Creative launches Center for Migration and Economic Stabilization

Center to first focus on shifts and new trends caused by economic impacts of COVID-19

August 10, 2020

In 2019, Creative undertook a large study of the root causes of migration, surveying people across three countries. Photo by Janey Fugate.

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WASHINGTON, D.C. — Creative Associates International is launching a specialized Center for Migration and Economic Stabilization to drive innovation and program responsiveness to this global phenomenon.  

Our launch is timely since the COVID pandemic has generated new urgencies around migration,” says Creative President and CEO Leland KruvantThis Center will combine technical rigor and ingenuity with Creative’s on-the-ground programmatic experience to address the pressing challenges that lure migrants into risking it all.  

The Center for Migration and Economic Stabilization builds on Creative’s 2019 groundbreaking research on the drivers of migration from Central America’s Northern Triangle 

Pablo Maldonado, Creative’s Chief Operating Officersays those motivations to migrate North remain as present as ever and will combine with the effects of COVID-19 to generate a powerful impetus to migrate. 

Migration is connected and overlaps with other systemic challenges facing Central America, West Africa and elsewhere,” Maldonado says. “Unfortunately, longstanding development challenges will intersect with the economic hardship of COVID-19 to create a perfect storm for migration. We will see shifts in migration activity and trends, including changing attitudesinternal migration and relocations across borders all caused by the economic squeeze.   

The Center for Migration and Economic Stabilization will serve as a hub of thought leadership on the issue both as a cause and byproduct of other development challenges. The Center has a pointed focus on serving the underserved, those who are not typically touched by more traditional economic development, including youthwomen and those working in informal economies.     

The Center will continue and expand on Creative’s earlier migration pursuits, including methodical data gathering to track migration and its driversdemystification of popular migration beliefs that are not supported by evidence and, more broadly, the creation of programs that are material to the decision to migrate  mostly in the economic arena, Maldonado says. 

“The Center will help us stay at the forefront of understanding these issues and ultimately lead to better, locally focused programming to mitigate the causes of migration. It will be a much-needed resource for fresh thinking on migration,” Maldonado says. 

Thought leader, practitioner to direct the Center 

The Center for Migration and Economic Stabilization is led by noted expert Manuel Orozco, Ph.D., who joined Creative after more than 20 years at the Inter-American Dialogue in Washington, D.C. 

Orozco, a recognized researcher and analyst of global migration flows, including remittances, will complement Creative’s technical expertise in economic growth, youth, education, governance, citizen security and more to enrich programming and identify opportunities to respond thoughtfully to migration 

Most recently Senior Director of Remittances and Development at the Inter-American Dialogue, Orozco also led Creative’s 2019 study into the drivers of migration from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala. Details may be seen at: 

After getting to know Creative’s high-caliber work and its dedication to fully understanding the causes of migration, I’m honored by the opportunity to join the team and help Creative continue being a leader on this global topic,” Orozco says. “Through the Center, I hope to provide valuable insights to ensure that Creative’s programs help mitigate the causes of migration.”  

The need for additional expertise and leadership on migration became more urgent as COVID-19 spread across the globe, leaving already fragile communities reeling and indicating a major impact on migration patterns for years to come.  

We know that COVID-19 will have a profound effect on migration,” Maldonado says. “With the creation of the Center for Migration and Economic Stabilization, we can meet this looming challenge and better serve communities and families grappling with the fallout of the pandemic.”  

In addition to his new role at Creative, Orozco is a Senior Migration Fellow for the Center for International Development at Harvard University and Senior Migration and Remittances Advisor for the International Fund for Agricultural Development. He holds a Ph.D. in political science from the University of Texas at Austin, an M.A. in public administration and Latin American studies, and a B.A. in international relations from the National University of Costa Rica.    


Creative Associates International works with underserved communities by sharing expertise and experience in education, elections, economic growth, governance and transitions from conflict to peace.  

Based in Washington, D.C., Creative has active projects in nearly 30 countries. Since 1977, it has worked in nearly 90 countries and on almost every continent. Recognized for its ability to work rapidly, flexibly and effectively in conflict-affected environments, Creative is committed to generating long-term sustainable solutions to complex development problems. 

Creative has grown to become one of the leaders among the U.S. private sector implementers of global development projects. Creative is minority owned and operated. 

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