Andrea Marie Headley

Degree: Ph.D. in Public Affairs

College/School: Steven J. Green School of International & Public Affairs

From a young age, Andrea Headley recognized the importance of assisting her family due to the various personal and economic difficulties they faced. Despite these challenges, her family always encouraged her to continue her education to have a better life. Andrea viewed it as a way to improve her circumstances but also to give back and help others.

Seeing firsthand other people’s experiences with the criminal justice system, sparked her interest in the field. By the time she entered the doctoral program in public affairs at FIU, Andrea knew she wanted to make a difference in both public policy and real-world issues.

Witnessing the rise in police shootings, particularly in marginalized communities, Andrea focused her research on police and community relations – and how they might be improved. She received a three-year grant from the U.S. Department of Justice to study the issue. Her work included riding along with police in Connecticut and researching the use of police body cameras in Hallandale.

Andrea says her faith in God and the support of her family and church community helped her get through tough times. The first in her family to graduate college, Andrea views her degree as their degree too. After graduation she will start a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of California Berkeley. After that, she will join the John Glenn College of Public Policy at Ohio State University as an assistant professor.

By Amy Ellis
Communications Manager, Steven J. Green School of International and Public Affairs