Emily Cupito

Project Director, J-PAL Africa

Emily Cupito is a Project Director for J-PAL Africa at the University of Cape Town. In this role, she focuses on helping governments use rigorous research to understand how policy decisions affect the lives of their citizens. Her work focuses on two projects: Teaching at the Right Level and the Digital ID and Finance Initiative for Africa (DigiFI Africa). For Teaching at the Right Level, she works as the Learning Director and oversees the team’s partnership with the Government of Zambia. She is also the acting Director of DigiFI Africa, a new research initiative designed to support governments in studying how to design reforms in digital IDs and payments.

Prior to this role, Emily worked as the Associate Director of Policy for J-PAL Africa where she led outreach to policymakers across the continent in order to help them interpret rigorous research results and think strategically about how these results could be translated into effective programs. Emily previously worked in Uganda with Innovations for Poverty Action, where she supported financial inclusion research by leading dissemination efforts, developing new projects, and working to build the capacity of researchers in Africa and South Asia. She also previously worked as a Presidential Management Fellow with the US Federal Government. Emily received a master's in public policy from Duke University and a bachelor's in economics and public policy from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.