Junaenah Sulehan is a Professor in Sociology of Development and is the Director of the Institute Borneo Studies at University College Sabah Foundation, (UCSF) Kota Kinabalu, Sabah.

She is also a teaching member of the Faculty of Development and Multicultural Studies at the same University.

Junaenah was an academician at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia from 1987, and in 2015 she joined UCSF, Kota Kinabalu.

She is actively involved in research concerning development and social transformation in Sarawak and Sabah.

Her area of research includes Gender, Women and Development, Urbanization and Social Change, Poverty, Indigenous culture and Social Cohesion of Border Communities.

She publishes in books and journals emphasizing on issues related to her research. Junaenah is affiliated to academic associations, local and foreign NGOs concerning advocacy on women’s leadership and empowerment and actively involved in students’ activities concerning conservation and sustainability.

Currently, Junaenah is heading a research team at the Institute of Borneo Studies on an ethnographic study of the maritime communities (Pala’uh) and small indigenous communities of the hinterlands in Sabah. The central focus of the ethnographic work is on cultural change and identity, statelessness, security and resilience.


  • Women and Gender in Development
  • Poverty, social exclusion and contestation
  • Urbanization, Culture and Social change
  • Indigenous Communities and Empowerment
  • Ethnography of Border and Island communities