Associate Professor of Public Policy at UNC College of Arts and Sciences


Fenaba R. Addo is an associate professor of public policy. Her recent work examines debt and wealth inequality with a focus on family and relationships and higher education, and union formation and economic strain as a social determinant of health and well-being. She has also focused on the role that consumer and family policies serve in reinforcing these relationships. Widely published in academic journals and policy outlets, her work on racial disparities in student debt, older Black women and wealth, and the Millennial racial wealth gap reflects her interests in bridging social demography with economic inequality, and sheds light on the ways that societal inequalities stem from historical legacies of racial exclusion and discrimination, and how they get reproduced over time. Dr. Addo was a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health & Society Scholar. She received her Ph.D. in Policy Analysis and Management from Cornell University and holds a B.S. in Economics from Duke University. Dr. Addo was the Lorna Jorgensen Wendt Associate Professor of Money, Relationships, and Equality (MORE) in the School of Human Ecology’s Department of Consumer Science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison prior to joining the department.

She recently coauthored, with sociologist Jason Houle, A Dream Defaulted: The Student Debt Crisis Among Black Borrowers (Harvard Education Press, 2022), which centers the stories of black young adults within the broader student loan debt landscape and proposes policy solutions that can address racial disparities in student loan debt.