Faculty member becomes president of National Economic Association

February 22, 2018 | News, UToday, Arts and Letters
By Ashley Diel

Dr. Gbenga Ajilore, associate professor of economics, has been elected president of the National Economic Association.

The association is interested in producing and distributing knowledge of economic issues that are of exceptional interest to promoting economic growth among people of color.


Since its founding in 1969 as the Caucus of Black Economists, the National Economic Association has aimed to promote the professional lives of minorities within the field of economics.

“This is an amazing honor especially since I didn’t come from a prestigious graduate program or a top 25 institution,” Ajilore said. “It says a lot about the work I’ve done at UT and the network I’ve been able to build up.”

There are about 200 members in the National Economic Association, which is open to professionals and graduate students in the field of economics and an array of related disciplines. These members work in academia, the private sector and in government around the globe.

Ajilore is on sabbatical as a visiting fellow at the Urban Institute, a think tank in Washington, D.C., where he is collaborating with experts and scholars in the Justice Policy Center.

“I have been working on issues surrounding police militarization and its impact on local communities,” Ajilore said. “I have completed several papers on the impact of militarization on use of force, both lethal and non-lethal. I also have looked about the effect of racial and ethnic diversity of the acquisition of military surplus.”

Ajilore received his PhD at Claremont Graduate University in California, where his research included public finance and demographic economics.

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