Abena Subira Mackall is a doctoral student concentrating in Culture, Communities, and Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. She is an Inequality & Criminal Justice Doctoral Fellow in the Multidisciplinary Program in Inequality & Social Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and a Spencer Foundation Early Career Scholar in New Civics at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. While at Harvard Abena has served as an Editor and Co-Chair of the Harvard Educational Review

Abena taught 6th grade special education in New York City and currently works as an instructional coach in Boston. Additionally, she has a deep commitment to improving the educational opportunities for incarcerated men and women. Abena has worked as health instructor and academic mentor in correctional facilities. Her experiences in classrooms in public schools and prisons have shaped the topics and approaches she uses in her research. Abena has examined formerly incarcerated adults' descriptions of their experiences in prison-based jobs, classes, and programs. Her current projects include a study of person-level and institution-level patterns in the completion of prison-based programming in a sample of individuals in Massachusetts state prisons, and an exploration of the social experience of being a youth on probation.

Abena holds a MSc in Race, Ethnicity and Post-Colonial Studies from the London School of Economics, a MSEd in Special Education from Hunter College, and an AB in Politics from Princeton University.