Bulelani Jili

Meta Research Ph.D. Fellow, Harvard University

Bulelani Jili is a Meta Research Ph.D. Fellow at Harvard University. His research interests include Africa-China relations; Cybersecurity; ICT development; African Political Economy; Internet Policy; Chinese Business Law; Law and Development; and Privacy Law. He is also a Visiting Fellow at Yale Law School; a Fellow at the Atlantic Council; Cybersecurity Fellow at the Belfer Center; and is conducting research with the China, Law, Development project at Oxford University. The project, funded by the European Research Council, is a 5-year, interdisciplinary, and multi-sited research project that aims to understand the nature of the order that underlies China’s new globalism. He has also advised leading think tanks, governments, and watchdogs like the American Bar Association, Atlantic Council, Freedom House, UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office, US state department, and the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

His writing has appeared in leading think tanks and publications like African Affairs, Nature, Cambridge Handbook of Human Rights, Theory, Culture, and Society, Mail &Guardian, Africa is a Country, The Elephant, South China Morning Post, African Center for Strategic Studies, Politico, and Financial Times. He is also a regular panelist and speaker at international conferences.

He has received numerous prestigious awards, honors, and fellowships. This includes the Wenner-Gren dissertation fieldwork fellowship, Meta Research Ph.D. Fellowship, Yenching Scholarship, Merit & Term-Time Research Fellowship, Standard Bank Africa Chairman’s Scholarship Award, Oppenheimer Graduate Fellowship Fund, and Orrick Fellowship.

Mr. Jili serves as a committee member at the IEEE standards association: global initiative on ethics of AI systems. Prior to attending Harvard, Mr. Jili worked at the Wits Institute for Social and Economic Research, in South Africa, as a Visiting Researcher. He earned an M.Phil. from Cambridge University, where he studied as a Standard Bank Africa Chairman’s Scholar. In 2016, he was awarded a Yenching Scholarship to study at the Yenching Academy of Peking University, where he received an M.A. in Economics. Studying with Prof. He Yafei, former Vice-Minister of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Prof. Jiang Guo Hua, he studied Chinese global governance strategies and economic approaches. He holds an A.B. honors, in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (College of Social Studies) from Wesleyan University (CT), where he was a Pfeiffer Scholar.

  • Meta Research Ph.D. Fellow, Harvard University