Felicia Odamtten

Felicia Odamtten, awarded an Honorary Doctor of Business Administration from ARU in 2022, is an accomplished economist, social equality champion, and founder of The Black Economists Network.

Growing up in North London, Felicia was a diligent and talented student, studying for her A-levels at Woodhouse Sixth Form College in Barnet. She studied for a BA in Economics and Development Studies at Manchester University, and after graduating with first-class honours, she returned to London to study for an MSc in Local Economic Development at LSE.

Throughout her student days, Felicia was always able to find time to help others. She volunteered as a youth mentor at a Daubeney Primary School in Hackney, helping students to raise their educational attainment. And she planned and delivered a six-week enrichment programme for thirty AS students.

Felicia served as the BME Officer for the University of Manchester Students’ Union, and worked as the Econometrics Peer Assisted Study Scheme leader, supporting her peers to improve their understanding of econometrics.

Felicia’s professional career began in 2018 when she joined the Government Economic Service as a Faststream Economist, completing a three-year programme to turn new graduates into expert economists with the skills to help shape Government policy and promote economic prosperity in the UK.

Felicia spent the next three years on rotations with DEFRA and the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government – steadily enhancing and refining her skills in economic modelling and econometrics.
It was during her time at the Government Economic Service that Felicia founded The Black Economists Network – or TBEN – which provides a platform through which professionals and students of African and Caribbean descent can connect, collaborate and support each other.

Under Felicia's leadership, TBEN has seen impressive growth in membership, and has established strategic partnerships with many leading private and public sector organisations.

Today, almost four years after its inception, TBEN is promoting discussion of diversity at the UK’s largest employers of economists, including the Bank of England, the Government Economic Service, and The Office for Budget Responsibility.

TBEN has also worked with ARU students through their engagement with the Discover Economics campaign.

In 2021, Felicia took her career as an economist to the next level by joining the Resolution Foundation, an independent think-tank focused on improving living standards for those on low to middle incomes.

Felicia boasts a remarkable track-record for someone still so early in her professional career. One can only imagine what she will go on to achieve in the years to come.

As a champion of social equality and mobility, her commitment to helping others is truly inspiring.