Dr Edwina Thompson is recognised internationally as having unique insights into how money moves in crisis settings where formal financial services are either collapsed or under sanction. She has acted as an independent expert for global banks and various agencies of the UN, including in 2015 as team leader for an on-the-ground investigation into humanitarian cross-border payments for operations inside Syria.
In response to the super-typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, she also acted as the first Cash Coordinator for the UN. For over a decade, she has led multi-ethnic and -lingual teams as both a practitioner and researcher, negotiating difficult trade-offs and collecting frontline data in conflict and disaster zones. Following 9/11, her primary focus has been on the Middle East and Horn of Africa, where she has now conducted in-depth interviews with representatives of hundreds of financial and trading networks, inspected some of the largest hawala companies’ financial records on request, and supported NATO nations’ counter-threat finance operations.
In 2007, she completed her Doctorate in Law and Oxford University Press later published her book on trust and money transfer networks in Afghanistan, Pakistan and the UAE, which she delivered a TEDx on in 2015.