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 & plant-microbe biology, plant breeding & genetics, and international agriculture & rural development at Cornell University. Her laboratory works on the genetic dissection of quantitative disease resistance in maize in collaboration with maize geneticists and breeders at Cornell, in Kenya, and elsewhere. She co-chairs the Thematic Group on Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems for the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network.

Megan Powers
McKnight Foundation International Program Officer

Megan manages the CCRP’s program operations and grantmaking support structures. Prior to joining McKnight in 2015, she held leadership roles at Grassroots Solutions, Asian Americans & Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy, and the Advocates for Human Rights. Megan is a former Fulbright grantee and Rotary World Peace Fellow.

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
Claire Nicklin
Andes Regional Representative

Claire lives in Ecuador. She also works with the Integrated Monitoring, Evaluation, and Planning team of the CCRP. Her interests include supporting short circuit markets, agrobiodiversity conservation, and using mixed methods. She holds an MPS in international agriculture and rural development from Cornell University.

Beth Medvecky
Eastern Africa Liaison Scientist

Beth is a research associate at Cornell University and assistant director of the Cornell International Institute for Food, Agriculture, and Development. Beth lived in rural Kenya for nearly two decades where 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

Linnet is an Associate Professor of Entomology and the Director of Research & Innovation at the University of Eldoret, Kenya. Linnet specializes in crop protection with a bias towards agricultural entomology. She conducts research in various areas of agriculture, and works with communities to improve their livelihoods through agricultural research and related activities.

Kate Wellard
Southern Africa Liaison Scientist

A social scientist 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, for more than two decades.

Prudence Kaijage
Southern Africa Regional Representative

Prudence is the Managing Director of Capacity Building and Leadership Institute Centre Ltd, a consultancy company working in East Africa to promote organizational effectiveness and learning. Prudence is an established development practitioner with over 27 years’ post-graduate experience in the public, private and development sector.

Bettina Haussmann
West Africa Liaison Scientist

Bettina is 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 Representative

Batamaka is a practicing anthropologist and research consultant based in Burkina Faso. He has conducted research in agriculture and gender, mainly focusing on rural livelihoods strategies, food security, agricultural productivity and market access, and cash crop farming in Africa.

Marah Moore
IMEP Team Lead

Since founding i2i Institute in 1994, Marah has designed and implemented a wide range of evaluation studies focused on helping complex initiatives maneuver the dynamic landscape of social change. She is an associate with the Human Systems Dynamics Institute, and is co-chair of the System in Evaluation Topical Interest Group of the American Evaluation Association.

Michael Patton
IMEP Team Support

An independent organizational development and program evaluation consultant, Michael, holds a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He spent 18 years on the faculty of the University of Minnesota, including five as Director of the Minnesota Center for Social Research and ten with the Minnesota Extension.

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

Research Methods Team Member, David grew up in West Africa, and after his PhD in pure Mathematics, he lectured in East Africa becoming most well known for his innovations in statistics education. He has recently left the University of Reading to set up a social enterprise IDEMS (Innovations in Development, Education and Mathematics). 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
Mary Richardson
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 combines community-based
action, research and evaluation, using qualitative methods and participatory approaches.

Ed Rege
CCRP Facilitation Support

An animal geneticist and organizational development facilitator, Ed is the CEO of PICO Eastern Africa. He has a combined 36 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, instructional designer and executive coach passionate about leadership development and social innovation. She is certified in Human Systems Dynamics, Co-Active Coaching, Art of Hosting and Appreciative Inquiry and is committed to using creative process as a means for dialogue, learning and change.

Former Members
John Lynam
Advisory Committee Member

Based in Nairobi, Kenya, John has over three 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 FAO in Rome, Bibi previously advised the New Partnership for Africa’s Development Planning and Coordinating Agency, an organ of the African Union, on the same, and was an UNDP/UNAIDS regional project coordinator for HIV and nutrition.

Ernesto Mendez
Advisory Committee Member

A professor of agroecology in the plant and soil science department and environmental program at the University of Vermont (UVM), Ernesto leads the Agroecology and Livelihoods Collaborative (ALC), a community of practice that uses agroecology, participatory action research (PAR) and transdisciplinary approaches to better understand and improve our current agrifood systems.

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.