Past Advisors

  • Grace Kabuye, 2019 SMART Kenya Field Advisor

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.

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.

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.

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.

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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