Professor Yankah holds degrees from the University of Michigan, Columbia Law School and Oxford University. His work focuses on questions of criminal theory and punishment and political theory and particularly, questions of political obligation and its interaction with justifications of punishment. His work has appeared in law review articles, peer reviewed legal theory journals, books and medical journals, including NOMOS, Ratio Juris, Law and Philosophy, Criminal Law and Philosophy and the Illinois Law Review. He has been a visiting fellow at the Israeli Institute of Advanced Studies (IIAS), a Visiting Professor of Law at the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya and a Distinguished Visiting Faculty Member at the University of Toronto School of Law.
He has been recognized numerous times by his students for his dedication to teaching; most recently he was awarded the Cardozo Alumni of the Year Award by Cardozo BALLSA, becoming the first non-Cardozo graduate or faculty member to be recognized. His interests have also led him to develop expertise in voting rights and election law and he serves as the co-chair of the New York Democratic Lawyers Council, the voting rights arm of the New York Democratic party and the coordinating arm of the DNC believed to be the largest voting rights group in the country. In 2020, he was awarded the “Guardian of Democracy” Award by NYDLC. That year, he stepped down from NYDLC upon being appointed to New York’s Public Campaign Finance Board, which he now serves as Chairman. He also sits on the Board of the Innocence Project and has been awarded as an “Advocate for Justice” in 2017. He has also served on the Board of the American Constitution Society (NY Chapter). He maintains a public presence writing for publications spanning The New York Times, The New Yorker, The Washington Post among others and has been a regular commentator on criminal law issues on television and radio including NBC, CNN, MSNBC, BBC, BBC International and PBS.