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Wendy Osefo, PhD        

Professor | Media Personality | Political Commentator | CEO

An award-winning researcher, Dr. Osefo is an influential voice in politics and social justice and a highly sought after political commentator and strategist. Wendy is a Professor of Education at The Johns Hopkins University, and the Founder and CEO of The 1954 Equity Project, LLC. The 1954 Equity Project provides tools, mentorship, and resources for underrepresented minorities to thrive in higher education.

In addition to her extensive policy experience, Dr. Osefo regularly provides political commentary and analysis, with appearances on national networks including ABC, MSNBC, Fox News, and Fox Business. Her appearances also include podcast, radio shows, and print media on issues that examine race and politics. Currently, Dr. Osefo has a weekly radio segment on Radio One 93.9FM WKYS, entitled "News You Need to Know, With Dr. Wendy O". As a researcher, Wendy examines how race and class influence the learning, achievement, and educational trajectories of African American and other non-dominant students in schools and community settings. Dr. Osefo’s latest research explores the effects of the 2016 United States Presidential election on minority populations.

Prior to joining the faculty at Johns Hopkins University, Dr. Osefo served as the Director of Family and Community Engagement for the Obama Administration’s Antipoverty Initiative and the signature program for the White House Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative, DC Promise Neighborhood (DCPNI). While at DCPNI Dr. Osefo designed, and implemented culturally competent parent-centered engagement strategies and successfully created and launched the first comprehensive adult learning academy within an underserved neighborhood in Northeast, Washington D.C. Her leadership in the creation of the first comprehensive adult learning academy led Wendy to serve as the inaugural Director of the Master of Arts in Management Program at Goucher College.

Wendy holds a B.A. in Political Science from Temple University, an M.A. in Government from The Johns Hopkins University, and an M.Sc. in Public Affairs from Rutgers University. Dr. Osefo made history in 2016 when she became the first black woman to earn a Ph.D. in Public Affairs from Rutgers University. Dr. Osefo is the 2017 recipient of the Johns Hopkins Diversity Recognition Award and the 2017 recipient of the Johns Hopkins University Outstanding Graduate Award.

Dr. Osefo is a Board Trustee of the Children’s Scholarship Foundation of Baltimore, and a board member for The Education Foundation, Congressman Elijah Cummings Youth to Israel Program and The Obama Green Charter School. Dr. Osefo is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated and The National Urban League.

Speech Topics


Race and racism in the wake of Ferguson and the Baltimore Uprising

Equitable solutions for the United States

Education in the rise of the global economy

Urban politics and the changing landscape

Diversity in the workplace, boardroom, and classroom

Respect for women and gender equality

The evolution of social movements

Innovation in the 21st Century

Leadership in the face of adversity

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