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Casie Venable

Casie’s fellowship thesis focuses on understanding alignments and, importantly, misalignments between household perceptions and engineering assessments of shelter in the Philippines following Typhoon Haiyan.

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Jessica Talbot

Jessica’ Talbot’s fellowship thesis is an exploratory study into barriers to housing reconstruction after hurricanes Irma and Maria in Puerto Rico.

Miriam Hacker.
Miriam Hacker

Miriam’s fellowship focused on how urban refugees in the Mount Lebanon governorate accessed housing, and on the involvement of local, national, and international organizations in this process.

Anna Konotchick headshot
Anna Konotchick

Anna’s fellowship thesis examines how shelter humanitarian assistance during the relief and recovery phase helped or hindered the self-recovery of households, neighborhoods and Haiti’s capital city of Port-au-Prince following the 7.0 magnitude earthquake in 2010.

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Alex Miller

Alex’s fellowship thesis focuses on understanding why post-crisis rental support programs succeeded or failed depending on their links to other programs such as livelihoods or protection.

Aaron Opdyke headshot
Aaron Opdyke

Aaron’s fellowship thesis focuses on understanding lessons from humanitarian shelter programs implemented in the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines.

Habitat-USAID/BHA's Humanitarian Shelter and Settlements fellowship

Since 2013, the US Agency for International Development Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance, in partnership with Habitat for Humanity International and supported by InterAction, have sponsored select graduate students through a fellowship, helping bolster the students’ research and futures in the humanitarian shelter and settlement sector.

Learn more