Carolyn Makinson is executive director of the Womenís Refugee Commission. Before coming to the Womenís Refugee Commission, she was executive director of MITís Center for International Studies. From 1988 to 2002, she was responsible for the Andrew W. Mellon Foundationís population and refugee programs, and remained a senior advisor to the foundation until 2006. She was a member of the Roundtable on the Demography of Forced Migration, convened by the Committee on Population of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, from 1999 to 2004. Currently she is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.
Makinson has lived and worked extensively overseas, including as a research affiliate at the American University in Cairo, and as a country coordinator in Africa for the Demographic and Health Surveys project. She studied refugee programs in Rwanda, Guinea, and Mozambique as an affiliate of the International Rescue Committee and of Save the Children U.S. from 1995 to 1996. Makinson received a BA in sociology from the London School of Economics and a PhD in sociology and demography from Princeton University.