Francine Mestrum worked as a conference interpreter at the European institutions.
At 40, she went back to university (Université Libre de Bruxelles) and made her PhD in development cooperation with an analysis of the international discourse on poverty.
Her research concerns the social dimension of globalization, poverty, inequality, social protection, public services and gender, looking each time at the meanings and the semantic dynamic of concepts and words.
She has practical experience with educational programmes in Asia, Africa and Latin America.
She is an active member of the International Council of the World Social Forum and is part of the International Organising Committee of the Asia Europe People’s Forum, co-responsible for the social justice cluster.
She also works, along with Boaventura de Sousa Santos and Roberto Savio on an initiative for the renewal of the World Social Forum.
She is the founder of the global network of Global Social Justice and works on a project for social commons.
She is a member of the board of CETRI (Centre Tricontinental), an NGO founded by François Houtart, in Louvain-la-Neuve.
She is also a member of the editorial board of Uitpers, an e-zine on foreign relations.
She wrote several books in Dutch, French and English on development, the World Bank, poverty, inequality and social commons. Her most recent book is Redefining the Social Justice Agenda. Voices from Europe and Asia, with Meena Menon, published by Palgrave, 2021.
Francine lives in Brussels but spends the cold European winters in the city of eternal spring, Cuernavaca, México.