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Research Roadmap: Navigating Africa-Focused Research at Stanford

A multidisciplinary panel discussion about leading research on the African continent.

The Research Roadmap series provides research and career advice for graduate students interested in global development.

Event Details:

Wednesday, November 8, 2023
6:00pm - 7:00pm PST


Gunn SIEPR Building


This event is open to:


On Wednesday, November 8, 2023, PhD students, recent graduates, and faculty from across Stanford’s campus who do research focused on the African continent gathered for a dinner panel followed by a social mixer.

Sponsored by the King Center on Global Development, the panel discussed creating relationships with governments, NGOs, and private enterprises, as well as covered principles on sustainable development and ethical research while optimizing high academic and community impact.

6:00 PM - 7:00 PM: Panel discussion
7:00 PM - 7:30 PM: Social mixer

About the Panelists:

Andrés Felipe Rodríguez, PhD Student in the Department of Economics

Andrés Felipe Rodríguez Martinez

Andrés F. Rodríguez is working on the intersection between political economy and development. He is particularly interested in using behavioral insights about trust, social norms, or networked interactions to inform political and economic reforms about taxation, decentralization, and public service delivery.

Angela Tsao, PhD Student in the Department of Earth System Science

angela tsao

Within the Center for Food Security and the Environment (FSE), Angela Tsao uses machine learning and computational approaches to research environmental and social sustainability of agricultural systems. Her dissertation research focuses on the study of trees outside forests, which hold significant potential as a natural climate solution and sustainable development strategy.

Ayo Dada, PhD Student in the Department of Psychology

Ayodele Dada

Ayo Dada aspires to find solutions to the problems of ethnic and gender prejudice and academic underachievement that are plaguing his homeland of Nigeria. He interned in security services at the Central Bank of Nigeria, and in business operations at Procter and Gamble. He was named one of Ten Outstanding Young Persons of Nigeria, and received special recognition for academic achievement by the National Assembly of Nigeria.

Eva Lestant, PhD Student in the Department of Economics

Eva Lestant

Eva Lestant's areas of interest include development and econometrics, and she is particularly interested in migration and urban economics. She is currently working on projects in Cote d'Ivoire, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia and Mexico. Before starting her PhD, she worked as a Research Manager with the King Center’s African Urbanization and Development Research Initiative (AUDRI).

Gloria Paidamoyo Chikaonda, JSM and JSD Student at Stanford Law School (SLS)

gloria chikaonda

Gloria Chikaonda, from Harare, Zimbabwe, is passionate about the creation of an African jurisprudence and developing law that speaks to traditional African values and responds to the needs of African people. She aspires to publish a comprehensive guide to African customary legislation and law in Zimbabwe.

Olamide Oladeji, PhD Student in the Department of Management Science and Engineering

Olamide Oladeji

Olamide Oladeji, from Ibadan, Nigeria, aspires to use technologies such as artificial intelligence to accelerate the global clean energy transition and to catalyze sustainable economic growth in developing economies. He also hopes to serve in Nigeria’s public sector.

Shreya Deshmukh, PhD Student in the Department of Bioengineering

Shreya Deshmukh

Shreya Deshmukh is working in Dr. Utkan Demirci’s group, pursuing her research interest in designing innovative microscale technologies for global health applications. Deshmukh is currently developing a point-of-care malaria detection platform using magnetic levitation, targeted for resource-limited settings to expand access to analytical capabilities in field settings.

About the Moderator:

Simi Aluko, PhD Student in the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering

Simi Aluko

Simi Aluko is from Lagos, Nigeria, and is studying construction innovation and industrialization in Africa. Aluko is supervised by Professor Martin Fischer at Stanford’s Center for Integrated Facility Engineering. Before beginning her PhD, Aluko worked in large construction enterprises, startups, and research institutions in Nigeria, Tanzania, and in the United States. She is passionate about engineering for sustainable development with a focus on community-centered housing solutions for African cities.

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