Affiliated Faculty, Department of International AffairsDirector, Center for Human Trafficking Research and Outreach (CenHTRO)Professor, School of Social Work

David Okech is Professor and the founding director of the Center on Human Trafficking Research & Innovation (CenHTRO) and the African Programming and Research Initiative to End Slavery (APRIES). His community-based, interdisciplinary, and international research is on human trafficking – the exploitation of men, women, and children for the purposes of labor or sex. He focuses on designing evidence-based interventions to inform programs and policies that improve the well-being and increase economic empowerment for survivors of trafficking. He serves on the International Steering Group of the Antislavery Knowledge Network at the University of Liverpool in the United Kingdom, among other global anti-trafficking organizations. He was director of the MSW Program (2013-19) and director of Global Engagement (2014-17) at the UGA School of Social Work. Dr. Okech was inducted as a Fellow of the Society for Social Work and Research in 2017.

  • Ph.D. University of Kansas
  • MSW University of New Hampshire
  • B.A. University of Nairobi
Areas of Expertise

Human trafficking, community development, asset development, social work administration, social welfare policy, social work research, advanced statistical methods

Research Interests

Evidence-informed programs and policies for victims and survivors of sex and labor trafficking, community development, mechanisms for building household and community assets that have long-term benefits to vulnerable children, cross-national development and validation of instruments to identify and assist suspected trafficking survivors, the long-term impacts of the trafficking experience among survivors of trafficking