The EPAR model brings talented Graduate Research Assistants with diverse technical and professional skills together with faculty oversight, expert advising from a wide network of scholars and practitioners, and the supporting infrastructure of the University of Washington to provide research and analysis that meets high standards of academic rigor while still being accessible to a broad, non-technical audience. EPAR’s mentorship model, where second-year Research Assistants train and support first-year Research Assistants, helps to ensure the continuity and quality of our research, leverages diverse skill sets, and allows EPAR to take on longer-term research initiatives. EPAR has no program management staff, but is supported by core staff at the Evans School of Public Policy and Governance for Personnel, Fiscal & Grant Management, and IT and technical support.
EPAR PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR
Leigh Anderson joined the Evans School faculty in 1997. Her primary research interest is in how individuals living in poverty make financial, environmental, health, and other livelihood decisions, especially when outcomes are highly risky or spread over time. Her current research focuses on rural poverty and agriculture, and market and policy institutions. Professor Anderson founded EPAR in 2008, and continues to direct its research as EPAR's Principal Investigator. Anderson also serves as the Marc Lindenberg Professor for Humanitarian Action, International Development, and Global Citizenship and teaches courses in economics, statistics, and international development. Anderson holds a PhD in Economics from the University of Washington.
Shamma Alam is an Assistant Professor of Economics in the Department of International Studies at Dickinson College. He also serves as a Research Associate at the CEQ Institute at Tulane University and contributes courses at the U.S. Army War College. Shamma Alam’s research focuses on different aspects of international development, such as health issues and measurements, fertility issues, agricultural economics, public finance, and microcredit. He served as a Consultant at the World Bank several times, including in their Economic Policy, Poverty and Gender Group, Development Data Group, and East Asia and Pacific Region group. He also previously served as a consultant in the Agriculture Policy Team at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Shamma Alam received his M.A. and Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Washington, Seattle, and B.A. in Economics from Franklin & Marshall College.
Didier Alia joined EPAR as a Research Associate in September 2017. His research interests are in International Development with a particular focus on Input Intensification and the Transformation of African Agriculture and Rural Spaces. He also has keen interests in Urbanization, Health, and Trade and their implications for development. He received his PhD in Agricultural Economics from the University of Kentucky, and also holds a BSc and a MSc in Mathematics from the University of Abomey-Calavi in Benin and a Statistician-Economist Engineer Diploma (MSc) from the Sub-Regional Institute of Statistics and Applied Economics in Cameroon.
Carlos E. Cuevas joined the Evans School in Winter 2013. He lectures on development finance, development practice and program evaluation. Before joining the Evans school, Cuevas was Deputy Director of the Financial Services for the Poor initiative at the Bill & Melinda Gates foundation. The initiative supports the provision of financial services to low-income clients with a strong emphasis on safe savings and payments. Prior to joining the foundation in March 2009, Dr. Cuevas was Financial Sector Policy Advisory Consultant at the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP) and The World Bank Group (since February 2008), and before that a Financial Sector Development Adviser at the World Bank between March 1995 and January 2008. A specialist in rural finance and microfinance, Cuevas has worked on cooperative finance, development banking, and regulatory and supervisory issues. He managed or participated in World Bank lending operations, sector work and technical assistance worldwide during his 13 years as regular staff. Before joining the World Bank, he was a Senior Microenterprise Specialist at the Inter-American Development Bank (1993-1995), and prior to that an Assistant Professor of Agricultural Economics and Finance at The Ohio State University (1984-1993). Dr. Cuevas holds a Master of Science degree in agricultural economics from the Catholic University of Chile and a Ph.D. in agricultural economics from The Ohio State University.
