Faculty & Fellows


David Edwards
Gordon McKay Professor of the Practice of Idea Translation at School of Engineering and Applied Sciences

Professor Edwards is a biomedical engineer, and writer actively involved in the translation of ideas from the university through novel medical technology, and the writing, performing and visual arts. His scientific research concerns the mathematical design of novel physical parameters that allow nanostructured materials to efficiently deliver drugs and vaccines to the lungs and other human organs, with a special focus on infectious diseases in developing world nations. Current work in his laboratory includes the development of novel antibiotic therapies for tuberculosis and a new delivery platform for needle-free childhood vaccines.

Calestous Juma
Professor of the Practice of International Development and Director of the Science, Technology, and Globalization Project at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

Professor Juma directs the Agricultural Innovation in Africa Project at the Belfer Center, funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and serves as Faculty Chair of the Edward S. Mason Fellows Program as well as Faculty Chair of the Innovation for Economic Development executive program. Juma is a former Executive Secretary of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity and Founding Director of the African Centre for Technology Studies in Nairobi. He is co-chair of the African Union’s High-Level Panel on Science, Technology and Innovation and a jury member of the Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering. He was Chancellor of the University of Guyana and has been elected to several scientific academies including the Royal Society of London, the US National Academy of Sciences, the World Academy of Sciences, the UK Royal Academy of Engineering and the African Academy of Sciences. He has won several international awards for his work on sustainable development. He holds a doctorate in science and technology policy studies and has written widely on science, technology, and environment. Juma serves on the boards of several international bodies andis editor of the International Journal of Technology and Globalisation and theInternational Journal of Biotechnology. His latest book, The New Harvest: Agricultural Innovation in Africa, was published by Oxford University Press in 2011. He is currently working on on books on engineering for development and resistance to new technologies. Follow @Calestous on Twitter

Jacob Olupona
Professor of African Religious Traditions, Harvard Divinity School and Professor of African and African American Studies in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences

Professor Olupona teaches the Entrepreneurship in Africa (EIA) course, AAAS 212 is designed for students who have a passion for development in Africa. The goal of the course is to inspire and equip potential (social) entrepreneurs with knowledge and skills necessary for driving economic and social development in Africa. He studied at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka and Boston University where he received his PhD in Comparative Religion in 1983. He is currently working on a path-breaking study of the religious practices of the estimated one million Africans who have emigrated to the United States over the last 40 years, examining in particular several populations that remain relatively invisible in the American religious landscape: “reverse missionaries” who have come to the U.S. to establish churches, African Pentecostals in American congregations, American branches of independent African churches, and indigenous African religious communities in the U.S. Olupona has authored or edited seven books, including Kingship, Religion and Rituals in a Nigerian Community: A Phenomenological Study of Ondo Yoruba Festivals. In his forthcoming book Ile-Ife: The City of 201 Gods, he examines the modern urban mixing of ritual, royalty, gender, class, and power, and how the structure, content, and meaning of religious beliefs and practices permeate daily life. Olupona has received prestigious grants from the Guggenheim Foundation, the American Philosophical Society, the Ford Foundation, the Davis Humanities Institute, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Wenner-Gren Foundation, and the Getty Foundation. He has served on the editorial boards of three influential journals and was the president of the African Association for the Study of Religion. In 2000, Olupona received an honorary doctorate in divinity from the University of Edinburgh in Scotland.

Michael Hooper
Associate Professor of Urban Planning at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design

Professor Hooper joined Harvard after working for several years with the United Nations Development Programme, including a year posted to the Kenya Ministry of Planning in Nairobi. Hooper’s research focuses on the politics of land use, housing and urbanization, with particular interest in issues of forced displacement, disasters and participatory governance. He currently works on projects related to forced evictions and involuntary resettlement in East Africa, the politics of post-disaster reconstruction in Haiti, the dynamics of rapid urbanization in Mongolia, and aboriginal housing policy in Canada. At the GSD, Hooper leads the Urban Planning and Design thesis program and serves as Director of the Social Agency Lab, an interdisciplinary research center that studies the ways in which individuals, institutions and organizations shape social outcomes in cities.

Fernando Reimers
Ford Foundation Professor of Practice in International Education, Faculty Director, International Education Policy Program

Fernando M. Reimers focuses his research and teaching on innovative global education policies and programs that help students develop twenty first century skills. He is also interested in programs that support the development of global competency. He teaches a graduate course that examines the core global education challenges and the role of policy analysis in addressing them, and a course that studies innovative education programs and the role of social entrepreneurs in generating and scaling up change. He also chairs an annual Think Tank that examines state of the art practices and programs to help students gain global competency. He also teaches courses on education policy and educational innovation online through Harvard Extension School. He is a co-chair of Harvard Advanced Leadership Initiative. Current research includes a cross-national study of policies and innovative programs to develop twenty first century skills Global Education Innovation Initiative. Reimers is a member of the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education, the Council of Foreign Relations, a fellow of the International Academy of Education, as well as a member of the United States National Commission for UNESCO. He serves on the board of several educational organizations and foundations.

Visiting Scholars

Ndidi Nwuneli
M-RCBG Senior Fellow

Ndidi Okonkwo Nwuneli is the Founder of LEAP Africa, Co-Founder of AACE Food Processing & Distribution, an indigenous agroprocessing company, and a partner at Sahel Capital, an advisory and private equity firm focused on the agribusiness sector in West Africa. She has 19 years of experience in international development and has worked and lived in West Africa, North America, and the Middle East. She started her career as a management consultant with McKinsey & Company, working in their Chicago, New York and Johannesburg Offices. In 2000, she returned to Nigeria to serve as the pioneer executive director of the FATE Foundation, a leading entrepreneurship development organization. She established LEAP Africa and NIA in 2002 and 2003 respectively. LEAP is a respected leadership development organization that has worked across Nigeria providing leadership training, and coaching to thousands of entrepreneurs, youth, teachers and community organizers. LEAP has also pioneered curriculum and published ten books on succession, ethics, governance and management. NIA empowers female university students in the Southeastern Nigeria to achieve their highest potential. She holds an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School (Class of 1999) and an undergraduate degree with honors in Multinational and Strategic Management from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. She was recognized as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum and received a National Honor – Member of the Federal Republic from the Nigerian Government. In 2011, she was listed as one of the 20 Youngest Power African Women by Forbes. In 2013, she was honored by the Global Fund for Women during their 25th Anniversary Celebration in San Francisco. She serves on numerous international and local boards including Nestle Nigeria Plc, Cornerstone Insurance Plc, and USAID’s Advisory Committee on Voluntary Foreign Aid. As a senior fellow, Nwuneli will explore the role of social innovation and entrepreneurship in Africa as catalysts for sustainable transformation.