Fellowship / Graduate Student Fellows

Chika O. Okafor

  • 2023–2024
  • Social Sciences
  • Edna Newman Shapiro, Class of 1936, and Robert Newman Shapiro, Class of 1972, Graduate Student Fellow
  • Harvard University
Portrait of Chika O. Okafor
Photo by Tony Rinaldo

This information is accurate as of the fellowship year indicated for each fellow.

Chika O. Okafor is a PhD candidate in economics at Harvard University, and the inaugural Academic Fellow in Law and Political Economy at Harvard Law School. He is broadly interested in how contemporary American society defines justice and how public opinion and social networks motivate US institutions to promote or restrict justice in response to major economic and social problems.

Okafor’s dissertation integrates economic theory, empirical methods, and legal analysis to explore matters of justice arising from complex societal issues, including economic inequality, historic levels of incarceration, and climate change. At Harvard Radcliffe Institute, Okafor is investigating what factors matter most for US public engagement in climate action and testing interventions to influence climate attitudes, policy preferences, and behaviors.

Okafor earned a JD from Yale Law School and a BA with honors in economics from Stanford University. He is a 2022 Harvard Horizons Scholar and a 2023 Public Voices Fellow on the Climate Crisis with the OpEd Project, in partnership with the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication. His research has received support from numerous funders, including the Ford Foundation, Harvard’s Stone Program in Wealth Distribution, Inequality, and Social Policy, and the Horowitz Foundation for Social Policy. Okafor’s academic work complements his diverse policy expertise, which includes serving as a lecturer at Harvard Law School, a project manager for the Chicago Public Schools Culture of Calm Initiative, and the Tom and Andi Bernstein Human Rights Fellow at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum’s Simon-Skjodt Center for the Prevention of Genocide.

Our 2024–2025 Fellows

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