Faculty & Field Advisors

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 2020 SMART advisors:

Faculty Advisors

Arnab Basu

Professor of Economics, College of Arts and Sciences
Teams: China | Food Safety (Beijing & Shanghai)
Dr. Basu’s main research interests are in the areas of labor markets in developing countries, the economics of eco-and social labeling and field experiments to elicit behavioral preferences. More recently, he has undertaken field experiments amongst coffee farmers in Colombia and cocoa farmers in Cote d’Ivoire to study how behavioral preferences affect production decisions, household labor supply and human capital investments. Dr. Basu is a Research Fellow at the Institute of Labor Economics (IZA) in Bonn, Germany and a Fellow of the Global Labor Organization (GLO).

Nancy Chau

Professor, SC Johnson College of Business
Teams: China | Food Safety (Beijing & Shanghai)
Professor Chau’s research interests fall under three main areas: international trade, regional economics, and economic development, with particular emphasis on the economics of information and uncertainty.  She was recently awarded the Alexander von Humboldt Research Fellowship, and the first T. W. Schultz Award of the International Agricultural Economics Association. She is an associate editor of the American Journal of Agricultural Economics, a senior fellow at the Center for Development Research, a research fellow at the Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA Bonn), and member of an expert panel for the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).

Ralph Christy

Professor of Applied Economics and Management, SC Johnson College of Business
Teams: China | Qimei; Kenya | Azuri Health; Uganda | Golden Bees
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.

Parfait Eloundou-Enyegue

Professor & Department Chair, Department of Development Sociology, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
Team: Kenya | M-Farm
Professor Eloundou-Enyegue’s research agenda broadly addresses the interrelationships between population, social change, and sustainable development. Under this theme, his current projects study the effects of contemporary demographic changes on global inequality, education, youth employment, health, food security and internal conflicts. He also serves as Associate Director for the Cornell Population Center.


Katie Fiorella

Assistant Professor, Department of Population Medicine and Diagnostic Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine
Team: Zambia | Palabana Fisheries
Professor Fiorella’s research focuses on planetary health, fisheries, livelihoods, and environmental change. She was previous a postdoctoral fellow at Cornell University’s Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future, as well as an adjunct postdoctoral fellow at Columbia University’s Earth Institute. She holds an M.P.H. and Ph.D. from University of California, Berkeley.



Miguel Gómez

Associate Professor, SC Johnson College of Business
Teams: Botswana | Sereledi
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.

 Scott McArt

Assistant Professor, Department of Entomology, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
Team: Uganda | Golden Bees Ltd.
Professor McArt’s research focuses on the impact of pesticides, pathogens, and habitat on honey bees and wild bees. He is particularly interested in scientific research that can inform management decisions by beekeepers, growers and the public. He also writes a monthly column in the American Bee Journal, and is a member of the New York State Beekeeper Tech Team, which works directly with NYS beekeepers to improve honey bee health, reduce colony losses, and increase profitability of the state’s beekeeping industry.

Peter McIntyre

Associate Professor, Department of Natural Resources, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
Team: Zambia | Palabana Fisheries
Professor McIntyre is an aquatic conservation ecologist. Working with a wide range of collaborators, he develops management approaches that balance human interests with protecting biodiversity. His work is worldwide in scope, using detailed field studies at sites in New York, the Great Lakes, East Africa, Southeast Asia, and Hawaii to gain general insights and identify global patterns.


Marvin Pritts

Professor, Horticulture Section, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
Team: Kenya | Azuri Health Ltd.
Professor Pritts integrates teaching, research, and outreach into one program that is scholarly, credible and relevant to the multiple audiences that benefit from his program. He served as department chair for 13 years, having played a major role in the merging of departments between the Geneva and Ithaca campuses, and the creation of the new School of Integrative Plant Science (SIPS). He currently acts as Director of Undergraduate Studies for SIPS.


Anu Rangarajan

Director, Cornell Small Farms Program, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
Team: Rwanda | CARL Group
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.


