Rachel Silvey is Richard Charles Lee Director of the Asian Institute and Professor in the Department of Geography and Planning. She is a Faculty Affiliate in CDTS, WGSI, and the Ethnic, Immigration and Pluralism Studies Program. She received her Ph.D. in Geography from the University of Washington, Seattle, and a dual B.A. from the University of California at Santa Cruz in Environmental Studies and Southeast Asian Studies.
Professor Silvey is best known for her research on women’s labour and migration in Indonesia. She has published widely in the fields of migration studies, cultural and political geography, gender studies, and critical development. Her major funded research projects have focused on migration, gender, social networks, and economic development in Indonesia; immigration and employment among Southeast Asian-Americans; migration and marginalization in Bangladesh and Indonesia; and religion, rights and Indonesian migrant women workers in Saudi Arabia.
Her current work, funded by the US National Science Foundation, with collaborator Professor Rhacel Parreñas examines Indonesian and Filipino domestic workers’ employment in Singapore and the UAE, and she leads the project on migrant workers’ labour conditions for the SSHRC Partnership Project, “Gender, Migration and the Work of Care: Comparative Perspectives,” led by Professor Ito Peng.