Elizabeth G. Kennedy is the Central America Research Specialist at WOLA. She is a social scientist, primarily based from El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras or the US-Mexico border since 2011. She focuses on the experiences and needs of child, youth and forced migrants. For longer (since 2001), she has been committed to understanding and serving migrants of all ages, particularly adolescents from low-income backgrounds, as a mentor, case worker and teacher to them and their families.
In the past 10 years, she has interviewed over 1,700 Central American migrants and 250 officials and service providers in aforementioned nations about reasons for migrating and results of deportation, in addition to compiling substantial databases to triangulate the information collected in these interviews. She has done the research independently and with Human Rights Watch (HRW), the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), a Fulbright Fellowship, Tinker Grant, and others, including film makers, journalists, a playwright, and numerous immigration attorneys.
She has authored or co-authored peer-reviewed articles, policy reports, book chapters, media articles, internal reports and blog entries. She has further disseminated this research through presentations to legal, medical and social service providers, government officials, immigration courts and print, radio and television outlets in various countries.