Demetrios Papademetriou, Top Immigration Scholar, Dies at 75
As it happened, Mr. Papademetriou and Kathleen Newland, an expert in refugee issues, had founded the Migration Policy Institute just days before 9/11, spinning it off from the Carnegie Endowment. Mr. Papademetriou served as president from 2001 to 2014. In 2011, he founded the institute’s sister organization, Migration Policy Institute Europe, in Brussels.
He was the author of roughly two dozen books and scores of scholarly articles on immigration and reintegration issues. He closely advised European Union policymakers during the refugee crises of 2015 and 2016 and was a go-to source for the news media.
Starting in 2008, he convened the institute’s annual Transatlantic Council on Migration, a gathering of public officials, business leaders and scholars from the U.S., Canada, Europe and Australia who explore their shared immigration challenges and seek to sharpen their governments’ responses to those challenges.
Mr. Papademetriou “dedicated his life to understanding the complex nuances of international migration in all its forms,” Andrew Selee, the institute’s president, said in a statement. “He used that knowledge to advance pragmatic, smart immigration and immigrant integration policies that work in the interest of all elements of society” — not just migrants themselves but the countries they were coming to and the ones they were leaving.
Demetrios George Papademetriou was born on Feb. 18, 1946, in Patras, Greece. His father, Giorgos Papademetriou, was a dentist. His mother, Vasiliki (Chrysanthakopoulos) Papademetriou, was a homemaker.
Demetri, as he was called, arrived in New York in 1964 at 18 on a scholarship program that selected Greece’s brightest students for study in the United States.
He received a bachelor’s degree in political science and history from Wilkes College in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., in 1970. He then attended the University of Maryland, where he earned his master’s degree in 1972 and his doctorate in 1976, both in political science. He became a U.S. citizen in 1977.