PhD, Peace and Conflict Studies, University of Manitoba, Canada
MA, Political Science, University of Windsor, Canada
MIPP, International Public Policy, Wilfrid Laurier University, Canada
BA, (Hons), International Development Studies, Trent University, Canada
HND, Civil Engineering, The Polytechnic, Calabar, Nigeria
- Governance and peacebuilding
- Environmental Conflict Resolution
- Natural Resources and Conflict
- Engineering and Peace
- Climate Change, Mobility and Displacement
- Conflict and Resilience Assessment
- Peace and Development
- Transformative peacebuilding
- Critical Security Studies
- Human Security
- Regional Expertise in Africa
Dr. Okoi is Assistant Professor of Justice and Peace Studies at the University of St. Thomas, Associate Editor of the African Security Journal, and Member of the International Editorial Board of Third World Thematics – A Third World Quarterly journal. He is a Jill Knox Peace Fellow at the Association of Applied and Therapeutic Humor’s Humor Academy, Senior Fellow at the Global Research Network’s War, Conflict and Migration Think Tank, Advisor at the War Prevention Initiative in Portland, Oregon, USA, and recipient of the University of Manitoba’s Naylah Ayed Prize. In 2016, the Universal Peace Federation awarded him the Ambassador for Peace Award in recognition of his contribution to peace leadership in Africa. In 2021 the Research Technical Assistance Center (RTAC) at the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) highlighted his profile in The Faces of Peacebuilding in recognition of the United Nations International Day of Living Together in Peace.
Dr. Okoi first studied Civil Engineering and worked as a project engineer in the oil industry in Nigeria, where he experienced the impact of energy corporations on local communities that reinforced his passion for peace and conflict studies. He went further to earn a BA in International Development Studies with an emphasis in International Political Economy at Trent University. While at Trent, he attended the Development Economics Course in Poverty and Inequality Research at The World Bank Institute in Washington, DC. There, he interacted with senior Bank scholars to gain an insider perspective of The Bank’s contributions to development challenges in the Global South. He also participated in the Expert Group Meeting in Sustainable Development at the United Nations headquarters in New York, and was an Observer at the 53rd Session of the UN General Assembly on Small Arms Control in Africa. He obtained a Master of International Public Policy, specializing in Global Governance and Human Security from the Balsillie School of International Affairs at Wilfrid Laurier University, an MA in Political Science, specializing in International Relations at the University of Windsor, and a PhD in Peace and Conflict Studies at the Arthur Mauro Institute for Peace and Justice, University of Manitoba. He served as Coordinator and later Associate Director of the Africa Working Group Consortium at the University of Manitoba, where he convened monthly programs that brought together scholars, students, and practitioners to explore peace and justice issues on the African continent. Dr Okoi ran for public office under the New Democratic Party to represent the Spring-Ritchot Constituency at the Manitoba Legislative Assembly during the 2019 election in Manitoba, Canada. He lost to Honorable Ron Schuler who was the Minister of Infrastructure at the time.
Dr. Okoi is a broadly trained scholar with a multidisciplinary background. His engineering background brought out his innate desire to uplift the ethos of peace scholarship with a renewed critical focus on the relationship between engineering and peace. He coordinates he Peace Engineering program at the University of St Thomas. Professor Okoi is the author of Punctuated Peace in Nigeria’s Oil Region: Oil Insurgency and the Challenges of Post-Conflict Peacebuilding (Palgrave, 2021), which examines the challenges of post-conflict peacebuilding efforts in Nigeria’s oil region. He has written several book chapters in Oxford University, Manchester University Press, and Routledge and has published in reputable journals such as Peace Research: Canadian Journal of Peace and Conflict Studies, World Development, Conflict Resolution Quarterly, African Security, International Journal on World Peace, Peace Review: A Journal of Social Justice, and Africa Portal, and has presented at local and international conferences. He has contributed to the scholarly community as Convener of the Youth and Peace Commission at the International Peace Research Association.
Prior to his appointment as Assistant Professor, he lectured in the Human Rights program at the University of Winnipeg, and in the Global Studies department at Wilfrid Laurier University. He is a Research Affiliate at the Canadian Network for Terrorism, Security, and Society, where he contributes to policy-relevant research on efforts to counter and prevent security threats, and the impact of terrorism and securitization on society.
Dr. Okoi has contributed to a global policy response to address the effects of the COVID-19 crisis on vulnerable groups through the Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program at the University of Pennsylvania. He was also a member of the high-level expert advisory team mobilized by GovLab, in partnership with the Inter-American Development Bank, to advise political leaders from Argentina, Bahamas, Ceará-Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Honduras, Mexico, Peru, and Trinidad and Tobago on supporting marginalized and vulnerable populations during their COVID-19 response.