Cohort seven (2021)

Christopher Borthwick
Christopher is an Advocacy Manager at VSO, a leading international development agency that works through volunteering. He has been with VSO since 2013, and is experienced in cross-sector partnerships, private sector engagement and advocacy.

Agatha Chimsewa
Agatha is is a Programme Policy Officer at the World Food Programme, based in Malawi, where she coordinates programmes of different UN agencies seeking to empower communities in disaster risk reduction and resilience. She previously worked as a policy advocate with the Centre for Environmental Policy and Advocacy in Malawi. She has also worked on women’s empowerment in relation to land acquisition.

Mohamed El Bashir
Mohamed works for Facebook, and has more than 15 years of experience contributing to development of institutions for global governance of the internet, including work for The State of Qatar and ICANN in California.

Mohamad El-Hinnawi
Mohamed is a partner at New Metrics, where he leads on customer experience and digital transformation strategies, and has worked with public and private sector clients in more than 10 countries. His most recent role has been with Ministry of Housing in Saudi Arabia, where he led several initiatives focused on improving citizens’ experience through digital transformation.

Marsha Germain
Marsha is a healthcare professional with diverse clinical and business experience working in the healthcare industry. She has worked primarily for clinical research organisations and pharmaceutical companies in the USA. Recently, she joined PepsiCo Life Sciences Research and Development as an Associate Principal Scientist leading efforts to create a global operating model to standardise clinical trial planning and execution.

Felicity Groves
Felicity Groves is a Social Work Team Manager for Somerset County Council, specialising in working with looked after children and in child protection. Felicity has also practiced in the West of Ireland.

Omer Hamid
Omer is a diplomat with the Sudanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA). Since December 2020 he has been based in Rabat, Morocco, where he is an expert in Partnerships and International Cooperation at the Islamic World Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation.

Saad Mannan
Saad is an analyst working in the corporate strategy department of Qatar Petroleum. His experience spans the fields of corporate responsibility reporting, sustainability consulting and renewable energy development.

Álvaro Nadal Belda
Álvaro is Head of the Economic and Commercial Office of Spain in the UK. He has worked as an economist for the Spanish civil service and as a politician, holding the cabinet post of Minister for Energy, Tourism and Digital Agenda between 2016 and 2018.

Jonas Schriegel
Jonas works in the field of capital markets compliance and regulation at SMBC Group in Frankfurt, Germany. Before joining SMBC he worked for Deloitte, GIZ, the German American Chamber of Commerce California and Commerzbank, in Frankfurt, New York, New Delhi and San Diego. His current work focuses on a range of topics related to financial crime and regulatory compliance, while in his previous positions he also covered IT transformation, IT governance and SME Finance.

Sabbir Bin Shams
Sabbir works for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) of the Bangladesh Government, and is currently based in London. His role there is to support public diplomacy and policy initiative through liaison with relevant UK Government departments and international multilateral organisations.

Cohort six (2020)

Dana Ghassan Al Kahlout
Dana is the Advocacy Manager of the Doha International Family Institute (DIFI). She has over 10 years of experience in family research and policy, with a focus on marital and parenting educational programmes, family policies, the SDGs and international cooperation.

Fiona Burgess
Fiona is a corporate governance specialist, currently serving as Assistant Director in the Center for Board Matters at EY, a global professional services firm, based in Washington, DC.

Florian Zabel
Florian is a Policy Advisor for the German Development Cooperation agency (GIZ) based in Cairo. His work focuses on ICT policies, e-government, and innovation in public administration. Previously, he served as a desk officer in GIZ’s Berlin office facilitating innovative public-private partnerships.

Grace Igweta
Grace currently works as a regional evaluation officer for the World Food Programme (WFP), based in South Africa, supporting WFP country offices across the Southern Africa Region in commissioning, managing and using independent evaluations, and doing so in partnership with Government institutions and other United Nations agencies.

Heba Al Fara
Heba works as a Policy Analyst for Qatar Foundation- a non-profit organisation working in education, research and community development. Through her role, Heba promotes evidence based social policies and programmes to serve and protect the family and its members.