Daniela Scur

Assistant Professor of Strategy, SC Johnson College of Business
Team: Botswana | Sereledi
Daniela Scur’s research focuses on organizations and how organizational practices affect productivity and labor outcomes across countries and industries. She studies organizational economics with a focus on emerging economies and developing countries. In addition, she is Research Officer at the London School of Economics in the Centre for Economic Performance. She is a collaborator in the Productivity Partnership, and a former research fellow from the Blavatnik School of Government in the RISE Programme.

Field Advisors

Tara Hammonds (Cornell Alumna)

Fellow, Uganda, TechnoServe Inc.
Team: Uganda | Golden Bees Ltd.
Tara is a Fellow at TechnoServe’s Uganda office working on agricultural supply chain and service delivery models under the Feed the Future Producer Organizations Activity. Prior to her role at TechnoServe, she worked as Program Assistant for Cornell’s Emerging Markets Program, during which she led a 2019 SMART team to Malawi. A former SMART participant herself, Tara holds degrees (B.S., M.P.S.) in international agriculture and rural development from Cornell University, with professional and research experience in Kenya (International Livestock Research Institute), Madagascar (Cooperation Ille-et-Vilaine, Madagascar Fauna and Flora Group), and Malawi (Villages in Partnership, Perisha Agro and Packaging Enterprise).

Nicholas Hitimana

Managing Director, Ikirezi Natural Products Ltd.
Team: Rwanda | CARL Group
Nicholas Hitimana works to build a vibrant and competitive agricultural sector in Rwanda by providing subsistence farmers with the skills and support needed to become viable commercial farmers with a unique competitive advantage in both crop type and production method. Nicholas – through his organization, Ikirezi – has introduced essential oil crops to the market. He is involved in other initiatives in education and housing, including a model village that he set up called the Village of Hope for orphans and widows.

Grace Kabuye

Managing Director & Regional Director, GO ED. Africa
Team: Uganda | Golden Bees Ltd.
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.

Gideon Kyalo

Country Director, Unumed Kenya
Team: Kenya | M-Farm
In 2014, Gideon co-founded a digital health company (Unumed) that has since expanded to Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Denmark and soon Ghana. He has worked with UNHCR and Kenya Red Cross in a disease surveillance project at the Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya. He has also worked in Copenhagen as the Unumed Product Manager together with engineers from the Danish Technical University. Gideon holds a B.Sc. in computer science from Kenyatta University, and is the Country Director of Unumed Kenya.

Joel Li (Cornell Alumnus)

Vice President, Qimei Organic
Team: China | Qimei Agriculture Science and Technology Company
Jinzhou Li (Joel) is currently the Vice President of Qimei Organic, a multinational organic farming and food processing company in China and the U.S. He is also the founder of Whole Healthy Food, which focuses on therapeutic ingredients for food, beverage, and dietary supplement applications. He has experience in start-up, export/import, e-commerce, farming, food processing, and marketing in the Chinese and American food industries.


Jan Low (Cornell Alumna)

Principal Scientist, International Potato Center
Team: Rwanda | CARL Group
Jan Low has worked for over 25 years in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). Having majored in agricultural economics with a minor in nutrition during her doctoral studies at Cornell University, it is not surprising that her major research interest is the integration of nutritional concerns into agricultural projects and programming. She leads a team of editors that is publishing 59 articles as a CABI book: Potato and Sweetpotato in Africa: Transforming the Value Chains for Food and Nutrition Security.


Mercy Lung’aho (Cornell Alumna)

Nutrition Lead, Africa, International Center for Tropical Agriculture
Team: Kenya | Azuri Health Ltd.
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 (Cornell Alumnus)

Regional Coordinator, The African Seed Access Index
Team: Kenya | M-Farm
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.

Emmanuel Muniu

Co-Founder, RenMan Africa
Team: Kenya | M-Farm
Emmanuel is Co-Founder of RenMan Africa, a start-up seeking to leverage agriculture to achieve a renaissance in Africa’s manufacturing sector. He has over five years of experience in Kenya’s agricultural sector, having been a farmer himself and worked with farmers across the country through organizations like Technoserve and Trutrade. He also consults for the World Bank on some of its key projects through the Government of Kenya.


