Adaugo Pamela Nwakanma is a Leading Edge Fellow at the American Council for Learned Societies. Through this postdoctoral fellowship, she serves as the research coordinator for the project on Decolonizing Democracy at People Powered.

She earned her Ph.D. from the Department of Government with a secondary field in the Department of African and African American Studies at Harvard University in 2022. She was a Graduate Research Associate of the Weatherheard Center for International Affairs and a Graduate Fellow of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study for the 2021-2022 academic year. Amongst other activities, she researches the political economy of gender and development in various emerging economies with particular emphasis on the African context and the African diaspora. Nwakanma has won several prizes and grants, including the Carrie Chapman Catt Prize for the study of women in politics and the National Science Foundation Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant administered through the American Political Science Association. 

Her work has been published in journals such as Perspectives on Politics and Politics, Groups, and Identities, as well as edited volumes such as the Palgrave Handbook of African Women's Studies and Routledge's African Scholars and Intellectuals in the North American Academy: Reflections of Exile and MigrationHer interdisciplinary research thus far has won multiple awards from the American Political Science Association, the Society for the Study of Social Problems, and the African Studies Association. Her work has also been featured in public media outlets such as Break the Boxes, Collateral Benefits, and Voyages Africana.

Prior to her doctoral studies, Nwakanma worked as an Urban Education Fellow and Vice-HBO Translator in New York City. She received her B.A in International Studies-Economics with a secondary field in Linguistics from the University of California, San Diego in 2014.