Expert on Africa to Join Trinity Faculty

Editor's Note: A previous version of this article mentioned Grace Musila as another hire resulting from this search, selected to join English Department. Due to a series of unanticipated circumstances and ongoing responsibilities she has in her current role with the Department of African Literature at the University of Witwatersrand, Musila will not be joining Duke this fall.

A respected scholar of the political economy, Eric Mvukiyehe, will join the Trinity College of Arts & Sciences faculty this year as an assistant professor in the Department of Political Science.

The hire was supported by a $4 million grant from The Duke Endowment, a private foundation based in Charlotte. The funding is dedicated to hiring up to six new scholars with expertise on Africa, Asian-American studies or Latinx studies.

Mvukiyehe’s research centers on the political economy of development and international relations. He received a Ph.D. in political science from Columbia University in 2013 and since then has worked as an economist at the World Bank’s Development Vice Presidency (DEC), the premier research and data arm of the World Bank.

The scholar was a member of DEC’s Development Impact Evaluation Department, providing analysis of post-conflict reconstruction, labor markets and social protections in developing countries, governance in fragile states, and women’s empowerment. He also held previous positions at the World Bank’s Gender Innovation Lab, the United States Agency for International Development, and as a United Nations evaluations consultant on peacekeeping operations in Cote d’Ivoire and Liberia.

“We are extremely excited about the addition of Professor Mvukiyehe to our faculty,” said Georg Vanberg, chair of the Department of Political Science. “His expertise in African politics adds a critical regional dimension to our offerings that has been sorely lacking. And his substantive interests in democratic consolidation and conflict resolution create natural complementarities between our strengths in political economy and in security, peace and conflict. Moreover, his exceptional record in the design and execution of field experiments connects to important methodological developments in political science."

Hiring Mvukiyehe is one part of Trinity’s response to student interest in increasing the global perspectives available at Duke. “Thanks to Valerie Ashby’s bold initiative and a generous grant from The Duke Endowment, we are fortunate to be...further diversifying Duke’s faculty and providing a range of new course offerings for students,” said Professor of Cultural Anthropology and African and African American Studies Charles Piot, who led the search.

He was joined on the hiring committee by Professor of Romance Studies and History Laurent Dubois; Associate Professor of English Tsitsi Jaji; and Professor of Political Science Edmund Malesky; supported by Dean of the Social Sciences and James B. Duke Professor of Economics Rachel Kranton.