Research interests: Expertise, state power, and policy; history of political ideas; intellectual history of meritocracy and talent; philosophy of science; ethics.
Umar is an A.M. student in History of Science. He is interested in the historical, sociocultural, and political dimensions of meritiocratic ideas: talent, excellence, fair competition, and just reward. His research explores questions at the intersection of knowledge and power, with a focus on government human capital initiatives and examination/assessment philosophies for unelected power elites (or, to put it in Confucian terms, mechanisms of 'elevating the worthy.') He plans to pursue a DPhil at the University of Oxford next year. Previously, he had a close brush with an MPP at one of Harvard's peer institutions, barely saving himself from the life of a policy wonk.
B.A., Columbia University