Mustafa Alio is currently Managing Director of R-SEAT (Refugees Seeking Equal Access at the Table). R-SEAT is an international project that aims to increase refugee inclusion at global policymaking tables within 20 countries across the world, ensuring their equal voice in decisions that affect them. During the Global Refugee Forum in December 2019, Mustafa became the first-ever refugee advisor to a Canadian delegation to a meeting of the international refugee system. In 2021, he was awarded the Meritorious Service Decorations (Civil Division) from the Office of the Governor General in Canada.
Mustafa is the co-founder and the former managing director of Jumpstart Refugee Talent, the organization that led initial conversations in 2017 with Canadian employers to contribute to creating the first of its kind economic mobility pathway program in Canada (EMPP) among many other achievements. He worked closely with multiple government partners, international refugee networks, UNHCR, international civil society actors and other stakeholders to address gaps and improve programing that meet refugee needs internationally and more so within Canada. Mustafa has contributed a number of articles on refugees’ issues for board and international public audiences. Some of his articles can be read in the Independent, New York Times, Stanford Social Innovation Review, The Apolitical, and Forced Migration Review.
The perspective Mustafa brings to RAN is balancing the humanitarian stance on refugees and refugees from economic lens.
The humanitarian response to the refugee often leads refugees to be seen and tagged as an economic burden; however, Mustafa believes it is not the case all the time. Refugees are contributors to society if they are given the opportunity to get involved in the decision-making that affects their lives.
Mustafa expects RAN to influence the state and global refugee policy to normalize the state consultation and partnership with refugees and refugee led responses to implement and foster international commitments. RAN will work closely with immigration Canada and international development affairs, which are the key partners, who provide refugees' protection and solution resources. The collaboration will help the government with sufficient resource allocation and program implementation.