Melissa Meinhart

Ms. Meinhart is a doctoral student at CSSW and the Project Director for ASPIRE. Her research interests include intervention modalities in the context of forced migration, with a substantive focus how social norms, social support, and social networks influence gendered violence and mental health outcomes. Ms. Meinhart completed her MSW from Columbia, focusing on international social welfare policy. Her career in social work began while working with streetchildren in Ghana. After returning to the U.S., she was a caseworker and direct-practice researcher for refugee resettlement before spending time at UNICEF focusing on gender-based violence in emergencies – whereby the countries of focus included Chad, Pakistan, Philippines, Somalia, and South Sudan. Ms. Meinhart has since worked in Kenya, Somalia, South Africa, Zambia, and Iraq. She is currently working to integrate GIS and data mining methods within her ongoing research in the Middle East and Horn of Africa. More information on ASPIRE’s research in Jordan and Turkey can be found at