Jessica is an Associate of GSDM. A methodologically and analytically resourceful anthropologist, her core expertise is within maritime security in the Global South. She has worked with international development and security issues since 2010 from interdisciplinary perspectives.
Before earning her PhD in maritime security, Jessica worked in the fields of international development cooperation and humanitarian aid. She was employed with the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection (DG ECHO) in Brussels, and Danish Development Aid (Danida) in Nairobi.
Based on her experiences making policy at HQ level in Brussels, and implementing programmes at field level in Nairobi, Jessica became thoroughly sensitised as to how various priorities and cultures prevail and interact at different instances of global policy processes. Jessica picked up this theme in her PhD project, an anthropological study of how international organisations and state authorities collaborated around counter-piracy law enforcement off the coast of Somalia in conjunction with the surge of Somali piracy between 2008-2014. Her research documented how law enforcement at the intersection of international and domestic law was the product of law as much as it was contingent upon changing policy and politics. This sense of contingency underscores how the relationship between intentions and outcomes in international policy cannot be assumed but must be monitored and adjusted. Much of Jessica’s work thus revolves around how international security and development interventions can successfully reach their intended goals.
Jessica has extensive experience with qualitative data collection. She has completed multiple fieldwork expeditions to collect context-specific empirical data for her research. Her PhD project took her on fieldwork to the Seychelles and Mauritius, as well as on board a Danish warship patrolling the western Indian Ocean. She also has experience of conducting ethnographic fieldwork, as well as monitoring and evaluation expeditions in Kenya.
Jessica has spent most of her professional life working in inter-cultural and interdisciplinary environments. She enjoys the new insights this holds both professionally and personally. In her spare time, Jessica loves any activity that keeps her by, on or in the ocean.