Panel 2: The Research Assistant Experience

Hear from our panel of research assistants about what they do, how they got to where they are and how their role relates to their career goals.


Malcolm Thomas

Malcolm Thomas

Senior Research Assistant
Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago

Moderator

Malcolm Thomas is a senior research assistant in the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago’s Community Development and Policy Studies division, where he contributes to his team through data analysis and research support. His work centers on pursuing racial equity, bridging the gap between research and communities, and cultivating more inclusive economies. This work helps propel several projects for his team, ranging from studying determinants of the racial gap to understanding how we can fortify marginalized communities during economic downturns. Thomas is a graduate of Howard University where he earned bachelor’s degrees in both political science and economics.


Akila Forde

Akila Forde

Research Assistant
Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System

Panelist

Akila Forde attended Howard University and graduated with a BA in economics in the spring of 2018. She is currently a research assistant in the Research and Statistics Division of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. Her interests include consumer spending, labor, and behavioral economics.


Beznkeng Njinju

Beznkeng Njinju

Research Analyst
Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland

Panelist

Beznkeng Njinju is a research analyst in the Research Department at the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland. Her primary interests include development, education, and labor economics.

Bezankeng is an alumna of Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), where she earned bachelor’s degrees in applied mathematics and economics.


Ini Umosen

Ini Umosen

Economics PhD Candidate
University of California, Berkeley

Panelist

Ini Umosen graduated in 2017 from Case Western Reserve University, where she earned degrees in economics and statistics. She is also an alumna of the 2016 AEA Summer Program. She was an RA in the microeconomics group at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago from 2017 to 2019. She is currently a rising second year student in UC Berkeley's PhD economics program. Her research interests are labor economics, urban economics, and the economics of education.

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