Chika O. Okafor is a justice scholar. As an economist and a lawyer with diverse policy experience, he uses the tools of economics, law, and public policy to explore foundational matters of justice—with recent focus on economic justice, criminal justice, and environmental justice. Methodologically, his scholarship integrates economic theory, empirical techniques, and legal analysis to uncover mechanisms of—as well as inform solutions to— inequality.
Okafor is the inaugural Fellow in Law and Political Economy—and former Considine Fellow in Law and Economics—at Harvard Law School. He is a PhD Candidate in Economics at Harvard University, and a JD graduate of Yale Law School. Okafor is an affiliate of the Harvard Environmental Economics Program, the Program in Criminal Justice Policy and Management at Harvard Kennedy School, and Opportunity Insights. He is also a Ford Foundation Pre-Doctoral Fellow, a Stone PhD Scholar in Harvard’s Program in Inequality and Social Policy, a Fellow in Aging & Health Economics with the National Bureau of Economic Research, and the former Reginald F. Lewis Fellow at Harvard Law School.
Okafor has extensive public and private sector experience on the local, national, and international level. He is licensed to practice law in New York (active status) and Illinois (inactive status). A former consultant with McKinsey & Company, he is also a former attorney in the London office of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP. Okafor has consistently worked to translate private sector skills into public sector impact. As a public policy practitioner, he has led local gun violence prevention efforts with the Chicago Public Schools, supported national economic and education policy with the U.S. Senate and NAACP Legal Defense Fund, and promoted international human rights with the European Court of Human Rights and the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum’s Simon-Skjodt Center for the Prevention of Genocide.
- M.A. Economics Harvard University, 2021
- J.D. Yale Law School, 2015
- B.A. Economics Stanford University, 2007