Alison Cullen joined the Evans School faculty at University of Washington in 1995. Her research involves the analysis of risks to human health and the environment, decision making in the face of risks which are uncertain or vary spatially, temporally and across populations, and the application of value of information and distributional techniques. At University of Washington she is also an adjunct professor in the School of Public Health and in the College of the Environment, and serves on the Boards of the Program on Climate Change and the Environmental Management Certificate. Cullen holds a Sc.D. in Environmental Health Management and a M.S. in Environmental Health Science, Exposure Assessment, and Engineering from Harvard University School of Public Health. She also holds a B.S. in Civil/Environmental Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
Marieka M. Klawitter joined the Evans School faculty in 1990. Her research focuses on public policies that affect work and income, including studies of the effects of asset-building policies, welfare policies, intra-household bargaining, and anti-discrimination policies for sexual orientation. Klawitter teaches courses on public policy analysis, quantitative methods, program evaluation, asset-building for low income families, and sexual orientation and public policy. Klawitter holds a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Wisconsin, and a MPP and AB in Economics from the University of Michigan.
Dr. Carol Levin is an expert in costing health technologies and interventions delivered in public health delivery systems. Currently, she is the director for the Global Health Cost Consortium to strengthen access to, and the use of, high quality cost data for HIV and TB. Previously, she led the systematic review of costs of global health interventions as part of the Disease Control Priorities Project. Her interests are in conducting research on the costs and cost-effectiveness of introducing and scaling up public health interventions related to maternal, reproductive and child health, and HIV. She has also recently conducted research on the costs of domestic programs in the US, recently completing work with colleagues at UW Department of Psychiatry to estimate the cost of initiatives in the Washington State mental health program. In addition to health economics, she is also an expert in the area of food security and nutrition policy, where most recently she focused on implementing and evaluating an integrated agriculture and health project to maximize health and nutrition outcomes. She was also a contributing author to the 2015 Global Nutrition Report on defining healthy food systems.
Aline Meysonnat joined the Evans School as a Research Associate in October 2018. Her research relates broadly to economic growth, poverty reduction and more recently women empowerment in Sub-Saharan Africa and the MENA region. Currently, she works on projects related to gender inequality and women empowerment in agriculture. She earned a M.Sc. and Ph.D. in Economics from Maastricht University in the Netherlands. After obtaining her degree, she spent one year as a research associate at the United Nations University – Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (UNU-MERIT).
Travis Reynolds is an Assistant Professor of Community Development and Applied Economics at the University of Vermont, and joined EPAR in 2015. Reynolds received a PhD in Public Policy and Management from the Evans School in 2011, and worked on several EPAR research projects during his studies at the the Evans School. His current research focuses on international environmental policy, including community-based forest management, global food policy, carbon forestry, and payments for ecosystems services. In addition to his work with EPAR, Reynolds also leads a research project studing church forests in rural Ethiopia, and teaches courses in international environmental policy, global food policy, and rural livelihoods.
Federico Trindade joined EPAR as a Research Associate in October 2018. He holds MSc and Ph.D. degrees in Agricultural Economics from the University of Nebraska - Lincoln. His main areas of study are Agricultural Productivity and Agricultural Development with specific research done on the impact of climate and irrigation on agricultural productivity, productivity growth trends, the impact of agriculture on biodiversity and agricultural efficiency (SFA). His most recent work at EPAR has been related to Agricultural R&D and global public goods allocation.
Ayala Wineman joined EPAR as a Research Associate in September 2017. She earned a MSc and PhD in Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics from Michigan State University in 2017. Her research relates broadly to poverty and rural development in sub-Saharan Africa. Specifically, her past research has emphasized food security measurement and the effects of climate variability and climate change in East and Southern Africa. More recently, she has focused on the topics of land access, land markets, and migration in East Africa. Prior to graduate school, she worked as a math and English teacher in Guyana and Ethiopia.
Nina Forbes joined EPAR as a Research Assistant in 2018 and became a Research Scientist in 2020. She earned an MPA from the Evans School in 2020 with a focus in Policy Analysis and Evaluation. She also holds a BA in International Political Economy from the University of Puget Sound. Her research interests include studying the socio economic empowerment of women in LMICs and how the public and the private sector can work together to achieve development goals.
