Robtel Neajai PaileyRobtel Neajai Pailey PhD

London, UK


Occupational Information

Occupation: Academia | International Development

Occupational Position: Leverhulme Early Career Fellow, University of Oxford

Professional History

Dr. Robtel Neajai Pailey is a Liberian academic, activist and author of the award-winning anti-corruption children’s books, Gbagba and Jaadeh!  With over a decade of combined professional experiences in Africa, Europe and North America, she has worked across a broad range of fields supporting universities, governments, NGOs, media institutions, regional and multilateral organisations. Robtel’s core areas of research expertise include migration, development, citizenship, diasporas, transnationalism, conflict, post-war recovery, governance, and the political economy of aid, trade and remittances. An increasingly sought-after thought leader and public scholar, she has provided expert commentary for radio, television, print and online media across the globe.

In 2018, she was one of two winners of the 3rd annual International Anti-Corruption Excellence (ACE) Awards. In 2015, Robtel was listed by the Financial Times as one of ‘25 Africans to Watch’. She also has a personal website with publications, media engagements and other information.

Previously an Ibrahim Leadership Fellow at the African Development Bank Group (AfDB), Robtel currently serves as a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow at the University of Oxford's Department of International Development (ODID), where she conducts research on citizenship, race, migration, South-South cooperation and socio-economic development in Liberia and Sierra Leone. She has also been published in Africa Policy Journal.


BA African Studies (Howard University)
BA English Literature (Howard University)
MSc African Studies (University of Oxford)
PhD Development Studies (SOAS, University of London)


2010 Archbishop Desmond Tutu Leadership Fellow