Accountability for migration and integration policies
When Thomas Huddleston, an American graduate of European Studies at Georgetown University, joined HIA in 2005, he was already engaged with an essential question in Europe’s identity crisis: “How will Europe become comfortable with itself as a diverse society?” Today, Thomas can be found interpreting statistics on Europe’s number one hot topic, Immigration, as a Policy Analyst in the Migration Policy Group in Brussels. There he also recently co-edited the Migrant Integration Policy Index, which evaluates the policies of EU member states. “I was eager to get into the European debate on diversity and immigration and the HIA program in Berlin was the great opportunity I was looking for.”
Following the program, Thomas worked his way through various internships and he credits HIA for helping him through this time. Thomas’ big breakthrough came when he did an HIA internship in Brussels in 2007 with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, leading to his job at the Migration Policy Group. When asked what HIA means to him professionally, he stresses the strength of the ‘network effect’: “I work with policies in 27 member states and cannot do that without contacts in each one; what I have seen in these past three years is an HIA network that is growing immensely.” For Thomas, HIA is first and foremost about translating your personal energy into action: “Don’t do something for yourself alone.”
Thomas uses his place in the hub of Brussels to give HIA a presence in the city where Europe’s civil society comes together: “I wish to contribute to the discussion about how a growing representation of Senior Fellows in Brussels can help facilitate a broader HIA network and new connections.” Recently Thomas organized a panel for the HIA Fellowship on the EU’s impact on fighting anti-discrimination in Europe, bringing in high-profile speakers from the EU Fundamental Rights Agency, Open Society, Human Rights Watch and the Danish Center for Human Rights.