Fellows and Postdocs


Mei-Ling Ellerman, Visiting Scholar

Mei-Ling Ellerman

Mei-Ling Ellerman, PhD, Visiting Scholar, conducts interdisciplinary research on all forms of power, control, and subordination exercised over members of vulnerable groups, and the socio-cultural, socio-political, moral, psychological and cognitive factors that influence their responses. Ellerman founded The Action Research Project on Domestic Workers in Beijing, and led research on workplace issues and sexual harassment of Chinese female and male migrant domestic workers. Her other research projects have been supported by UNESCO and the Fulbright and David L. Boren Fellowships. Ellerman earned her PhD from The Australian National University.
Dinar Dana Kharisma, PhD student and a research assistant in the Center for Global Development and Sustainability

Dinar Kharisma

Dinar Dana Kharisma, PhD, finished his PhD at Heller in the Global Development and Sustainability concentration and served as a postdoctoral associate. He works with the Government of Indonesia on the development of national social protection programs, including the National Health Insurance and conditional cash transfer. His main research interest is social policy evaluation in developing countries. He participated in the GDS evaluation of the Akshaya Patra Mid-day Meal program in Lucknow, India and is now part of the GDS team for capacity building for baseline studies with RAINS in northern Ghana.
Purna Nepali, GDS fellow

Purna Bahadur Nepali

Purna Bahadur Nepali, PhD, was a Fulbright Visiting Research Fellow at GDS in 2017-18 and now works with GDS on capacity building in Nepal. Nepali was the Coordinator for the Regional Food Security Governance Project in South and East Asia for DanChurchAid, the development arm of Danish churches. He is currently conducting research on reorienting the political economy of agrarian transformations, focusing on marginalized communities in Nepal. He is an Associate Professor at Kathmandu University, where he earlier received his PhD in conjunction with the human geography program at the University of Zurich. His ongoing research is on landlessness, livelihood insecurity and social conflict with special focus on the Dalit community.

Previous Fellows

Vinya Ariyaratne, former GDS Fellow

Vinya Ariyaratne

Professor Vinya Ariyaratne, MD, MPH, MSc, is General Secretary, Sarvodaya Shramadana Movement, and Community Medicine Faculty of Medical Sciences University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Sri Lanka.
Man Bahadur Bishkawarma, former GDS Fellow

Man Bahadur Bishkawarma

Man Bahadur Bishwakarma, PhD, was a GDS Fulbright Visiting Scholar, and is the Joint Secretary/Director General of the Government of Nepal’s Department of Labour. Previously he was the National Manager for the Centre for Constitutional Dialogue under the UNDP Support to Participatory Constitution Building Process in Nepal. He has published widely on Dalit issues in Nepal and is an Adjunct Professor at Tribhuvan University, where he also received his PhD.
Sukhadeo Thorat, former GDS Fellow

Sukhadeo Thorat

Professor Sukhadeo Thorat, PhD, is Professor Emeritus of Economics, Jawaharlal Nehru University, India. He is the former Chair, University Grants Commissions, India, and former Chair, Indian Council for Social Science Research. He is the co-founder of the Indian Institute of Dalit Studies, New Delhi.