Cecile holds a PhD in International Political Studies from the University of New South Wales - ADFA in Canberra. With a focus on Myanmar, her thesis documents the lived experiences of two ethnic groups, the Mon and the Pa-O. She explores the ways in which ethnic identities have been marginalised from the national imagination and also investigates what state building strategies could promote a sense of belonging to the national identity. Prior to commencing her doctoral studies, she worked with Burmese grassroots organizations in Thailand and in Myanmar for eight years. She provided capacity building support to young community activists from various ethnic backgrounds, advocating for genuine democracy in Myanmar and campaigning for an economic development respectful of the rights of local indigenous communities.