Department of Economics

MIT MLK Visiting

Prof. Isaac Mbiti named MLK Visiting Professor at MIT

MIT MLK Visiting Professor Program

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology established the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Visiting Professor Program to enhance and recognize the contributions of outstanding scholars. The program honors the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. by increasing the presence of scholars at MIT. Since the first appointments in 1995, fifty-four Visiting Professors and sixteen Visiting Scholars have been named.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Visiting Professors enhance their scholarship through intellectual interactions with MIT peers, and enrich the intellectual life of MIT with their participation in MIT research and academic programs. They are expected to be deeply engaged in the life of the Institute through teaching, research and other scholarly interactions with the MIT comunity. 

Their presence gives them the opportunity to make a significant impact on the growth and awareness of undergraduate and graduate students, as well as the MIT community as a whole.

During his time at MIT. Dr. Mbiti will be based at the The Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL), which is a center within the Economics Department of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The aim of J-PAL is to reduce poverty by ensuring that policy is based on scientific evidence. J-PAL was founded on the belief that there would be enormous potential to improve the effectiveness of poverty programs if there was more and better evidence on the most cost effective approaches for tackling poverty. Partnering with governments, private companies, and nongovernmental organizations, J-PAL researchers answer key policy questions using the most rigorous scientific methods. J-PAL’s work also goes beyond the evaluations themselves, seeking to change the way that poverty policy is made—making it more evidence based and more effective. 

Dr. Mbiti was nominated for this fellowship by Professor Esther Duflo. Professor Duflo is the Abdul Latif Jameel Professor of Poverty Alleviation and Development Economics in the Department of Economics at MIT and a founder and director of J-PAL. Professor Duflo has received numerous academic honors and prizes including the MacArthur “Genius Award” Fellowship (2009) and the American Economic Association's Elaine Bennett Prize for Research (2003).