I am deeply interested in the challenges and opportunities that emerge at the intersection of global environmental and economic change. I use my research into agrarian livelihoods as a means to better understand how development and adaptation programs might produce durable improvements in the human condition.
Even the best research will be limited in its impact without engagement. I have held policy and program management positions at USAID, served as a consultant to the World Bank, and am currently a member of the Scientific and Technical Advisory Panel to the Global Environment Facility. I have also served as a lead author and review editor for several global environmental assessments.
Higher education is a critical site for conducting the research needed to address global challenges, and using that research to inform the training of the next generation of scholars, practitioners, and policymakers. I work to design institutions and curricula to produce effective problem-solvers.
My research draws on more than twenty years of empirical study dedicated to better understanding how agrarian communities in sub-Saharan Africa make their way in an era of global change. Broadly speaking, this work provides insights into the ways development and adaptation interventions result in changes to human well-being (positive and negative), how livelihoods work to order agrarian and other worlds, and how resilience presents both barriers to and opportunities for the transformative changes needed to manage our changing world. Whether developing and refining new approaches to the study of agrarian livelihoods, or shaping the conversation about climate services for development, I've continuously identified opportunities to push the frontiers of knowledge. My publications are available here.
My work is conducted with the staff and students of the Humanitarian Response and Development Lab (HURDL), a novel entity that combines attributes of a research lab and a consulting firm. I also manage small projects through my consulting firm, Society Environment Economy Group, LLC. Through these entities I have led nearly $2 million in development and adaptation implementation projects (contributing to projects with approximately $80 million in total funding) ranging from the development of better gender assessment tools to the delivery of useful weather and climate information to farmers in sub-Saharan Africa. Through this work I have honed my targeting and communication of research findings, and my research has shaped how tens of millions of development and adaptation dollars have been spent.