The north face of the Rotunda

Solving the Global Refugee Crisis and Other Disasters: Business Solutions to the World’s Toughest Problems

Date & Time

September 21, 2019 @ 10:00 am - 11:00 am


Alumni Hall, Ballroom
211 Emmet Street
Charlottesville, VA



How do we tackle the growing refugee crisis? Are there any solutions on which Democrats and Republicans can agree? Christine Mahoney spent a decade studying every protracted refugee crisis in the world, including in-depth fieldwork in seven conflict zones in Asia, Africa, Eastern Europe, and Latin America. She wrote a book detailing what won’t work and proposing a solution that will: impact investing in refugee and host community entrepreneurs. Now she is working with a team of international investors, governments, entrepreneurs, and organizations to make the idea a reality. Learn about the global refugee crisis and our best chance of helping 70 million people get back on their feet – the Refugee Investment Network.


Christine Mahoney

Professor of Public Policy and Politics at the Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy and Director of Social Entrepreneurship at the University of Virginia

Christine Mahoney studies social justice advocacy and direct action through social entrepreneurship and impact investing. Her first book, Brussels vs. the Beltway (Georgetown University Press), explored how advocates shape public policy in two of the most powerful political systems on the planet: the US and the EU.  She conducted fieldwork in seven conflict zones in Asia, Africa, Eastern Europe, and Latin America for her second book Failure and Hope: Fighting for the Rights of the Forcibly Displaced (Cambridge University Press). The book argues that we need to advance social entrepreneurship for the 70 million people displaced by violent conflict worldwide.

To help foster innovative solutions to social problems, she launched and leads Social Entrepreneurship at the University of Virginia. Over the past seven years, SE@UVA has introduced new courses on social entrepreneurship, a minor, a concept competition, scholarships to work with social enterprises, and a myriad of student activities providing hands-on experience in social innovation.

She was previously an Assistant Professor at the Maxwell School of Syracuse University and the Director of the Center for European Studies and the Maxwell EU Center. She has been a Fulbright Fellow, Visiting Scholar at Oxford, a National Science Foundation grant recipient, and recipient of the Emerging Scholar award from the American Political Science Association.