Chika O. Okafor is a Ph.D. Candidate in Economics at Harvard University. He is the Reginald F. Lewis Fellow at Harvard Law School, a Fellow in Aging & Health Economics at the National Bureau of Economic Research, a Ford Foundation Pre-Doctoral Fellow, and a Stone PhD Scholar in Harvard's Program in Inequality and Social Policy. His research interests lie at the intersection of law, economics, and public policy.
Chika has served in public service leadership roles spanning local, national, and international issues. In his hometown, he managed an arm of the Chicago Public School’s “Culture of Calm” initiative, an ambitious violence prevention effort featured in The New York Times and NPR tasked with improving school climate and reducing student victims of gun violence. Later, as an Education Pioneers Fellow with the same school system, he developed the first district-wide College Persistence Toolkit—an interactive guide rolled-out across Chicago public high schools to increase the rate that students persist all the way to college graduation. As a member of Yale Law School’s Allard K. Lowenstein International Human Rights Clinic, Chika worked on a team to petition the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights for precautionary measures on behalf of Haitian victims of arson, political violence, and extrajudicial killings. Lastly, just before beginning his Ph.D. program, Chika served as the Tom & Andi Bernstein Human Rights Fellow at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (in the Simon-Skjodt Center for the Prevention of Genocide). In this role, he supported the efforts of the Early Warning Project, former Ambassador Stephen Rapp, and former Special Assistant to the President Stephen Pomper.
Chika also has private sector leadership experience. He is a former consultant with McKinsey & Company—where he advised senior leadership at various Fortune 500 companies and government agencies. While there, one of his projects launched the performance management system for one of the largest public school systems in the United States. Chika is also a former attorney in the London Office of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP.
Chika earned a B.A. in Economics (with Honors) from Stanford University and a J.D. from Yale Law School. He is a proud graduate of the Chicago Public Schools for elementary and high school. In his spare time, Chika enjoys participating in the arts, as well as supporting the Chicago Bears, the Williams sisters, and Roger Federer.
Click here for his Curriculum Vitae (CV) — last updated July 2021