Joachim Schmitz
Joachim is a Policy Officer in the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, where he works on the challenges Germany’s energy transition (Energiewende) poses for industry. He has also worked on regulation of the chemical industry, vocational and educational training, and (with ILO in Geneva) social and labour market policies for poverty reduction.

Mags Patten
Mags is Executive Director for Public Policy and Communication at Arts Council England. Her areas of policy responsibility include workforce development and leadership within the cultural sector, and the role of art and culture in promoting health and wellbeing. Her communication role is to shape the organisation’s narrative, and to understand the needs and perceptions of its stakeholders and audiences.

Mikaela Cochran
Mikaela is a Senior Research Manager at the Center for Evaluation and Development (C4ED). In this role she supports the implementation of experimental quantitative and mixed methods studies for development programmes.

Previously, Mikaela served for five years as a senior quantitative researcher at Compassion International (CI) where she ran and contributed to the design of quasi-experimental impact evaluations in Haiti, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Honduras, Colombia, Peru, Bolivia, Ethiopia, Kenya, Bangladesh, and Indonesia.

Rachel Sherwin
Rachel has spent more than a decade working across Africa and the Middle East, including setting up and managing emergency response projects in Central African Republic, Jordan, Iraq and Syria. She currently works as Monitoring, Evaluation, Research and Learning Manager with Siren Associates in Jordan helping marginalised communities secure access to protection services. Rachel is also a qualified trainer, interested in coaching and mentoring individuals to use evidence and critical thinking to improve project effectiveness.

Renata Nowak-Garmer
Renata is UNDP Africa Employment and Social Protection Specialist. In this role, she provides technical advisory to countries and regional institutions and develops regional and global policy and tools. She led The State of Social Assistance in Africa, a publication and data project and is currently leading a project aimed at strengthening community-based social protection mechanisms in five African countries.

Wasif Mullick
Wasif is the Head of Operations and External Relations at the Center for Economic Research in Pakistan, one of the country’s leading policy think tanks. In this role, he has managed numerous large-scale programme evaluations using randomised trials. He also engages actively with policy actors across different sectors, and takes the lead role in the center’s promotion of a culture of evidence-based policymaking.

Cohort five (2019)

Saira Najeeb Ahmed
Saira is a civil servant with more than 20 years of service to the federal government of Pakistan. While serving in the Economic Affairs Division and Finance Division of the Ministry of Finance, Saira has worked with the World Bank, DfID, CIDA, AusAid, USAID and other bilateral and multilateral development agencies on development projects in Pakistan.

Leigh Crowley
Leigh currently works as a Project Associate at the Government Outcomes (GO) Lab, an academic research centre within the Blavatnik School of Government, University of Oxford. The GO Lab’s research seeks to isolate the effects of impact bonds on tackling societies most complex and intractable social issues. His core responsibility is to support with the translation of the latest academic research into products that can be used by policymakers to inform their decision-making process.

Caroline Fazli
Caroline is an independent development, education and social research consultant based in India. She has worked in research and programme coordination roles with NGOs—including Seva Mandir and Foundation for Advancement of Science—as well as working with a range of schools in India—from local community schools to international schools—to build institutional capacity and capability for learning and reflection.

Laura Hilger
Laura is a public policy researcher and methodologist based in London, with a keen interest in supporting effective policy design process. Having started in the commercial research world working with the likes of O2, Post Office and Phillips, she has since transitioned into a specialist in political, social and public sector research in the UK and abroad, with an emphasis on strategy, evaluation and research methodology. Her experience includes research to inform programme/policy development, the creation of policy logic models and evaluation designs, and evaluation of large-scale social policies. She is currently a Research Director at Kantar Public UK, and will be using her thesis to better understand the mechanics of UK social policymaking.

Thesis title: Mapping the policy design process: public policymaking in the UK

Javed Ahmed Malik
Javed has worked on social transformation programmes for the past 20 years in all four provinces of Pakistan as well as in South Sudan, Tanzania, Nepal, Bangladesh and Afghanistan with major development organisations and UN systems. Based in Islamabad, he is now Pakistan Director of Democracy Reporting International, a Berlin based organisation working with the parliaments of emerging democracies to improve human rights.

