CCRP Leadership Team

Program Team
Jane Maland Cady
McKnight Foundation International Program Director

Jane joined McKnight in 2008, bringing extensive domestic and international experience working with community development initiatives and sustainable agriculture systems, through her teaching, evaluation practice, and on-the-ground implementation. She has worked in the private sector across the natural and organic foods value chain, from certification, production, retail, and most recently to expand markets for fair trade and organic products from South America and the USA.

Rebecca Nelson
CCRP Scientific Director

Rebecca is a professor of plant pathology and plant-microbe-biology, plant breeding and genetics, and international agriculture and rural development at Cornell University. She also serves as co-chair of the Thematic Group on Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems for the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), a global initiative for the United Nations.

Megan Powers
McKnight Foundation International Program Officer

Experienced in program management and consulting, Megan has played a leadership role in a host of nonprofit, public, and philanthropic initiatives, including child labor prevention in rural Nepal. Fluent in Spanish, Megan is a former Rotary World Peace Fellow who studied international conflict resolution and holds a B.A. from the University of St. Thomas.

Walter Abrego
McKnight Foundation Program Assistant

Walter holds a master’s degree in public administration from Texas Tech University. A onetime congressional intern for U.S. Representative Sheila Jackson Lee, Walter was formerly a program assistant for initiatives in Guatemala, England, Hungary, Romania, and Greece while doing undergraduate work at the University of Northern Iowa.

Regional Team
Julio Postigo
Andes Liaison Scientist

Interested in understanding pastoralist social-ecological systems interactions with climate change and globalization as well as pastoralists’ responses to similar change, Julio brings a keen social science perspective to the CCRP. He holds a PhD in geography from the University of Texas at Austin and is a Senior Research Scientist at NORC at the University of Chicago.

Claire Nicklin
Andes Regional Representative

Claire is based in Quito, Ecuador and in addition to being the Andean Regional Representative works on the program level IMEP team. Her experience and interests include work in food systems and markets, monitoring and evalulation, and environmental issues. Previously she has worked in Cacao, Rainforest Alliance certification, ecotourism, agrobiodiversity projects, and urban agriculture.

Beth Medvecky
Eastern Africa Liaison Scientist

A research associate at Cornell University and assistant director of the Cornell International Institute for Food, Agriculture, and Development, Beth previously lived in rural Kenya for nearly two decades. There, she led a local NGO’s adaptive research program, working to improve agricultural practices for the benefit of resource-constrained households.

Linnet Gohole
Eastern Africa Regional Representative

A senior lecturer at Chepkoilel University College (Consitituent of Moi University, Eldoret, Kenya), Linnet specializes in crop protection with a bias towards entomology. Additionally, she conducts research in various areas of agriculture, and works with communities to improve their livelihoods through agricultural activities.

Kate Wellard
Southern Africa Liaison Scientist

A social scientist and Principal Research Fellow at the Natural Resources Institute (NRI), University of Greenwich in the UK, Kate's research centers on the social, institutional, and policy aspects of agricultural innovation with smallholder farmers in sub-Saharan Africa. She has led research programs on farmer-centered research, policy, and agriculture-nutrition linkages, in collaboration with partners in various universities, research organizations and non-governmental organizations in southern and eastern Africa for more than two decades.

Prudence Kaijage
Southern Africa Regional Representative

The managing partner of Capacity Building and Leadership Institute in Arusha, Tanzania, Prudence has twenty-plus years of experience in the public, private, and development sectors, including ten in senior management at an international training center. His skills include capacity development, governance, food security, natural resources management, and conservation in East and Southern Africa.

Bettina Haussmann
West Africa Liaison Scientist

Based at University of Hohenheim in Stuttgart, Germany, Bettina conducts research on plant breeding in African tropics and subtropics. Her past work at the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), Sahelian Centre, Niamey, Niger, resulted in a regionally coordinated strategy for pearl millet improvement in West Africa.

Batamaka Somé
West Africa Regional Rrepresentative

Dr. Somé, a practicing anthropologist, is a research consultant based in Burkina Faso. Dr. Somé’s research and reports have included successes and roadblocks for enabling women’s economic empowerment in agricultural value chains, economic impacts of poultry-raising on rural households, and the WFP West and Central Africa Bureau’s Regional Gender Strategy for 2015-2020. His current research focuses local governance of natural resources and climate change adaptation among pastoralists in Burkina Faso.

Marah Moore
IMEP Team Lead

Since founding i2i Institute in 1994, Marah has led more than fifty evaluation studies and provided all manner of training. For the past decade, she’s focused on grounding her evaluation and training efforts in systems thinking. An associate with the Human Systems Dynamic Institute, she chairs its evaluation work group.

Michael Patton
IMEP Team Support

An independent organizational development and program evaluation consultant, Michael Patton, received his doctorate in sociology from the University of Wisconsin–Madison, he spent 18 years on the faculty of the University of Minnesota, including five years as Director of the Minnesota Center for Social Research and ten with the Minnesota Extension Service.

