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

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

Habitat-USAID/BHA’s International Humanitarian Shelter and Settlements research 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 becoming a future fellow? Learn more about the fellowship program and 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: Shaye Lyn Palagi and Jessica Wolff (2017); Kirsten Larson and Jen Pepson (2014).

Congratulations to 2022 fellow Melina Holder

Melina in a cap and gown holding her award certificate

We would like to congratulate Melina Holder for presenting her fellowship deliverable as her master’s thesis, which was awarded the Zilberman prize for Outstanding Capstone from the Goldman School of Public Policy at University of California, Berkeley. We are honored that Habitat, InterAction and USAID staff, via our additional guidance and mentorship, were able to contribute to enhance the quality of her thesis.

We know Melina will make great strides in the humanitarian shelter and settlements sector and wish her the best in the years to come.

2023 cohort announcement

The U.S. Agency for International Development Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance in partnership with Habitat for Humanity and supported by InterAction has selected the three fellows below for its 2023 cohort.

Andrea Batarse headshot
Andrea Batarse

Andrea’s research focuses on the impacts of humanitarian shelter and settlements migration in the area of the U.S.-Mexico border.

Emily Nabong headshot
Emily Nabong

Emily’s research is focused on modeling how climate change affects decision-making on migration patterns with research specific to Kiribati, which is currently affected by sea-level rise.

Daud Shad headshot
Daud Shad

Daud’s research focus is on shelter for internally displaced persons in Karachi in response to the 2022 floods in Pakistan.

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 focused on housing, land and property rights in humanitarian assistance, especially the HLP rights of women. 

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.

Jessica Talbot headshot
Jessica Talbot

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

Casie Venable headshot
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.

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.