Michel Poulain received his PhD in Demography from the Catholic University (UCL) of Leuven in Belgium. He is currently Emeritus Professor at UCL and Senior Researcher at Tallinn University in Estonia. In the field of international migration statistics, he started collaborating with Eurostat in 1989 and was responsible for the first policy-oriented research project on the harmonisation of international migration statistics in the EU-12 member states. Thereafter the project was enlarged to the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) members and to central European countries. In 1995 he contributed to the revision of the UN recommendations on international migration statistics.

In 2004 he was responsible of the EU-funded research project “Towards Harmonised European Statistics on International Migration” (THESIM) alongside with seven research institutions from other member states. Its purpose was to help EU member states implementing the 2007 adopted EU Regulation on community statistics on migration and international protection. Moreover, he supported the assessment for international migration data for EU´s Phare Program in Croatia and Western Balkan Countries and for the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in Bosnia Herzegovina and FYROM. He was also in charge of the developing IOM´s Assessment report on international migration statistics in Ukraine and Turkey as well as on the Extended Migration Profile in Moldova and the Migration Profiles for Madagascar, Mauritius, Seychelles and Comoros. He is currently involved in IOM by conducting data assessment investigations in Tunisia, Djibouti and the Western Balkan countries.