Hannah Smith
Integrated Monitoring, Evaluation, & Planning (IMEP) Team Member

Hannah has been working in the evaluation field for two years, making the shift from education/teaching. She has a masters in anthropology and is a PhD candidate in cultural anthropology at UC San Diego, currently writing her dissertation on education, kinship, and social change based on two years of field research in rural Tamil Nadu, India. 

Research Methods Support Team
Carlos Barahona
Research Methods Team Lead

As senior statistician and director of Statistics for Sustainable Development, Carlos helps researchers convert ideas into plans, weighing in on technical inputs, team coordination, resource management, and delivery of project outcomes. His own research explores how to integrate quantitative and qualitative methodologies to ensure robust, reliable results.

David Stern
Research Methods Team Member

David grew up in West Africa and spent most of his professional life working in East Africa. Having now returned to the former, he brings his passion for the development of capacity in mathematics, statistics, and research methods in Africa.

Ric Coe
Research Methods Team Member

The principal statistician and research methods specialist at the Statistical Services Centre (SSC), University of Reading, UK, once headed the Research Methods Group of the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) and continues at ICRAF still. Ric aims to improve the quality and effectiveness of research for development by applying statistical principles and ideas.

Facilitation Support
Ed Rege
CCRP Facilitation Support

The organizational development facilitator for Pico Eastern Africa, Kenya, Ed is an animal geneticist. His combined twenty-eight years of experience encompasses national university research and training, international agricultural research and development, and management of large global programs, much of it in sub-Saharan Africa, Southeast Asia, and South Asia.

Lecia Grossman
CCRP Facilitation Support

Lecia is a leadership and organizational development facilitator and executive coach passionate about leadership development and collaboration for social innovation. She is a Human Systems Dynamic (HSD) Consulting Associate committed to using creative process as a means for dialogue, learning and strategic change.

Mary Richardson
CCRP FRN Learning & Exchange Coordinator

Mary lives in Quebec where she consults mainly on community and rural development projects. Following PhD research focused on organic farming practices, knowledge development and ethics, her work currently combines community-based action, research and evaluation, using qualitative methods and participatory approaches.

Former Members
John Lynam
Advisory Committee Member

Based in Nairobi, Kenya, John has three-plus decades of experience in tropical agricultural research—specifically smallholder-led—in Latin America, sub-Saharan Africa, and Asia. An independent consultant since 2007, he has served the World Bank, FAO, ILRI, the World Fish Centre, the World Vegetable Centre, and the CGIAR.

Bibi Giyose
Advisory Committee Member

A senior nutrition officer for policy at the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in Rome, Bibi previously advised the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) Planning and Coordinating Agency, an organ of the African Union, on same, and was an UNDP/UNAIDS regional project coordinator for HIV and nutrition.

Ernesto Mendez
Advisory Committee Member

An associate professor of agroecology in the plant and soil science department and environmental program at the University of Vermont, and visiting professor of same at the Tropical Agriculture Research and Higher Education Center in Costa Rica, Ernesto focuses on transdisciplinary approaches that analyze interactions among agriculture, livelihoods, and environmental conservation in rural landscapes.

Tim Chancellor
Southern Africa Liaison Scientist

Today coordinating the capacity development program at the National Resources Institute, UK, Tim previously led its plant, animal and human health group. During that same period, he was involved in research on banana and groundnuts in Uganda as an adviser to the UK Department of International Development’s Crop Protection program.

Jemimah Njuki
Advisory Committee Member

Jemimah has fifteen years experience overseeing gender-responsive and women-targeted research and development projects that link women smallholder farmers to markets, integrate gender in cooperatives, apply participatory gender-responsive research, and more. As senior program officer at the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), she manages the Cultivate Africa's Future program.

Hamado Tapsoba
West Africa Regional Representative

Hamado coordinates meetings, visits projects, and reviews reports, and has since 2007. A freelance consultant in the areas of agriculture, rural development, and community empowerment, he previously worked for the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the Hunger Project in Burkina Faso. His master's and Ph.D. are in plant pathology.

Julio Kalazich
Former Advisory Committee Chair

The national director of the Chilean Institute for Agriculture and Livestock Research (INIA) in Chile, Julio joined the advisory committee in 2004 after nine years as a grantee: lead investigator for CCRP’s potato breeding project. His main interest as a potato breeder has been developing varieties with multiple resistance.

Thomas Remington
Advisory Committee Member

Tom has worked with African farmers since 1977 while in the Peace Corps in northern Mali. An agricultural advisor with Catholic Relief Services (CRS) for nineteen years, he did assignments in Baltimore, Nairobi, Ouagadougou, Bujumbura, and Lilongwe. His areas of expertise include rice cropping systems, seed security, and staple crop value chain development.

Carlos Perez
Andes Liaison Scientist

An ecological anthropologist, Perez had 20 years of professional experience in research, design, and management plus provision of technical assistance for sustainable development and environment projects. He worked in 23 countries in Latin America, Asia, and Africa. His research interests included watershed management, agroforestry, biodiversity conservation, and natural resource management as well as community-based natural resource management.