Kerri Manning
Kerri is a Policy Analyst in Emergency Management at Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Canada, the Federal Department responsible for keeping Canadians safe from a range of risks such as natural disasters, crime and terrorism. Over her career in Government, Kerri has worked with international, national and local partners to advance key emergency management files, including Ministerial and international priorities.

Tigere Muzenda
Tigere is a seasoned investment banker with 26 years' experience in the financial sector. He currently works at SNV Netherlands, Kenya office as the Regional Investment Officer in charge of sub-Saharan Africa in the Dutch Fund for Climate and Development (DFCD) unit. This is an organisation that provides grants and technical assistance to private sector companies to de-risk projects / business cases whose concepts are predominantly inclined towards climate change adaptation and make them investment-ready. It also provides medium to long-term debt and/or equity for the implementation of the de-risked investment concepts.

Prior to SNV, Tigere worked as an Investment Officer in the Manufacturing, Agribusiness and Services department of the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private sector arm of the World Bank. Before joining IFC, Tigere was a Senior Project Finance Officer at the Trade and Development Bank (TDB), a regional DFI owned by COMESA member countries.

Willy Nyeko
A Ugandan national, Willy has spent a number of years working on security and risk management within the United Nations System. He is currently deployed as the Head of Security for the United Nations World Food Programme’s (WFP) Syria Operation where he provides leadership and guidance to the security team to enable the implementation of WFP programmes in Syria including helping to deepen contextual understanding of the Syria crisis, and advising the WFP Country Management on risk management.

Heidi Peterson
Heidi is currently the Senior Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning Manager (International Development) at the UK Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). This role involves leading on the monitoring, evaluation and learning needs of the Global Challenges Research Fund, a £1.5 billion fund by the UK Government to support cutting-edge research that addresses challenges faced by developing countries; and the Newton Fund, a £725 million fund by the UK government to develop science and innovation partnerships that promote the economic development and social welfare of partner countries.

Nidhi Sharma
Nidhi is a professional consultant in development evaluation, programme research, strategic planning and partnerships. A former United Nations Development Programme staff in New York, she has over 15 years of international work experience covering diverse themes, such as, poverty reduction, refugees' social protection, inclusive growth, private sector development, social policy related to women and child rights.

Giles Woodhouse
Giles worked as a professional archaeologist before commissioning into the Army that entailed much operational service in Europe and the Middle East. He retired after commanding his Battalion in Afghanistan and subsequently worked for Help for Heroes where he was responsible for the delivery and development of services supporting wounded, injured and sick personnel, veterans and their families. Currently the Chief Strategy Officer at Wessex Archaeology, he is developing the organisation's public benefit services and impact as well as supporting sectoral advocacy initiatives promoting the relevance of heritage in policymaking.

Thesis title: An exploration of how to demonstrate the social value of engagement in heritage activity within the UK policymaking context

Cohort four (2018)

Ahmed Aref
Ahmed is an experienced research and policy specialist, working on interdisciplinary policy research, evidence-based policy development, impact assessment, advocacy and project management at national, regional and international levels. He currently works for DIFI, Qatar Foundation, as a planning and content manager, and previous employers have included the UN Population Fund Arab States Regional Office; EU Program on Family and Child Rights and the Egyptian Prime Minister’s Office.

Thesis title: Family Focused Social Protection in the GCC: Is Maternity Left Behind?

Ethar Eltinay
Ethar is an independent policy design, development and innovation consultant. She has worked with the government of the UAE, the Mohammed Bin Rashid Center for Leadership Development and a number of UN agencies in the MENA region.

James Georgalakis
James is Director of Communications and Impact at the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) at the University of Sussex, with overall leadership of the Institute’s policy engagement, research impact and communications strategies. James leads the IDRC COVID-19 response for Equity Knowledge Translation Programme (CORE) and is former Director of the ESRC FCDO Impact Initiative for International Development Research. He is a social network scientist with an interest in the role of networks and relationships in the mobilisation of research knowledge for global health. Previous published research includes: A disconnected policy network: The UK's response to the Sierra Leone Ebola epidemic.

Thesis title: UK science network dynamics and epistemic alignment around COVID-19 evidence paradigms

Robert Maate
Robert is currently based in Tanzania, working for the International Monetary Fund as regional advisor. He has over 10 years work experience, having previously worked for national governments and on establishment of a currency union among the East African Community member states.

