2024 Tillman Scholar

Jude Akpunko

Syracuse University

“I understand the importance of standing up for our Nation in times of need. I strive to be the voice that fights for justice and equity.”

Jude Akpunku, a 1L at Syracuse Law School, is a dedicated public servant with a deep commitment to public service and a strong background in defense and data analysis. His academic journey began at the United States Naval Academy, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree, followed by a Master of Science from the Naval Postgraduate School in 2021. 

In his current role as a Congressional Fellow, Jude has proven to be a trusted advisor on defense policies, actively contributing to legislative drafting and providing essential guidance on national security matters. Notably, he has championed diversity and inclusion through his consultation and lobbying for the H.R.8248 – Diversity in Military Leadership Act. Jude’s outstanding military career in the United States Navy includes positions as a Personnel Officer, Action Officer, and Operations Intelligence Officer. He consistently demonstrated strong leadership and analytical skills, managing critical systems and facilitating diplomatic relations. His role as a personnel specialist was vital to the success of Operations Allies Refuge. 

Recognized for his dedication and excellence, Jude has been honored with two Navy Commendation Medals, two Navy Achievement Medals, and the Outstanding Thesis Award from the Naval Postgraduate School. Jude’s aspirations are rooted in creating a more inclusive and equitable world. With his legal education, he intends to continue serving and advocating for positive change in his communities, reflecting the values and spirit of the Pat Tillman Scholarship.