Roland G. Fryer, Jr. is the Robert M. Beren Professor of Economics at Harvard University, a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research, founder and faculty director of the Education Innovation Laboratory at Harvard, and a former junior fellow in the Harvard Society of Fellows — one of academia’s most prestigious research posts.
At thirty, he became the youngest African-American to receive tenure from Harvard. He has been awarded a Sloan Research Fellowship, a Faculty Early Career Development Award from the National Science Foundation, and the inaugural Alphonse Fletcher Award.
Fryer served as chief equality officer at the New York City Department of Education from 2007 to 2008. He developed and implemented several innovative ideas on student motivation and teacher pay-for-performance concepts. He won a Titanium Lion at the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival for the Million Motivation Campaign. Fryer has published papers on the racial achievement gap, causes and consequences of distinctively black names, affirmative action, the impact of the crack cocaine epidemic, historically black colleges and universities, and acting white.
Fryer is a 2009 recipient of a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers. He appears on the “2009 Time 100,” Time Magazine’s annual list of the world’s most influential people. In 2011, he was awarded a MacArthur “Genius Grant” from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. In 2012, he was awarded the Calvó-Armengol Prize, which is one of the most prestigious prizes recognizing young economists and social scientists.