Codrin Arsene works as User Experience Analyst at UserCentric Inc in Chicago, IL. Prior to joining User Centric, Codrin was primarily interested in consumer goods and Western commodities sold in African markets. For over six years, he has worked on market interactions between Chinese retailers and Tanzanian consumers in Dar es Salaam employing ethnographic methods and quantitative research. His research has provided him with unique perspective on ways people inhabiting the same social space often have strikingly different reactions and behaviors towards various products and services.
Codrin is a University of Chicago-trained anthropologist who maintains a close connection to the academic work via his work on local entrepreneurship in Uganda and the Chinese Diaspora in Dar es Salaam and his blog www.african.politics.com
international aid mechanisms, political failure, Chinese investment in Africa, blogging, writing political editorials
Codrin possesses a wide variety of skills in different domains critical to user research: survey design, interview methods, strategic test-subject sampling, marketing strategies, online social media and political strategies.
Codrin is a world traveler, having visited more than 90 countries by age 22. He lived in Romania, France, South Africa, Tanzania and Argentina prior to making Chicago his home. In addition to English, he speaks Romanian, French, Spanish, Portuguese and Swahili with varying degrees of fluency. Codrin is most proud of surviving for 101 days on only goat meat, rice and home-made sorghum beer in Central Uganda (a dietary regime he wouldn’t even wish for his worst enemies).
Codrin’s main areas of interest in African politics are the impact of Chinese investment in Africa, the growing tourist industry in East Africa and the rise of urban forms of witchcraft. In the past, he worked with different international organizations (Peace Child International, the Global Youth Action Network, TIGlobal etc) in areas such as youth advocacy, the involvement of the youth in the process of decision-making and youth diplomacy.
In addition to the African Politics Portal Codrin is also blogging on:
Codrin is also a guest contributor for Foreign Policy Romania where he writes on US politics and African affairs.
For Codrin Arsene’s resume, please click here.