Robtel Neajai Pailey

Robtel Neajai Pailey is a Liberian academic, activist and author with more than 15 years of combined personal and professional experiences in Africa, Europe and North America. Her core areas of research expertise include the political economy of development, migration, conflict, post-war recovery, governance and race. She has conducted multi-sited fieldwork in Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Denmark, Ghana, Liberia, Niger, Sierra Leone, Somaliland, the United Kingdom and United States.

Robtel’s research has been published in scholarly journals including African Affairs, Review of African Political Economy, Development and Change, Democratization, Migration Studies and Citizenship Studies; as well as in edited volumes such as Oxford Encyclopedia of African Politics (2020), Leadership in Post-colonial Africa: Trends Transformed by Independence (2014) and From the Slave Trade to ‘Free’ Trade: How Trade Undermines Democracy and Justice in Africa (2007). An increasingly sought-after thought leader and public scholar, she has provided expert commentary for radio, print, television and online news media across the globe.

Robtel obtained BA degrees in African Studies and English Literature from Howard University in 2004, an MSc in African Studies from the University of Oxford in 2007 and a PhD in Development Studies from SOAS, University of London, in 2014. Previously an Ibrahim Leadership Fellow at the African Development Bank Group and Leverhulme Early Career Fellow at the University of Oxford, she currently serves as Assistant Professor in International Social and Public Policy at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE).