Faculty & Staff Directory

Wendy Osefo Portrait

Wendy Osefo, PhD

Assistant Professor

Wendy Osefo is an assistant professor in the Doctor of Education program at the Johns Hopkins School of Education. Her research examines how race and class influence the learning, achievement, and educational trajectories of non-dominant students in schools and community settings, and explores the intersections between race, equity, and underserved student groups in K-12 and postsecondary learning communities.

Prior to joining the Hopkins faculty, Wendy 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 she 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 her to serve as the inaugural director of the Master of Arts in Management Program at Goucher College. Osefo has over a decade of experience as an advocate for low-income children and families. She also served as an analyst for the Office of the Attorney General in Washington, D.C.

In addition to her policy experience, Osefo regularly provides political commentary and analysis on national TV networks, including CNN, ABC, MSNBC, Fox News, Fox Business, and others. Her appearances also include podcast, radio shows, and print media on issues that examine race and politics. Currently she has a weekly radio segment on Radio One 93.9FM WKYS, entitled “News You Need to Know, With Dr. Wendy O.” She is the 2018 recipient of the Black Women in Media Award for her contributions to the field of journalism, the 2017 recipient of the Johns Hopkins Diversity Recognition Award, the 2017 recipient of the Johns Hopkins University Outstanding Recent Graduate Award, a 2017 40 under 40 recipient, and a 2017 25 Women to Watch recipient.

Osefo is a board trustee of the Children’s Scholarship Foundation of Baltimore, and a board member for The Education FoundationCongressman Elijah Cummings Youth to Israel Program and The Obama Green Charter School. She is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated and The National Urban League, and presents nationally on urban education, leadership and social equity.


Ph.D., Public Affairs . Rutgers University. 2016.
Dissertation: Engaging Low-Income Parents in Schools. Beyond the PTA Meeting.

Master of Science, Public Affairs. Rutgers University. 2012

Master of Arts, Government. The Johns Hopkins University. 2009.

Bachelor of Arts, Political Science. Temple University. 2006.


Politics in Education
Disciplinary Approaches to Education
Strategic Systems Change and Action Planning
Contemporary Approaches to Education
Power, Politics, and Policy in Education


2017 Osefo, Wendy. Disrupting the Narrative: Parent Engagement and Urban Families. The Journal of School and Society, 4(1), 63-71.

2016 Osefo, Wendy. “The Awakening: Back Lives Matter and a White College Campus.” In Nonprofit Quarterly. May 20, 2016.

2010 Osefo, Wendy. Acknowledgment for research and editorial assistance on James L. Garnett, Public Administrative Communication, in the Foundations of Public Administration, Public Administration Review online.

Conference Presentations

2017 Osefo, Wendy. Blackness in the Ivory Towers: How The Black Lives Matter Movement and The 2016 Presidential Election Reshaped American Higher Education. National Conference on Race and Ethnicity. June 3, 2017.
2017 Osefo, Wendy. Black students in predominately white spaces. The Women of Color in Solidarity Conference, April 23, 2017.
2016 Osefo, Wendy. “El Barrio to Harvard: A Study of Culturally Competent Parent Engagement.” University Of Pennsylvania, Ethnography in Education Research Forum, February 26, 2016.
2016 Osefo, Wendy. “Blackness in the Ivory Towers: How Ferguson and The Baltimore Uprising Reshaped American Higher Education.” Johns Hopkins University, DLC Diversity Conference. October 21, 2016.