Heather Alexander

Expert on Refugee Law, Statelessness and Nationality

Heather Alexander is an expert on nationality, statelessness and refugee law. Her work focuses on nationality law, statelessness, civil registration and nomadic peoples. She also works on climate change, statelessness and migration. She currently works as a Research Officer for the Local Engagement Refugee Research Network (LERRN) at Carleton University in Canada.

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 is a founding 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 United Nations and Robot Rights, Comment, forthcoming in the Canadian Journal of Law and Technology.

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.