2019 Advisors

  • Grace Kabuye, 2019 SMART Kenya Field Advisor

Faculty, field, and technical advisors are an integral part of the SMART Program. They provide teams with niche expertise and advice, helping students to conduct effective and relevant research and to produce successful deliverables. We thank our 2019 SMART advisors:

Faculty Advisors

Iwan J. Azis

Professor of Economics, SC Johnson College of Business
Team: Indonesia | Cau Chocolates
Dr. Azis is a Professor of Economics at the Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management at Cornell University, where he also serves as the director of Graduate Studies for Regional Science. Dr. Azis is also a Professor at the University of Indonesia. Additionally, he has served as the Head of Regional Economic Integration at the Asian Development Bank (ADB). For over 30 years, Dr. Azis has contributed to research, teaching, and outreach in the areas of financial economics, economic modeling, and macro-financial policy.

Ralph Christy

Professor of Applied Economics and Management, SC Johnson College of Business
Team: Indonesia | Cau Chocolates
Dr. Christy is a professor of emerging markets and Director of the Emerging Markets Program at Cornell University, where he teaches and conducts food marketing research on the economic performance of markets and distribution systems. He has advised industry leaders and public policy makers on food marketing strategies, economic development, and the organization of the global food economy. His recent research calls attention to the role of creating an enabling environment for accelerating agro-industries’ contributions to economic growth and development.

Miguel Gómez

Associate Professor, SC Johnson College of Business
Teams: Colombia | ASOPROCOAS and Colombia | FCC
Dr. Gómez is a fellow of the David R. Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future at Cornell University. He concentrates his research program on two interrelated areas under the umbrella of food marketing and distribution: supply chain competitiveness and sustainability, and retail and channel relationships. The scope of his research program is domestic and international, the latter emphasizing food value chains in Latin America and the Caribbean. In addition, his applied research efforts aim at enhancing market opportunities for horticultural products (fruits, vegetables, and ornamentals), benefiting producers, food processors/distributors, and consumers in New York State.

Rod Hawkes

Faculty Member, SC Johnson College of Business
Team: Kenya | Mulleys Supermarkets
For over 39 years, Dr. Hawkes has been a faculty member in the Food Industry Management Program of the Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management at Cornell University. Dr. Hawkes coordinates the Food Marketing Fellows Program through which a select group of undergraduates visits food industry companies for an in-depth look behind the scenes in the U.S. and foreign markets. Dr. Hawkes also helps conduct and teach in a variety of executive education programs. Food industry teaching assignments have taken him across the U.S., Canada, and many countries in Asia, Europe, and South America.

Jarra Jagne

Poultry Diagnostician, College of Veterinary Medicine
Team: Kenya | Mulleys Supermarkets
Dr. Jagne is a veterinarian with over 23 years of experience in poultry disease management and control, and a faculty member of the Department of Population Medicine and Diagnostic Sciences at the Cornell College of Veterinary Medicine. She performs field investigations of poultry diseases and teaches poultry medicine. She also has worked as a Veterinary Advisor for a USAID-funded project on avian influenza and for the UN FAO. Dr. Jagne holds a DVM from Cornell University, a BSc in Biology from Colorado State University, and is a Diplomate of the American College of Poultry Veterinarians.

Anu Rangarajan

Director, Cornell Small Farms Program, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
Team: South Africa | Cappeny Estates
Dr. Rangarajan grew up growing vegetables and flowers for her family. Her love of horticulture led to degrees from Michigan State (B.S., Ph.D.) and University of Wisconsin (M.S.) in floriculture and vegetable production. She has been at Cornell since 1996 as a statewide specialist for fresh market vegetable production. Her research interests include tillage, compost, and soil quality in vegetables and organic production systems. In 2005, she joined the ranks and started a small farm in Freeville, NY.


Field Advisors

Rupsha Banerjee

Social Scientist, International Livestock Research Institute
Team: Ethiopia | ILRI
As a social scientist, Dr. Banerjee has over seven years of experience in project management in the public and private sector. Her expertise are in the areas of agriculture, microfinance, insurance and corporate social responsibility (CSR) with a focus on social and institutional change. At ILRI, through the IBLI project, she has been leading efforts in conducting market studies and assessing models of sales and distribution channels of IBLI, while supporting research activities of the project related to innovative methods of extension, education, and data collection.

