Ilyssa is a 2nd-year PhD student in the Political Science department and a Fulbright scholar. She studies International Relations and Comparative Politics. Her research focuses on political violence, conflict persistence, transnational terrorism, organized crime, violent extremism, and post-conflict state reconstruction, particularly in the Middle-East and Africa. Topics on ethnic tensions, diasporas, and immigration She has conducted research in Mali and Algeria. Her case studies emphasize the role played by ethnic tensions, diasporas, and immigration.

Ilyssa received her BA in Political Science with a minor in History, and her MA in International Affairs with a focus on International Security from Sciences Po (Paris, France).