Rabia Nusrat
Rabia is an experienced peacebuilding and development practitioner, with expertise in designing and managing complex programmes in challenging locations. She has worked in South Asia, East Africa and Middle East for wide range of donors. Currently, she is working with Palladium International as a Programme Manager within the Governance Cluster.

Thesis title: Lahori modernity: How is modernity framed in the minds of Lahoris?

Suren C. Tripathi
Suren is a development professional with five years of experience in research, design, technical assistance and evaluation of international development programming. Currently based in Kenya, he has supported a range of stabilisation, state-building and peace-building interventions for Adam Smith International in Somalia since 2013.

Wassim Said
Wassim is a Consultant at the Prime Minister’s Office of the United Arab Emirates, with extensive prior experience at federal and state government agencies in the Levant and the Gulf across various policy areas spanning green economy, trade, defence, food security, and sustainable development.

Cohort three (2017)

Abdulaziz Alhammadi
Abdulaziz is an energy engineer with a particular interest in renewable power generation. His working experience is mostly in the private sector and in the United Arab Emirates, where he is a co-founder of the Emirates Environmental Services Center.

Mohamed Al Sharhan
Mohamed is a civil engineer and civil servant in the government of the United Arab Emirates. His professional responsibilities have included keeping the traffic flowing in Dubai.

Baljit Banga
Baljit is Director of the London Black Women’s Project, a human rights-based feminist organisation addressing all forms of violence against women and girls.

Philippe Clerc
Philippe is currently the Resilience Development Adviser of UNDP Turkey. He has more than 20 years of experience working in various capacities for a range of humanitarian and development agencies in Africa, Middle East and Asia including large INGOs and United Nations.

Thesis title: Resilience evolutions and effects in the aid and livelihood sectors in the Turkey Syrian refugees response

Shaun Finnetty
Shaun is an independent management consultant and development evaluator based in Belize, Central America. His professional work has included performance measurement, human resource management and organisational governance, and he currently works at the Belize Social Investment Fund.

Silke Hofer
Silke is currently based in London, working as a Social Development and Evaluation Practitioner for International Organisations such as the United Nations and IFIs, and has more than a decade of work experience in evaluation, monitoring, research and project management.

Cathy Kamau
Cathy is a consultant, trainer and executive leadership administration professional based in Geneva. She has extensive UN experience, including working directly for the UN Secretary-General’s Special Advisor on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and prior to that for the UN Special Envoy on Ebola.

Pensiri Kangvonkit
Pensiri is a consultant for the Asian Development Bank, based in Bangkok and working on financial inclusion. She has previously worked as an economist in the Bank of Thailand and as a policy analyst for the National Reform Council.

Valentina Sommacal
Valentina is a development specialist with experience in the management, sustainability and evaluation of projects in the fields of gender, private sector and value chain development, livelihoods and institution building. Currently consulting for FAO, previously she worked with international NGOs, the UN, and EU projects primarily in the MENA Region and Africa.

Stephan Zimmermann
Stephan is currently working for the World Bank Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery, based in Brussels. He has prior experience working as a policy officer with the European Commission, with ICF International and the European Chamber of Commerce in Cambodia.

Thesis title: Disaster Risk Finance (DRF): What are the broader macro-economic justifications for investments into sovereign DRF strategies at national level?

Cohort two (2016)

Majid Al-Ayed
Majid is Head of Research and Studies at the National Center for Performance Measurement (ADAA) in Saudi Arabia. His primary responsibilities include preparing national performance reports and sectoral analysis studies, as well as engaging with stakeholders. His previous public sector position was Director General of Export Enablement and [acting] Director General of Exporters Development at the Saudi Export Development Authority.

Thesis title: The Application of a New Human Capital Paradigm for Saudi Arabia’s Economic Development

Sooksiri Chamsuk
Sooksiri is a Programme Officer for the UN's Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO), based in Bangkok, and has more than 15 years of experience working with the UN system (UN Development Programme and UNIDO). Her role is to help countries in South East Asia decouple environmental impacts from economic activities through the implementation of development projects in the areas of low carbon, chemicals management, and sustainable development.

