Felicity Mulford - Global Challenges Scholar
Felicity Mulford grew up near the beautiful city of Oxford. She loves to travel, experience other cultures and be busy!
Living in Swansea has allowed Felicity to connect with her Welsh heritage and retrace her grandfather’s steps. As the only British scholar, Felicity is enjoying showing her fellow scholars around the United Kingdom.
Educational and Career Background
Felicity graduated from the University of Leeds with a First Class Honours in BA Human Geography, followed by a Distinction in MA International Relations. She obtained awards for being the most ‘meritorious female student’ in the School of Geography, as well as the ‘Best Dissertation’ in the School of International Relations.
Felicity has worked with numerous NGOs, in the UK, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Swaziland and Greece. The projects have varied from providing support at an HIV/AIDs daycentre, to education, overseas community engagement research, construction, conservation, marketing and events support, organising clothing & commodity distributions for refugees, and working with survivors of genocide in a refugee camp.
During her time at Leeds, Felicity did venture out of the library. She was Social Secretary of the University’s Snowsports Society, the manager of a popular student event, and the Brand Representative for an events platform. Following her repatriation from a remote Filipino Island at the start of the coronavirus pandemic, Felicity worked remotely in Marketing for two Oxford University Spin Out, Artificial Intelligence companies.
All of these experiences have contributed to Felicity’s determination to be part of a sustainable global movement, to reduce global inequalities and to work towards the protection and fulfilment of Human Rights.
Areas of Expertise
Although Felicity is interested in the broad spectrum of Global Challenges that we face, her previous research has focussed on the impact of conflict and mass atrocity crimes on human rights.
During her Undergraduate Degree she specialised in Migration, Asylum and Political Geographies, ultimately undertaking a dissertation on the portrayal of Syrian Refugees in the British Press. She outlined the notions of criminality and illegality which permeate through the media, contributing to hostile domestic policies and the disregard of asylum seekers’ human rights. This research inspired Felicity to travel to Greece to work in a refugee camp with Yazidi’s, a minority group who were persecuted by ISIS.
Following this, Felicity’s Masters Degree allowed her to explore academia on Conflict, Complex Emergencies and Global Justice. Her experiences at the refugee camp had honed her interests in the prevention of mass atrocity crimes; thus, for her dissertation Felicity focussed on the ongoing conflict in Yemen and the role of the ‘Responsibility to Protect’ norm in the prevention of atrocity crimes.
Felicity’s research on Yemen opened her eyes to the extent of Yemeni suffering. As well as numerous mass atrocity crimes, the conflict has caused the breakdown of public services, and obstruction of aid has contributed to mass starvation. During the Global Challenges programme, Felicity will continue to research these issues by working with Global Rights Compliance on their ‘Starvation Accountability’ Project, in collaboration with the World Peace Foundation.
Since joining the programme, Felicity has been part of a group of academics and journalists documenting the ongoing conflict in Tigray. She has contributed a chapter on the ‘Humanitarian Situation, Aid, Food Security and Famine’, to the ‘The Tigray War and its Regional Implications’. The group aims to raise the profile of the conflict within the international community, to improve the likelihood of gaining accountability for human rights violations occurring in Tigray.
Ambitions and Hopes for the Future
"I have many hopes for the future. I hope to build my practical experience so that I can help to deliver effective policies which have a real, and meaningful, impact on people’s lives.
Covid-19 has shown how interconnected our world is. Covid-19 is exacerbating global inequalities at an alarming rate, reversing the hard work of many individuals and organisations around the world. I really hope that we can get the pandemic under control, so that the important work can continue, lives can be improved, human rights fulfilled, opportunities expanded and the climate protected. We are one world facing many problems. I believe that we should remind ourselves of our common humanity and work together to solve these pressing issues."