By UW Sustainability | Oct 12, 2021
Francis Abugbilla sitting on a rock by water

Francis Abugbilla is a Ph.D. candidate in international studies in the Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies at the University of Washington. He is currently a Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation 2021 Emerging Scholar and a Visiting Researcher at the German Development Institute in Bonn, Germany. His dissertation research is on conflicts and peacebuilding in post-conflict societies. He researches sustainable conflict resolution mechanisms in Africa.

Francis is actively engaged in promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives on campus. He has served on the Jackson School of International Studies Diversity and Equity Committee where he advocated for the recruitment and retention of students, faculty, and staff of color. He is currently the graduate representative to UW Population Health Initiative Executive Council to advance health equity on campus and beyond.

In addition to his academic research and DEI advocacy, Francis is an environmental justice advocate and social entrepreneur. He has been championing rural electrification efforts in his home country of Ghana using solar. In 2018 and 2019, he received the Marcy Migdal Fund for Educational Equality from the UW and fundraised to electrify his community his primary and junior high schools as well as the teachers’ quarters. He believes in sustainability and renewable energy. He is currently collaborating with the UW chapter of Engineers Without Borders to manufacture substantive charging station for the community and also with the UW Global Renewables Infrastructure Development (GRID) to design solar modules for fundraising to build a computer laboratory and a library complex for the community.

Born and raised in rural Ghana, when he is not working on his research and promoting social justice, he loves to enjoy the beauty of nature. His pastimes are hiking and jogging.