Sara Gonzalez Devant

South Africa

  • Program Year
  • 2009-10
  • Country of Current Residence
  • United Kingdom
  • City/Town of Current Residence
  • London
  • Current Position
  • Legal Advisor
  • Profession(s)
  • Researcher, Legal Advisor

  • Sector(s)
  • Forced migration, Human rights, International Affairs, Law
  • Language(s)
  • English, Spanish
  • Mentor
  • Stephen M. Saideman, Canada Research Chair in International Security and Ethnic Conflict
  • Interest(s) / Expertise
  • advocacy, democracy, diplomacy, empowerment, freedom of speech, law
Scholar email address
Impact Statement

Sara is passionate about understanding the ways in which law and politics intersect and impact one another and how that interplay works both ways – how it may build more equitable, just and accountable social, economic and political relationships – or how it can undermine them.


Sara is currently working as an advisor in a number of high profile legal cases while pursuing a career in legal practice. After completing her degree in Law and Politics at the University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), Sara worked in the Office of the President of the Republic of Timor-Leste as well as in the legal advisor’s office of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, where she focused on policy development for the prevention of human trafficking.

Sara has worked on two emergency management projects for UNDP and the National Disasters Management Office. At the same time, Sara volunteered for a local NGO (HOPE), which assisted smaller IDP camps by delivering food, and acted as camp spokesperson. Sara worked at the Resident Coordinator’s Office, UN Botswana, and then at the Delegation of the European Commission in Gaborone.

In 2008, she wrote an assessment as an external consultant for UNHCR on Timor-Leste’s National Recovery Strategy. In 2009, she gave a lecture at Wadham College, Oxford University, about the repatriation of refugees forcibly displaced to West Timor in 1999, and the difficulties of returning to Timor-Leste in the present context.


  • MSc Forced Migration (Oxford University, LMH)
  • MA Diplomacy (Madrid)
  • BA Law & Politics (SOAS)
  • First Class Hons & Prize for best dissertation 06-07 of MSc (Oxon, LMH)
  • Scholarships: AECID, SIDA
As a Fellow

She explored social upheaval during Vancouver’s 2010 Olympics and how organizers negotiated these dynamics. The focus of her project was changing social realities in South Africa in connection with the 2010 Soccer World Cup, particularly in relation to migration and integration patterns.


I was part of a dynamic group of people who were driven to pursue what they cared about, addressing injustice of one form or another, and who challenged each other’s beliefs constructively. I made friends for life, got to know Canada and had a lot of fun in the process.