Ralph Christy – Director
Professor Ralph D. Christy is Director of the Emerging Markets Program and Professor of Emerging Markets at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, where he teaches and conducts food marketing research and educational programs 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.
A Ph.D. graduate of Michigan State University’s Department of Agricultural Economics, Christy is past President of the American Agricultural Economics Association, and is currently a Board Member of the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation, WinRock International, and the Agribusiness Capital Fund.
He is the author of three books, A Century of Service: Land Grant Colleges and Universities, 1890-1990(1992); Achieving Sustainable Communities in a Global Economy (2004); and Emerging Markets(forthcoming). His most recent research calls attention to the role of creating an enabling environment for accelerating agro-industries’ contributions to sustain economic growth and development.
Edward Mabaya – Senior Research Associate (currently on leave)
Ed is an academic and a development practitioner with more than a decade of experience with African seed systems. He is involved in several programs that seek to improve the lives of African farmers through private enterprises. Ed established and coordinates the Seeds of Development Program, a business development services and networking program for emerging seed companies in East and Southern Africa. As a Research Associate in the Department of Applied Economics and Management at Cornell University, he conducts research on food marketing and distribution, seed systems and the role of efficient agricultural markets in Africa’s economic development. He is Assistant Director at the Emerging Markets Program. Ed earned his MS and Ph.D. degrees in Agricultural Economics at Cornell University and his B.Sc. from the University of Zimbabwe. In 2007, Ed was an Archbishop Desmond Tutu Leadership Fellow at the African Leadership Institute at Oxford University. During 2010-2011, he was a Visiting Researcher at Stellenbosch University in South Africa.
Ndunge Kiiti – Visiting Professor
Ndunge Kiiti is a Professor of International Development at Houghton College, in Houghton, NY and Adjunct Faculty at Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health, Department of Global Health, in Atlanta, GA. Currently, Dr. Kiiti is a Visiting Professor with the Emerging Markets Program. With a key focus on Africa and Latin America, Dr. Kiiti’s work involves research, teaching, and publishing in the areas of communication, education, health and development. Her collaborative research projects, supported by IMTFI, highlight the use of mobile money technology by women’s micro-credit groups and the ‘Jua Kali’ or informal business sector in Kenya. This year, in partnership with Cornell’s Institute for African Development (IAD), Dr. Kiiti will be doing research on the use and impact of mobile money technology among smallholder farmers in Rwanda and Ethiopia. She serves on the boards of MAP International, a global health organization, and Jericho Road Community Health Center, both based in the U.S. Dr. Kiiti has a PhD in Communication from Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, which included a one-year study in International Health at the John’s Hopkins School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD.
Lin Fu is a research fellow with Cornell’s Emerging Markets Program, housed in the Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management. She was previously a visiting fellow at the Brookings Institution. Her research interests include political economy, economic development, entrepreneurship, and food and agricultural policy. She has been a consultant on research projects for various organizations, including the Economist Intelligence Unit, the Asian Productivity Organization, and Control Risks. Prior to Cornell, she worked for a number of years in finance and project management consulting. Lin holds graduate degrees from Cornell University and the London School of Economics.
Tara Hammonds – Program Assistant
Tara is the Program Assistant for the Emerging Markets Program, capitalizing on her experience working with small agribusinesses and emerging economies to provide support for the Program. She recently received her Master’s of Professional Studies in Global Development from Cornell University, with a research focus on the business model for livestock insurance distribution in Kenya. She also holds a B.S. from Cornell in International Agriculture and Rural Development. She has worked and studied in Kenya, Madagascar, and Malawi, completing short-term research projects within the agricultural development sector. She has previously worked with the International Livestock Research Institute, the Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship Program, the Madagascar Fauna and Flora Group, Farm Credit East, Cornell Cooperative Extension, and the Cornell Small Farms Program, and spent several years working on a small educational dairy farm.