Olakunle Atanda

Olakunle Atanda, 30, known as Kay, is a World Bank Program Officer and Acting Team Lead overseeing the Small States Program that supports nations whose fragile economies are particularly vulnerable to external shocks such as climate change. In prior roles at the Bank, he provided strategic advice on alleviating poverty and analysis of initiatives to close gender gaps in funding. He has worked as a policy advisor on sustainable development at the United Kingdom Mission to the United Nations and as a research assistant in the White House Office of Management and Administration. Atanda graduated from City College of New York-CUNY with a bachelor’s degree in political science in 2014 and from Columbia University with a master’s degree in human rights and U.S. foreign policy in 2016. Born in Brooklyn to West African immigrants, he spent parts of his childhood in Lagos, Nigeria, where he witnessed pockets of wealth amid searing poverty and government corruption, experiences that seeded his passion for public service. At Oxford’s Blavatnik School of Government, he wants to create an online library of resources to promote good governance, with an emphasis on how Sub-Saharan African economies can regenerate the institutions of government and academia devastated by years of instability and military coups.

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