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Current CNP Chair

Ariell Ahearn

Portrait of Ariell AhearnAriell Ahearn is currently the Course Director of the MSc/MPhil in Nature, Society and Environmental Governance at the School for Geography and the Environment at the University of Oxford.

Since 2004, Ariell has worked extensively in rural Mongolia with mobile pastoralist communities around land use and rural development issues. She was a US Fulbright Fellow in Mongolia from 2006-2007, studying international development discourse and development projects focusing on pastoralist livelihoods. She completed her DPhil from the University of Oxford in 2016 based on long-term ethnographic research in central-west Mongolia. Her doctoral thesis, 'The Changing Meaning of Work, Herding and Social Relations in Rural Mongolia' challenges the notion that pastoralists operate outside of regulatory institutions and discusses the long history of herder involvement with government administrations. She has published in academic journals on topics such as schooling and education, natural hazards and risk, gendered labor relations and household splitting, and state-society relations.

In 2016 she engaged as an expert on a multi-disciplinary team to conduct a qualitative analysis of herder livelihoods and socio-economic changes in relation to the Oyu Tolgoi mega mine in the Gobi desert as part of the facilitation of a complaint through the IFC's Office of Compliance Ombudsman. This work served as a foundation for her current research on mining, conflict, rural development and mobile pastoralism in Mongolia, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.

Ariell holds a BA degree in Anthropology from Hartwick College and an MPA from Cornell University in the United States.