Vasileia Digidiki, MSc, PhD

Instructor, Director of the Harvard FXB Summer Program on Migration and Refugee Studies

Dr. Vasileia Digidiki is a Harvard Instructor, Director of the Harvard FXB Summer Program on Migration and Refugee Studies, and a Health and Human Rights Fellow. She is a psychologist by training with more than 11 years of experience working on issues of distress migration, human trafficking, victim blaming and child protection and serves as a Senior Associate Editor for the Behavioral Medicine, a Taylor and Francis Publications journal with an impact factor of 2.4.

Since 2017, Dr. Digidiki has led the Harvard FXB Center’s research agenda on distress migration. Alongside FXB Director of Research Prof. Jacqueline Bhabha, she has conducted research in Greece, Bangladesh, West and Central Africa, Sudan and Mexico focusing on child protection, access to education, access to antenatal care, and the nexus between human trafficking and distress migration. Dr. Digidiki has been funded by a number of international organizations, including IOM, BRAC and UNICEF, to analyze datasets and conduct research in the field of migration, child protection and human trafficking. In 2021, she was commissioned by IOM to produce the first worldwide report on child trafficking, analyzing the largest worldwide dataset on child trafficking victims.

In 2022, Dr. Digidiki and Prof. Jacqueline Bhabha, developed the first international, interdisciplinary summer program on migration and refugee studies in collaboration with the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens. Dr. Digidiki also teaches in the FXB Center’s Executive Education program for child protection professionals, as well as the Center’s Child Protection Certificate Program for students, and has taught for Harvard University’s Harvard X online training on Child Protection. In 2017, she advised on and reviewed content for the online course “Caring for Children Moving Alone: Protecting Unaccompanied and Separated Children.”

Dr. Digidiki has published widely on issues of human trafficking, forced migration, child protection and victim blaming and participated in a number of conferences and high-level meetings on issues of distress migration and human trafficking. In March 2017, she spoke at the 61st  Session of the Commission on the Status of Women at the UN, highlighting the current state of child protection, and a few months later, she spoke at the 72nd session of the UN General Assembly on the intersection between child trafficking and forced migration.

Dr. Digidiki holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, two master’s degrees on Forensic and Social Psychology and a PhD in Social and Clinical Psychology. During her PhD studies, she received the Greek State Scholarship, and in 2019 she was awarded the Health and Human rights Fellowship.

Dr. Digidiki speaks Greek, English, French and the Greek sign language. She is a native of the Greek island of Lesvos where she offered her services as a first responder during the massive influx of distress migrants in 2015 and 2016.