Samantha Kiel joined EPAR as a Research Assistant in 2018 and became a Research Scientist in 2020. She received her MPA from the Evans School with a concentration in public finance and budgeting with a particular emphasis on tax policy. During her time with EPAR her work has focused on data analysis, automation and data dissemination. She was the original developer of EPAR's AgQuery webtool, which she continues to oversee. Prior to working at EPAR she worked in IT in the public and non-profit sectors.
Carly Schmidt joined EPAR as a Research Assistant in 2019, and became a Research Scientist in 2020 after graduating from the Evans School. She holds an MPA with a concentration in analysis and evaluation. Prior to EPAR, she applied her undergraduate degree in Human Services to her work with nonprofit organizations in local community health and global development. Most recently, she worked at Mercy Corps supporting grant financial management as well as research on resilience, social capital and cohesion, and migration. Her current interests focus on the use of research, evaluation, and analysis to drive equitable, evidence-based policy and program decisions, particularly in regard to resilience, migration, and social networks in contexts affected by climate change.
Becca joined EPAR as a Research Scientist in 2020. In this role, she manages the "Evaluating Inclusive Transformation in Agriculture (EVITA)" grant. Prior to joining the Evans School, Becca was a Policy Manager at J-PAL, where she managed two competitive funds for randomized evaluations in agriculture and climate change and led the development of J-PAL's policy briefs and evidence synthesis. Becca holds an M.S. in Economics and Urban & Environmental Policy & Planning from Tufts University and a B.S. in Economics and Art History from the University of Pittsburgh, where she graduated Phi Beta Kappa.
Kelsey Figone (MPA '22) is passionate about the intersection of social responsibility and food systems. Before studying at Evans, she worked on farms, managed corporate social responsibility programs in Washington, DC, and taught English in Indonesia through the Fulbright program. She received her B.A. from the Claremont Colleges, where she studied language rights in South Africa.
Tiffany Ha (MPA '22) is interested in scalable solutions for sustainable agriculture and food security that are sensitive to diverse and nuanced community needs and climates. Prior to joining Evans, Tiffany oversaw operations and designed creative environmental curricula at a start-up organization in Hong Kong. She served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Rwanda where she led training of trainers to build climate resilient kitchen gardens. Tiffany earned her BA in Political Science from UCLA.
Basil Hariri (MPA ’22) is interested in data driven climate policy, voting rights/engagement advocacy, and international development. Prior to the Evans School, he worked as a software engineer on big data applications at Microsoft. Basil graduated from The University of Texas at Austin with a BS in Computer Science and a BS in Electrical and Computer Engineering.
Conor Hennessy (MPA '21) is interested in data science, policy analysis, and international development. Prior to coming to the Evans School, he worked as an electrical engineer at Naval Base Kitsap. Conor has a degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Oregon State University.
Rebecca Hsu (MPA ’22) is interested in policy analysis and evaluation in the areas of health and tech policy. Before coming to the Evans School, she worked as a research assistant with Baylor College of Medicine’s Center for Medical Ethics and Health Policy studying the ethical, legal, and social implications of emerging health technologies. She received a B.A. in Cognitive Sciences from Rice University.
Marina Kaminsky (MPA '21) has a passion for working at the intersection of sustainability and international development. She received a B.A. in economics from Reed College and has held internships at the Center for Global Development and Innovations for Poverty Action. Prior to joining EPAR, she worked as research coordinator at North Star Civic Foundation, where she focused on equity concerns in state and local-level fiscal policy.
Andrew Tomes (MPA '21) is interested in building climate resilience and advancing evidence-based policy development. He previously worked as a plant biologist and regulatory coordinator at an organic fertilizer startup. He holds an MS in Ecology from SUNY-ESF, where he studied plant distribution modeling under climate change and plant-fungus mutualism. He also holds a BS in Botany and a BA in English from University of Maine (Orono), where he worked on wetland restoration ecology.