Arati Maleku

Head shot of Dr. Maleku

Arati Maleku

Assistant Professor, College of Social Work


Areas of Expertise

  • Human migration and social demography
  • Forced migration
  • Feminization of migration
  • Social determinants of health
  • Community resilience
  • Global health
  • Mixed methods research


  • PhD - University of Texas at Arlington, 2015 - Social Work
  • MSW - Washington University in St. Louis, 2004 - Social Work
  • BSW - St. Xavier's College, Nepal, 2002 - Social Work

Dr. Arati Maleku’s research focuses on (a) understanding social determinants of health inequities at the intersection of gender, race/ethnicity, and class in the migration context and (b) exploring pathways to build community resilience and improve well-being among vulnerable communities in transition. Her professional background encompasses over ten years of social work practice experience both nationally and internationally. Dr. Maleku leads the the Nepal Rising campaign, a global collaborative campaign geared towards diaspora engagement and building community resilience in the aftermath of the devastating earthquakes in Nepal. Dr. Maleku engages in community based research projects that focuses on identification and mobilization of community assets. She is interested in culturally grounded research and development of culturally grounded measures and interventions. Some of her current research projects include exploring cultural leadership development of young Bhutanese refugee women in Columbus; addressing mental health risk and resilience of the Bhutanese refugee population using cultural cartography as a tool to break down culture into words, images, texts, music and objects into symbols and codes; assessment of the human service landscape in central Ohio as it relates to immigrant and refugee populations, and exploring the use of arts based research as a methodology to study communities in transition in Nepal. Listen to Dr. Maleku’s podcast – Human Migration in the 21st Century: Implications for the Social Work Profession.

Dr. Maleku's Seed Grants:

Precarious Work & Mental Well-Being in New Spaces: A Transformative Mixed Methods Study among Bhutanese Refugees in Central Ohio