Portrait of Summiya Najam, Rhodes ScholarWilliams’ 40th Rhodes Scholar, Summiya Najam ’20, an economics major from Islamabad, Pakistan, aims to bridge the gap between policy and minority experiences. Before she heads to Oxford in the fall, she spoke with Williams Magazine about her passion for leadership and social justice.

What inspired you?

After coming across the economic and institutional marginalization of Muslim women in Pakistan and the United States, I recognized the centrality of effective policymaking in giving voice and agency to the marginalized.

Why study economics?

An M.Phil. in economics will equip me with the necessary knowledge and understanding of theory, techniques and tools to study the effect of policies on marginalized communities. I’m excited about the opportunity to learn and grow alongside like-minded scholars who want to give back to their communities.

What’s your hope?

I aspire to better understand how specific marginalized populations react to economic policies using the lens of econometric identification and behavioral economics.