Thesis title: Carbon emission reduction and well-being: Unravelling greenhouse gas emission reduction, carbon finance, and development in Asia

Giorgia Iacopini
Giorgia is a Principal Researcher and Consultant at the Tavistock Institute of Human Relations (TIHR), an independent, not-for-profit, social science organisation specialising in evaluation, applied research and organisational consultancy. Giorgia works extensively and regularly with the public sector in the UK (including central and local government and community and voluntary sectors) and the EU undertaking impact and process evaluations, with a particular interest in theory-based evaluation approaches and qualitative research methods

Christine Mwangi
Christine is Director of Executive Education at the Strathmore Institute for Public Policy and Governance in Nairobi.

Margaret Satya Rose
Margaret is a lawyer specialising in public procurement law and qualified to practice in the English-speaking Caribbean, and called to the bar of Trinidad and Tobago, since 1995. Margaret is currently Principal Consultant at the Procurement Innovation and Leadership Lab, and Lecturer on the MSc in Procurement Management, at the Mona School of Business, University of the West Indies.

Margaret has also held board memberships in both the public and private sector, and has worked on World Bank, UNODC and IDB funded projects relating to public procurement research, legislative reform, training and capacity-building in the Caribbean. Margaret is the Co-Founder and former Executive Director of the Caribbean Procurement Institute (2006-2017).

Thesis title: Thesis: A Metatheoretical Analysis of Public Procurement (PP) Governance Design: Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic

Ali Salman
Ali is a think tank professional based in Kuala Lumpur. Currently, he is CEO of the Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (IDEAS) and Islam and Liberty Network, Malaysia. Earlier, he founded and successfully ran the Policy Research Institute of Market Economy in Islamabad. He has worked also at the Planning Commission of Pakistan, Institute of Economic Affairs, London and Alternate Solutions Institute, Pakistan.

Thesis title: Digital economy transformation and policy in Malaysia and Pakistan

Mohamed Youssef
Mohamed possesses 17 years of experience in small business and enterprise promotion programmes in Egypt, both for public and private sector organisations, including responsibility for a programme to replace 100,000 old taxis across the country. He is currently leading the work on international development assignments with both international organisations and the Government.

Cohort one (2015)

Seung-Jin Baek, Graduated, 2020
Seung-Jin is a South Korean economist specialising in development economics and policy. He has worked at various United Nations economic and social commissions (including ESCWA, ECA and ECLAC), contributing to knowledge production for the provision of evidence-based advisory services to member states on development plans, strategies, and macro-frameworks.

Fletcher Chilumpha
Fletcher is a country technical advisor for the UN Capital Development Fund in Malawi. His role is to help build a more inclusive financial sector in the country by promoting a better policy environment, strengthening infrastructure, and building the capacity of financial service providers.

Jeff Farrar, Graduated, 2020
Jeff is Chair of University Hospitals Bristol and Weston Area Health Trust and former Chief Constable of Gwent Police. His wide experience of leadership and policymaking in England, Wales and Westminster includes being a Non-Executive Director on the Welsh Government Board and having been Chair of Welsh Government Effective Services for Vulnerable People Board.

Andrew Fyfe
Andrew is Head of Evaluation at the UN Capital Development Fund and based in New York. He is responsible for external evaluations, for embedding evaluation within the programme cycle and for developing new evaluation tools - including for better measurement of policy performance.

Thesis title: Assessing the drive from billions to trillions while leaving no one behind: building better standards for evaluation of blended public-private development assistance in pursuit of the SDGs

Susan Godt
Susan retired as Senior Programme Specialist for Canada’s International Development Research Centre in 2019. She has been a development worker and spent most years since 1981 living and working in sub-Saharan Africa. Her work supported equitable health systems strengthening, women’s development, HIV prevention and rights-based programming.

Thesis title: Multinational investment in primary health and education services: the contested policy space at the “base of the pyramid” in Kenya and Uganda

Njahira Mary Karanja
Njahira worked for the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime until recently and was involved with advocacy on rule of law matters including transnational crime such as illicit drug and human trafficking, terrorism, wildlife crime, among others. She will soon be joining the Judiciary in Kenya.

Thesis title: The blockchain and management of juveniles in Kenya’s criminal justice system