ATLANTA — Fiscal policy specialist Nara Monkam (Ph.D. ’08), an associate professor of public economics at the University of Pretoria (UP), South Africa, received Georgia State University’s Sheth International Alumni Award for Exceptional Achievement during an honorary reception held for International Education Week on Tuesday, Nov. 7.
The award recognizes a Georgia State University international alum who’s garnered an exemplary and longstanding professional reputation of achievement worldwide.
Monkam has held several pivotal positions in South Africa. When she left Georgia State, she was hired as the deputy director of the African Tax Institute and as a senior lecturer of economics at the UP. From there, she left to join the African Tax Administration Forum (ATAF) as director of research, fostering strong relationships with member countries and steering ATAF’s research agenda to inform tax reforms and policy formulation. In 2013, she was appointed to the Davis Tax Committee, where she played a key role in reassessing the country’s tax system. She returned to UP in August 2022.
“Monkam stands at the forefront of transformative initiatives at the University of Pretoria,” said Distinguished Professor Emeritus Jorge Martinez-Vazquez, who nominated her for the award. “Upon joining its Department of Economics in August 2022, her visionary leadership led to the establishment of the Public Policy Hub, which champions the co-creation — in partnership with the public sector – of transdisciplinary and policy-relevant research and aims for better development outcomes across Africa.”
With over 17 years of experience, Monkam’s expertise includes public economics, domestic resource mobilization, tax policy and administration, intergovernmental fiscal relations and property tax reforms. Her collaborations extend to international institutions and diverse countries with organizations like the United Nations Development Programme, European Union, International Monetary Fund and World Bank.
Additionally, she is committed to nurturing the next generation as both a postgraduate mentor at the University of Pretoria and a mentor at Georgia State University.
“Dr. Monkam has established herself as a leading expert in her field,” Martinez-Vazquez said. “Her contributions to academia and society have been impactful and widely acknowledged.”
Monkam has expressed her gratitude for the nomination by Martinez-Vazquez and the award.
“It warms my heart to be recognized by my alma mater for my achievements since I left GSU in 2008,” she said. “It also brings back fond memories of my time at GSU and is a testament to the strong foundation and values that the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies instilled in me. I am thrilled at the opportunity to reconnect with the GSU community and inspire current Ph.D. students with my journey.”
CLICK HERE to view Dr. Monkam's award video.