The Zolberg Center on Global Migration was established in 2014, building on the previously existing International Center for Migration, Ethnicity and Citizenship (ICMEC).

Founded in 1993 by Aristide Zolberg, ICMEC advanced interdisciplinary research on various aspects of past and present patterns of international migration and immigrant integration in order to better understand their dynamics, the determinants of state policies in this sphere, and the development of global migration regimes. Under Ary’s leadership, ICMEC led a number of research projects on migration policy, immigrant integration, refugees, religion and immigration in the post 9-11 context with the support of the Pew Global Stewardship Initiative, Ford Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, New York Community Trust, Henry Luce Foundation, German-American Academic Foundation/SSRC, US Department of State, Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration (PRM), The Pew Charitable Trusts, the German Marshall Fund, among others.

Building on this legacy, the Zolberg Institute maintains an interdisciplinary and global focus, and seeks to engage a community of scholars and practitioners focusing on migration through collaborative research projects and public forums involving New School faculty and students across divisions, as well as faculty at other universities, research institutes, and advocacy groups working on issues related to migration and mobility.