Grisel d'Elena

Graduate Student

Politics and International Relations

Office: MMC, SIPA 213

Phone: 305-348-2226



Grisel d’Elena is currently pursuing her PhD in International Relations at FIU’s School of International and Public Affairs. She is also an Adjunct Professor for Religious Studies, Women's and Gender Studies and The Honors College at FIU. Grisel also works as an Academic Advisor II for The Honors College and Pre-Law. She has performed fieldwork abroad with U.N. officials, refugee coalition members and ethnic minorities, specifically Southeast Asia, where she began to investigate the Rohingya Muslim ethnic group in Myanmar. As victims of systematic, state-sponsored persecution, she began to question why they faced such discrimination. This question led to the Buddhist 969 Movement in Myanmar, which contributes to the isolation and oppression of the Rohingya. Grisel was able to interview Time Magazine’s “Buddhist Terror” U Ashin Wirathu and provide feedback directly from the source of the violence for her ethnographic work. This became the focus of her Master’s thesis, “The Gender Problem of Buddhist Nationalism in Myanmar: The 969 Movement and Theravada Nuns.” This work paved the road for her PhD work focused on the international community's response to the Rohingya crisis. Locally, Grisel is on the board of UN Women | USA | Miami leading the Young Professionals Committee and has volunteered with National Voices for Equality, Education, and Enlightenment (NVEEE) mentoring LGBTQ+ youth who struggle with bullying and educational resources.