The DRAN Team consists of university faculty from around the world, visiting scholars, and MIT research assistants. In addition to the network's core team, DRAN collaborates with several organizations (both governmental and non-governmental), international institutions, activist collectives, and community organizers. We are always interested in expanding our team and exploring new partnerships; if interested in collaboration, please do not hesitate to contact us. 


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Balakrishnan RajAgopal

Balakrishnan Rajagopal is the founder of the Displacement Research and Action Network at MIT.  He is the current head of the International Development Group (IDG) and a Professor of Law and Development at the Department of Urban Studies and Planning and founding Director of the Program on Human Rights and Justice at MIT.  He is a leading scholar-activist of human rights and development and is well-known for his critical approach to development planning and the law and politics of the Third World.  He has been a member of the Executive Council and Executive Committee of the American Society of International Law and is currently on the Asia Advisory Board of Human Rights Watch and on the editorial boards of many journals. He has published numerous scholarly articles in leading law and social science journals and is the author of two books -International Law from Below: Development, Social Movements and Third World Resistance (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003; 2nd edition forthcoming), and Reshaping Justice: International Law and the Third World (co-editor, Routledge, 2008).  He served for many years with the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in Cambodia and was human rights advisor to the World Commission on Dams. He recently served as a member of the International Academic Advisory Council at the Fourth UN Conference on Least Developed Countries in Istanbul, Turkey. His work has been translated into Chinese, Spanish, and French. He has published widely in the media on human rights, development and international law and issues concerning the global south in such publications as the Boston Globe, the Hindu, Washington Post, the Indian Express, El Universal, and the Nation and is a blogger at huffingtonpost.com.

MIT Faculty


Affiliated Faculty and Researchers


Past collaborators

DRAN Fellows:
Nil Tuzcu - Displacement Research Action Fellow

Masters of City Planning:
Azka Shoaib - Masters in City Planning
Kelly Leilani-Main - Masters in City Planning
Nour Ghadanfar - Masters in City Planning
Megan Cherita Patrick - Masters in City Planning
Meredith Abood - Masters in City Planning
Aurora Kazi Bassett - Masters in City Planning
Anthony Medeiros - Masters in City Planning
Lindiwe Rennert - Masters in City Planning
Diana Xylina Bell - Masters in City Planning
Rida Qadri - Masters in City Planning
Leo Goldberg - Masters in City Planning
Fizzah Sajjad - Masters in City Planning
Rachel Finkelstein - Masters in City Planning
Claire Evans - Masters in City Planning
Alison Coffey - Masters in City Planning
Vishnu Prasad - Masters in City Planning

Juan Pablo Duran- Master of Science in Urban Studies and Planning 

Eman Lasheen - Department of Urban Studies and Planning PhD
Suzy Harris-Brandts - Department of Urban Studies and Planning PhD
Huma Gupta - Department of Architecture PhD
Devanne Brookins - Department of Urban Studies and Planning PhD
Alpen Sheth - Department of Urban Studies and Planning PhD

Visiting PhD:
Bingqing Xia - Tsinghua University

Anjad Hithnawi - SPURS Fellow
Maria Lucrecia Bertelli - SPURS Fellow
Reazul Ahsan - MIT-UTM Malaysian Sustainable City Program Research Fellow

Amanda Kraley - Wellesley College
Marianne F. Potvin - Harvard Graduate School of Design PhD