I'm currently a candidate for the MPhil in Economics at Oxford on the Rhodes Scholarship. 

I graduated from Harvard in May 2021 with a degree in history and economics.


I'm interested in understanding how communities recover from conflict, and my undergraduate research focused on this question through the lens of economics and historical biographies. For my thesis advised by Sven Beckert and Emma Rothschild, I wrote an intergenerational biography of the descendants of enslaved people whose labor contributed to Harvard's founding. Other biographies I wrote focused on international bankers in civil wars and convict leasing labor in Reconstruction-era Alabama. Outside of historical research, I led the Federal Reserve Challenge Team and the Harvard Economics Review, built macroeconomic forecasting models for countries in Sub-Saharan Africa at the IMF, and analyzed U.S. presidential pardons in Martha Minow's Radcliffe group.

I'm from Southern California, and ever since I was young, I've loved painting and writing stories. My artwork and poems have been featured in the White House, the Kennedy Center's Hall of Nations, the Kenyon Review, and elsewhere. With my friends Jessica and Sarah, I previously helped start an international public art exhibition, the Dear Loneliness Project – a historical archive and the world's longest crowd-sourced letter – to raise awareness about isolation in the coronavirus pandemic.

Email: chencarissa@gmail.com

“‘Though Dwelling in a Land of Freedom’: An Intergenerational Biography of Harvard Enslaved and Their Descendants in Boston, 1734–2020. Chen, C. 

Honors Thesis for the Harvard Department of History


Impact of COVID-19: Nowcasting and Big Data to Track Economic Activity in Sub-Saharan Africa. Buell, B., Cherif, R., Chen, C., Hyeon., Tang, J., Wendt, Nils.

International Monetary Fund Working Papers

A Private Rebellion in a Public Bank with Millions of Assets at Stake. Chen, C.
Harvard Center of History and Economics Undergraduate Fellowship


The Federal Reserve Post-Crisis. Chen, C.

Harvard Economics Review


An Interscholastic Network To Generate LexA Enhancer Trap Lines in Drosophila, Kockel, L. et al.

G3: Genes, Genomes, Genetics

DSC_08031 (1)-4_edited.jpg