MDRC Mourns the Passing of Bright Eli Sarfo, Long-Time Research Collaborator, Colleague, and Friend

It is with deep sadness that we write this tribute to a long-time MDRC collaborator, Dr. Bright Sarfo, after his sudden death on April 2, 2023.

Bright leaves a big footprint at MDRC, having played roles on projects dedicated to improving the lives of fathers and their families. He was an integral team member as we conducted research with program operators implementing new program and policy ideas, such as father and child programming, supports for families affected by parental incarceration, procedural justice within the child support system, and efforts to support engagement in fatherhood programs. When he died, Bright was helping to launch the next large-scale evaluation of fatherhood programs, Fatherhood TIES.

As all who knew and worked with Bright can attest, his passion for the work was matched only by his joy. He was a gifted and generous storyteller who could bring you to laughter as much as he could bring you to a place of deep reflection (and often at the same time). As evidenced by a recent speech he gave to Administration for Children and Families grantees, Bright’s warmth and wit led him to build relationships with research partners and practitioners centered around the emotions of care and love.

MDRC dedicates the Fatherhood TIES project to Bright. We cherish the significant contribution he made to the design of the project, and we hope to keep his ideas at the forefront of our minds as we begin project implementation.

If you would like to honor Bright’s legacy, the family requests that people make charitable donations in the name of Bright Eli Sarfo to the Center for Urban Families.