Chinemelu Okafor is a researcher and scholar originating from Umuoji, Anambra State, Nigeria. Currently, she is a doctoral student, Graduate Prize Fellow, and Karl Deutsch Fellow in Harvard’s Government Department. Chinemelu seeks to confront pressing economic policy issues in West Africa by understanding and explaining the institutional (formal and informal), structural (network), economic, and electoral incentives that can work to constrain political elite behavior in weakly institutionalized settings. Chinemelu is also a Graduate Student Affiliate with Harvard’s Weatherhead Center for International Affairs and with Harvard’s Institute for Quantitative Social Sciences. Furthermore, she concurrently works at the Founder and President of the Research in Color Foundation, a 501c(3) non-profit organization which seeks to increase the number (and improve the retention) of historically excluded scholars in economics and economics-adjacent fields through mentorship and financial support. In the past, she has worked with institutions such as the World Bank Group, the United Nations, and the Royal African Society, among others. Chinemelu holds a Bachelor’s in Economics and International Studies from the University of Michigan and a Master’s in Applied Economics from the George Washington University. Chinemelu’s CV can be found here.

For general inquiries or to set up a meeting, please contact her assisant Alana Ferguson.

For inquries regarding the Research in Color Foundation please head to the Research in Color Foundation website.