MPA Summit: Dr. Olugbenga Ajilore - “COVID-19 and its Impacts in Rural America" - Tuesday, April 20 at 7:30 PM

Date: 04-20-2021

Time: 07:30 PM


Free virtual event; Tune in by visiting

MPA Summit

“COVID-19 and its Impacts in Rural America”  

Dr. Olugbenga Ajilore, senior advisor for Rural Development at the USDA, will discuss the trajectory of the 2020 pandemic in rural America. In his talk, he will discuss the myths that are prevalent in many discussions about rural America. Drawing attention to these myths is vital as it leads to an incorrect narrative of rural communities, which is damaging because it ignores the underlying structural problems that plague so many rural communities. Reframing how we think and talk about rural America helps direct policies and programs for rural communities that ensures they survive and thrive in a post-COVID world.

Olugbenga (Gbenga) Ajilore is a senior advisor in the Office of the Under Secretary for Rural Development at the United States Department of Agriculture. Prior to his current role, he was a senior economist at the Center for American Progress and former associate professor of economics at the University of Toledo. His expertise includes regional economic development, macroeconomic policy, and issues in diversity and inclusion. He has been invited to testify before Congress and has been featured in The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post. He holds a Ph.D. in economics from Claremont Graduate University and a bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Berkeley. 

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