Heather Alexander

Expert on Citizenship, Statelessness, Refugee Law and Human Rights

Heather Alexander is an expert on nationality, citizenship, statelessness and human rights. She is the coordinator of the IDRC Research Chairs Network on Forced Displacement, based at Carleton University in Canada. She works on refugee law, climate change displacement, robot rights and nomad citizenship.

She received a PhD in law from Tilburg University in 2020.

Heather has ten years of experience working with refugees and stateless people in Côte d'Ivoire, Australia, Gabon, Chad, Sri Lanka, Kosovo and the United States, including four years with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). She has worked as a researcher on statelessness for the University of Melbourne and the US State Department. She began her career as a US Peace Corps Volunteer.

Heather was a founding board member of United Stateless, an advocacy network for stateless people in the United States. She is a member in good standing of the District of Columbia Bar Association. She is also proficient in French.


The Nationality and Statelessness of Nomads Under International Law, book under contract with Oxford University Press.

Identité juridique et préservation du nomadisme comme mode de vie : les hommes Foulbé en Côte d’Ivoire (forthcoming).

Those Fleeing States Destroyed by Climate Change Are Convention Refugees (with Jonathan Simon) Biblioteca della libertà (2024) at https://www.centroeinaudi.it/notizie-in-evidenza/7028-un-nuovo-articolo-in-bdl-online-first.html.

Review of “Statelessness Determination Procedures and the Right to a Nationality: Nigeria in Comparative Perspective,” By Solomon Oseghale Momoh, Book Review, Statelessness and Citizenship Review Special Issue.

The United Nations and Robot Rights, Comment, Canadian Journal of Law and Technology, 20 Can. J. L. & Tech. 257 (2023).

The Duty to End Statelessness Derives from Sovereignty: a Metaphysical Analysis (with Jonathan Simon; forthcoming).

The Ethics of Counting Statelessness, in ‘Statelessness, Governance, and the Problem of Citizenship’ T. Bloom and L. N. Kingston, eds, Manchester UP, (2021).

Nomads and the Struggle for a Legal Identity, 2 Statelessness and Citizenship Rev. 338 (2020).

The U.S. Supreme Court in ‘Sessions v. Morales-Santana’: Preventing Statelessness for Children Born Abroad, 1(2) Statelessness and Citizenship Review 330 (2019).

"The Open Sky or a Brick and Mortar School? Statelessness, Education and Nomadic Children," World's Stateless Report, Institute on Statelessness and Inclusion, (2017)

"No Port, No Passport: Why Submerged States Can Have No Nationals," Wash. Int'l L. J. 26.2 (2017) (with Jonathan Simon)

"'Unable to Return' in the 1951 Refugee Convention: Stateless Refugees and Climate Change," 26 Fl. J. of Int'l L. 531 (2014) (with Jonathan Simon) 

"Sinking Into Statelessness," 19 Tilburg U. L. Rev. 20 (2014) (with Jonathan Simon)

"Justice for Rwanda: Toward a Universal Law of Armed Conflict," 34 Golden Gate U. L. Rev. (2004) 


Moments of Negotiated Independence: Localized Knowledge Ecosystems on Forced Migration in East Africa and the Middle East. LERRN Working Paper. September 2022 (co-authored).

Grâce aux nouvelles technologies de communication, la lutte contre l'apatridie est de plus en plus portée par les personnes concernées, et pas seulement par des experts, (August 23, 2022, Société québécoise de droit international)

"Refugee Advocates Are Losing the War of Ideas" Refugees Deeply (May 2017) 

Her Erdős Number is 6.