Ajenai Shareece Clemmons

Assistant Professor

What I do

Ajenai Clemmons is an Assistant Professor of Public Policy at the Scrivner Institute. She researches the policing of marginalized communities in democratic contexts, particularly the United States and Europe. She teaches courses on the politics of the policymaking process, intersectional inequality, as well as state violence and local security.

Professional Biography

Ajenai earned her Ph.D. in Public Policy from the Sanford School of Public Policy at Duke University in Durham, NC. She conducted part of her doctoral research locally and remains engaged in a two-year consultative project with the co-chairs of Durham’s Community Task Force for Safety and Wellness.

Prior to pursuing a doctoral degree, Ajenai worked for the City and County of Denver as a Community Relations Ombudsman while completing her master’s degree in Public Policy at the University of Denver. She helped establish a new government agency, the Office of the Independent Monitor, that oversees investigations of police and sheriff misconduct.

Ajenai then served as Policy Director for a national professional association of Black state legislators in Washington, D.C., keeping lawmakers apprised of policy issues and facilitating meetings with the White House, Administration, and Congress. There, she also helped build coalitions with the Native American, Asian American, and Hispanic legislative caucuses. Through the German Marshall Fund of the United States, Ajenai has continued to build coalitions among under-represented groups in Europe, having led trainings in Belgium, Germany, Italy, and France.

Ajenai has served on several boards of directors, including the Women’s Foundation of Colorado as an officer. She earned her B.A. in International Relations, Latin American History, and Spanish from Drake University in Des Moines, IA and studied abroad in Chile and Guatemala.


  • Ph.D., Public Policy, Duke University, 2021
  • MPP, Master of Public Policy - General, University of Denver, 2007
  • BA, International Relations, Latin American History, Spanish, Drake University, 2002

Licensure / Accreditations

  • Certificate in Teaching Writing in the Disciplines