Joyce Chitja

Lecturer, University of Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa
Team: South Africa | Cappeny Estates
Dr. Chitja is a Lecturer at University of Kwazulu-Natal. With a doctoral degree in Food Security, Dr. Chitja has an extensive research and publication history which is informed by a community and stakeholder engagement ethos aimed at contributing to improving rural farming livelihoods. Dr. Chitja’s local, regional (SADC), and national work contributes to food security policies and programs with a focus on rural and agricultural development. She serves as Deputy Chair of the Agricultural Council of South Africa board. Internationally, Dr. Chitja has established numerous collaborations with institutions including Cornell University where she was a Visiting Scholar hosted by the Cornell International Institute for Development (CIIFAD).

Amanda Peçanha Enqvist

Agribusiness Development Consultant, UN FAO & Communications Associate, MM Inc.
Team: South Africa | O’live Handmade Soaps
Since graduating from Cornell University with an M.R.P. in City and Regional Planning in 2014, Amanda has worked as a consultant and project manager for research initiatives at Cornell’s Dyson School, the United Nations, and the Stockholm Environment Institute to name a few. Driven by an interest in food systems and sustainability, her work has centered on issues pertaining to smallholder farming, regional food systems, agribusiness entrepreneurship, and sustainable agriculture. She resides in Cape Town with her husband and dog.

Grace Kabuye

Managing Director & Regional Director, GO ED. Africa
Team: Kenya | Azuri Health
Born in Uganda and a resident of Kenya, Grace is currently a partner, managing director, and regional director of academic programs for GO ED. Africa, a study abroad program for American college students, based in Rwanda. With an M.B.A. in Finance, Grace has over 30 years’ experience in teaching finance, economics, and management courses. She is currently an adjunct faculty of Eastern University, teaching economic development. Grace holds a BCom (Marketing) from Makerere University (Uganda) and an M.B.A. in Finance from St. Johns University, New York, USA. Her experience includes working as an international consultant for UN Women in South Sudan and Kenya and at the UN headquarters in New York.

Mercy Lung’aho

Nutrition Lead, Africa, International Center for Tropical Agriculture
Team: Kenya | Azuri Health
Dr. Lung’aho is the Nutrition Lead for Africa at the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT). She is a nutritionist and research scientist with expertise in nutrition-sensitive agricultural programming. Her research includes a landmark study in Rwanda, documenting evidence that eating beans fortified with iron can reduce iron deficiency in women of reproductive age. Dr. Lung’aho received her Ph.D. in Food Science and International Nutrition from Cornell University. She is a member of the American Society for Nutrition, the African Nutrition Society, and a registered nutritionist at the Kenya Nutrition and Dietetics Institute. She has also worked for the Pan-Africa Bean Research Alliance (PABRA) as a nutritionist.

Mainza Mugoya

Regional Coordinator, The African Seed Access Index
Team: Malawi | Perisha Agro and Packaging Enterprise
Based in Nairobi, Kenya, Mainza is coordinating the TASAI index roll-out to more than 10 countries across Africa. This entails working closely with the country research teams, reviewing country reports and coordinating the dissemination of the findings. Mainza was previously with the Eastern Africa Farmers’ Federation (EAFF), working as the Policy Officer. His work entailed leading EAFF’s policy work at the regional level, and working closely with the EAFF member organizations at the national level. Mainza is a Cornell graduate of the Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management.

Masresha Taye

Program Coordinator, International Livestock Research Institute
Team: Ethiopia | ILRI
With more than ten years of experience, Masresha has worked as a socio-economic researcher for different projects that focus on rural development, agricultural development, food security, integrated land use planning, pastoral development and rural/urban planning. He currently works as Program Coordinator for IBLI in Ethiopia, and actively collaborates on initiatives to promote and expand the IBLI agenda in other contexts. Masresha has an M.A. degree in Development Studies, with plans to pursue a Ph.D. starting in 2019.

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