Osaremen Fortune Okolo
Research Interests: Medicine, public health, and their interactions in cultural, historical, policy, political, and social contexts; racial health disparities; reproductive justice.
Osaremen is a doctoral student in the Department of the History of Science, Presidential Scholar, and 2022 Paul & Daisy Soros Fellow at Harvard University. She is eager to develop a body of scholarship to transform our understanding of racial health inequities, uncover a clearer path to resolving them, and set the course towards equity for our years ahead.
Osaremen Okolo served as Policy Advisor for Public Health and Equity in the White House Office of the COVID-19 Response from January 20, 2021 through August 2022. Prior to the inauguration of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, Osaremen spent late Summer and Fall 2020 translating campaign promises into strategic implementation plans while working on the Domestic Policy Team of the Biden-Harris Transition. She was recruited to join the Transition after several years specializing in health policy on Capitol Hill—first as Ranking Member Patty Murray’s Legislative Aide for Health Policy on the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions during the 115th Congress and later as Senior Health Policy Advisor for Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky during the 116th Congress.
In 2017, Osaremen graduated from Harvard College with high honors and was awarded the History of Science Departmental Prize for Overall Excellence, granted to the best senior in the department. During her final year at the College, Osaremen pursued a 30,000-word independent research project titled, “Blackened Fertility: The Lasting Discourse of African American Female Reproduction After the Civil Rights Movement.” In the award-winning thesis, advised by Professor Evelynn Hammonds, Osaremen argued that historical narratives which imagined Black women to be hyper-sexual and hyper-fertile were perpetuated to serve various political agendas and maintain pervasive tentacles on Black reproductive health today.
AB, History of Science and African & African-American Studies (Secondary in Global Health and Health Policy), Harvard College