Alice Jean Wuermli
Deputy Director, ECDEC
Alice is a Senior Research Scientist and the Deputy Director for Early Childhood Development in Emergencies and Conflict at Global TIES for Children, an international research center embedded in the Institute for Human Development and Social Change at New York University. She applies transdisciplinary, multi-methods, and participatory approaches to generate evidence on how to best support children and youth’s development in low- and middle-income countries and conflict affected contexts. Alice's current interests pertain to the interpenetration of culture and neurobiology, adolescent motherhood, and specifically linking developmental stress physiology during adolescence to prenatal and early life development of the child. As such, her work draws from a range of disciplines and methods to incorporate multiple levels of the human ecosystem, from molecules to culture and context. Alice thrives in environments of constructive thought diversity where a multitude of ideas come together to create solutions to complex problems. She is, among other things, the co-I and co-PI on two large-scale initiatives focused on early childhood development in refugee contexts: Ahlan Simsim focused on Syrian refugee and host communities in the Middle East through the first ever awarded 100&Change award from MacArthur Foundation; and Play to Learn in the Rohingya refugee context in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, funded by another US$ 100 million by LEGO Foundation. Under Play to Learn, Alice leads a large-scale longitudinal prenatal birth and early years cohort study in the Rohingya camps on Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh aimed at furthering our understanding of how war and displacement affects human development across generations.
Alice holds a BA in International Affairs and Governance from the University of St. Gallen in Switzerland, a MA in International Development / Development Economics from American University, and a PhD in Human Development / Developmental Neurobiology from UC Davis. Between her MA and PhD, Alice spent three years at the World Bank working on youth and livelihoods development and gender.