Melissa Hope Ditmore
P.O.Box 20853 New York NY 10009 USA
Email: mhd at melissaditmore com


  • Ten years experience and advocacy on gender, sexuality and development
  • Three years leading a global network with members from over 50 states on six continents
  • Author and editor of numerous publications related to gender, sexuality, development and human rights
  • Skilled researcher, policy analyst, trainer, organizer, public speaker, advocate


  1. Ph.D., CUNY Graduate Center, Department of Sociology (19972002)

    My thesis explored the consequences of the conflation of trafficking and prostitution in international and U.S. domestic policy.

    • 2000-2001 co-recipient of the Helena Rubinstein Dissertation Proposal Award
    • 1999 research award recipient from The Jewish Foundation for the Education of Women
    • Presented policy analysis and research at various symposia, conferences and universities
  2. Universiteit van Amsterdam, Amsterdam, Netherlands Summer Institute on Sexuality, Culture, and Society (1998)

  3. B.A. Linguistics, Cornell University (1992)


  1. Post-doctoral Research Fellow in Behavioral Sciences Training, National Development and Research Institutes, Inc., July 2009June 2010
    • Designed and implemented research project with drug users in Cambodia.
    • Writing academic papers for publication in peer-reviewed journals
  2. Researcher, Good Participatory Practice Project, March 2008April 2009
    • Developing protocol for Internet survey on good participatory practices in research with sex workers
    • Supervising French translation and coordinating and supervising Spanish and French interviewers
    • Co-authoring final report to be submitted to sex worker networks and AVAC
    • Fundraising and management of funds
  3. Researcher, Association for Progressive Communication Women’s Networking Support Programme, US Research Team, May 2009April 2011
    • Investigating access to information in the US, including both availability of information for end-users as well as information collected and used by corporations
    • Use of online research tools and recruiting participants online
    • Analysis of data
    • Report-writing
    • Proposal writing
  4. Consultant, AIDS Fonds Netherlands, January 2009August 2009
    • Writing a strategic plan for advocacy and spending for effective HIV prevention among sex workers
    • Developing protocol and consulting with sex workers on five continents
    • Evaluating HIV prevention programs for sex workers to identify and promote best practices
    • Hiring and supervision of assistants and translators
  5. Research Consultant, Urban Justice Center Sex Workers Project, September 2006January 2009
    • Finalizing report on law enforcement raids conducted in the US, report, including but not limited to finalizing text; choosing illustrations; hiring and supervising proofreader, external reviewer, graphic designer, and printer; and coordinating media release and strategy.
    • Writing and conducting a national report on the effects of anti-trafficking policy and implementation on outcomes for prosecution in the US.
    • Analyzing data.
    • Developing interview protocols for sex workers, trafficked persons, service providers and law enforcement.
    • Conducting interviews. Some translation involved.
    • Training interviewers and interview coders.
  6. Gender Consultant, Asian Development Bank, September 2007January 2008
    • Evaluating HIV-prevention efforts for infrastructure projects in India.
    • Writing country reports from India and Tajikistan on gender mainstreaming and HIV-prevention efforts on ADB infrastructure projects.
    • Research on HIV-prevention and gender mainstreaming needs and efforts related to ADB projects in India and Tajikistan. Conducting, coding and analyzing interviews.
    • Hiring and supervising assistants and staff in India and Tajikistan.
    • Recommending HIV-prevention methods for infrastructure projects in Tajikistan.
  7. Interim Director, Urban Justice Center Sex Workers Project, August 2008November 2008
    • All financial reporting and all contact with current and potential SWP funders.
    • Supervising staff of 6.
    • Implementing internal evaluation.
    • Overseeing hiring procedures for the Director’s position.
    • Updating and coordinating transition for ongoing policy projects and funding concerns with new Director, especially during the first month of the Director’s employment.
    • Coordinating joint NGO advocacy letter to national media outlets.
  8. Research Methods Trainer on Respondent-Driven Sampling, UNAIDS, November 2007November 2007
    • Teaching workshop on respondent-driven sampling (RDS) and analysis to researchers and program officers in Khartoum, Sudan.
  9. Coordinator, Global Network of Sex Work Projects, January 2005September 2007
    • Development and implementation of activist agenda and strategy, including focused campaigns, to promote the rights of sex workers around the world.
    • Overseeing organizational consultation to develop democratic structure.
    • Frequent public and media appearances and statements.
    • Writing press releases related to campaigns.
    • Developing guidelines about sex work projects for donors and grantmakers.
    • Organized and coordinated presentations by sex workers at the 2006 International AIDS Conference, Toronto, Canada.
  10. Senior Research Fellow, Center for the Study of Women and Society, Graduate Center of the City University of New York, October 2003May 2006
    • Writing and editing policy analysis and ethnographic articles and reports about migration, health, and HIV.
    • Participating and presenting at CUNY events on research and methodological issues.


  • Ditmore M.H. (editor) with Willman A. & Levy A. Sex Work Matters: Exploring Money, Power and Intimacy. (2010) London: Zed Books.
  • Ditmore, M.H. Sex Work and Development. In ‘Development with a Body: Making Connections between Sexuality, Human Rights and Development’, Andrea Cornwall, Sonia Correa & Susie Jolly (editors). (2008) London: Zed Books.
  • Editor in chief (2008, 2006, 2005). Research for Sex Work Vols. 8, 9 and 10. Thematic issues on sex work and money, law enforcement and sex worker rights.
  • Sex Work and Trafficking (2007) New Internationalist.
  • Review of Global Outlaws: Crime, Money, and Power in the Contemporary World by Carolyn Nordstrom. Theoretical Criminology (May 2008) 12(2):253-255.
  • Review of Sex at the Margins: Migration, Labour Markets and the Rescue Industry by Laura Maria Agustín. Theoretical Criminology (May 2008) 12(2):253-255.
  • Taking the Pledge. 2007 (video). Producer.
  • Ditmore M.H. & Choun Neth. 2006. Unsafe Condoms. Reproductive Health Matters 28 (November 2006): 171-173.
  • Ditmore M.H. (editor) Encyclopedia of Prostitution and Sex Work. (2006) Westport: Greenwood Press.
  • Ditmore M.H. Sex Workers are Organizing in Kolkata. In ‘The Affective Turn: Theorizing the Social’, Patricia Clough (editor) with Jean Halley. (2007) Chapel Hill, NC: Duke University Press.
  • Loff B., Jenkins C., Ditmore M.H., Overs C. & Barbero R. 2005. Unethical clinical trials in Thailand: a community response.. The Lancet 6 May 2005; 365: 1618-1619.
  • New U.S. Funding Policies on Trafficking Affect Sex Work HIV-Prevention Efforts World Wide (2005) SIECUS Report. 33 (2) 26-29.
  • Thukral J., Ditmore M.H. & Murphy A. Behind Closed Doors. (2005) New York: Urban Justice Center Sex Workers Project.
  • Ditmore M.H. & Wijers M. 2003. Crime, sex, money and migration: The negotiations on the United Nations Protocol on Trafficking in Persons. Nemesis 4 (Utrecht, Netherlands).
  • Contemporary Anti-trafficking Legislation in the United States (2010)
  • Reaching Out to Sex Workers: Reaching the Hardly Reached (2002)
  • How immigration status affects sex workers’ health and vulnerability to abuse -- a comparison of two countries. Research for Sex Work 5.
  • Report from the USA: Do prohibitory laws promote risk? Research for Sex Work 4.
  • Ditmore M.H. & Saunders P. 1998. Sex work and sex trafficking. Sexual Health Exchange number 1.