Ackson Mwanza (Cornell Alumnus)

Programme Advisor, Agriculture, Self Help Africa
Team: Zambia | Palabana Fisheries
Ackson is a dynamic and diplomatic professional who serves as Programme Advisor for agriculture at Self Help Africa based in Zambia. Formerly a Senior Agricultural Officer working for Zambia’s Ministry of Agriculture, he is committed to improving the livelihoods of smallholder farmers and rural communities. He is also a 2017/2018 Fulbright–Humphrey Fellow and a 2018/2019 Cornell Institute for African Development Graduate Fellow, and received an M.P.S. in global development from Cornell.

Pete Ondeng

Founder and CEO, Lead Africa Foundation
Team: Kenya | Azuri Health Ltd.
Pete Ondeng is the Executive Chairman of Lead Africa Foundation, an organization he co-founded in 2012 to inspire new thinking and strategies for addressing impediments to social and economic progress in Africa.  He is a US Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and author of several books including Africa’s Moment, a highly personal and insightful perspectives on the paradoxes of Africa’s quest to become a more positive, peaceful and prosperous continent.​ Pete was also a former aspirant for the Kenyan presidency in 2017.

Onkutlwile Othata

Dean, Faculty of Business, University of Botswana
Team: Botswana | Sereledi
Dr. Onkutlwile Othata holds a Bachelor of Commerce Degree, Master’s Degree and Ph.D., all in accounting and financial management, as well as a Post-Graduate Diploma in social research methods. His teaching, research and consulting activities focus on accounting, risk management, financial analysis and corporate governance. Dr. Othata also serves as external examiner to several Universities. At a national level, he has and continues to serve in various committees and boards of organizations including the Botswana Institute of Chartered Accountants and the Insurance Council of Botswana.

Tebogo Bruce Seleka (Cornell Alumnus)

CEO, Botswana Institute for Development Policy Analysis
Team: Botswana | Sereledi
Tebogo Bruce Seleka is the Executive Director of the Botswana Institute for Development Policy Analysis (BIDPA). He holds a Ph.D. in applied economics and management from Cornell University, with specializations in public policy, applied economics and production economics. He also holds M.S. and B.S. degrees in agricultural economics from Oklahoma State University. Previously, Dr Seleka was Senior Research Fellow and Head of the Incomes, Welfare and Poverty Unit at BIDPA, and Senior Lecturer and Head of Department at the Botswana College of Agriculture.

Blessed Mulenga Silavwe

Senior Program Director, FHI 360 Zambia
Team: Zambia | Palabana Fisheries
Blessed is a team leader for the regional FEMNET project, has contributed to the development of FHI 360 Zambia’s Sexuality and Gender Sensitivity toolkit, and currently contributes to the FHI 360 Zambia USAID Open Doors Project. She has also participated in the development of the key populations paralegal training manual and training materials for the Zambia Police Service.


Kirimi Sindi

Rwanda Country Director/Value Chain Expert, International Potato Center
Team: Rwanda | CARL Group
Dr.  Kirimi Sindi is an agricultural economist with over 20 years of experience working in sub-Saharan Africa. His long-term research interest focuses on integration of nutritional concerns into agricultural research and development through a value chain approach. He has considerable experience and interest in agricultural policy, poverty analysis, seed systems, and value chains. He is the Country Manager of International Potato Center in Rwanda, as well as Secretary of APA and Vice Chair of the Local Organizing Committee in Rwanda.

Silin Tang (Cornell Alumna)

Senior Research Scientist, Mars Global Food Safety Center
Team: China | Food Safety (Beijing & Shanghai)
Silin works as a Senior Research Scientist at Mars, a position which includes work on foodborne pathogens using molecular level technologies and tools. She received her Ph.D. from Cornell University which revolved around her work at Cornell’s Food Safety Laboratory and Milk Quality Improvement Program. She also holds a M.B.B.S. in veterinary medicine from Northeast Agricultural University in China.




Comments are closed