Team

  • Scholars / UChicago Scholar

    Michael Kremer

    University Professor in Economics and the College and the Harris School of Public Policy, Director of the Development Innovation Lab
  • Scholars /

    Luiza Andrade

    Data Analytics Lead, Development Innovation Lab
  • Scholars /

    Arthur Baker

    Chief of Staff of the Office of the Faculty Director, Development Innovation Lab
  • Scholars /

    Kevin Carney

    Postdoctoral Scholar, Development Innovation Lab
  • Scholars /

    Michelle Cherian

    Research Professional, Development Innovation Lab
  • Scholars /

    Nicole Colegrove

    Director, Development Innovation Lab
  • Scholars /

    Emily Cupito

    Director, Development Innovation Lab
  • Scholars /

    Joshua Deutschmann

    Postdoctoral Scholar and Lead Researcher, Development Innovation Lab
  • Scholars /

    Guthrie Gray-Lobe

    Research Associate and Lead Researcher, Development Innovation Lab
  • Scholars /

    Siddhartha Haria

    Policy Lead, Development Innovation Lab
  • Scholars /

    Maryiam Haroon

    Postdoctoral Scholar, Development Innovation Lab
  • Scholars /

    Jill Jacobbi

    Associate Director, Development Innovation Lab
  • Scholars /

    Akito Kamei

    Postdoctoral Scholar and Lead Researcher, Development Innovation Lab
  • Scholars /

    Jessica Kong

    Associate Director, Development Innovation Lab
  • Scholars /

    Benjamin Krause

    Executive Director, Development Innovation Lab
  • Scholars /

    Alexander Lehner

    Postdoctoral Researcher, Development Innovation Lab
  • Scholars /

    Toniann Liotta

    Executive Assistant to the Faculty Director, Development Innovation Lab
  • Scholars /

    Selene Cueva Madrid

    Research Professional, Development Innovation Lab
  • Scholars /

    Private: Elisa Maffioli

    Visiting Scholar and Director, Development Innovation Lab
  • Scholars /

    Grace Makana Barasa

    Kenya Country Director, Development Innovation Lab
  • Scholars /

    Henrique Mota

    Research Professional, Development Innovation Lab
  • Scholars /

    Peris Musitia

    Research Coordinator, Development Innovation Lab
  • Scholars /

    Shubhalakshmi Nag

    Research Professional, Development Innovation Lab
  • Scholars /

    Jiya Nair

    Special Projects Coordinator, Development Innovation Lab
  • Scholars /

    Vesall Nourani

    Senior Research Associate and Director, Development Innovation Lab
  • Scholars /

    Mauricio Ortiz-Riomalo

    Research Professional, Development Innovation Lab
  • Scholars /

    Shardul Oza

    Education Research Manager, Development Innovation Lab
  • Scholars /

    Shashank Patil

    Predoctoral Research Professional, Development Innovation Lab
  • Scholars /

    Pablo Pena

    Assistant Instructional Professor and Director, Development Innovation Lab
  • Scholars /

    Matheus Proença

    Predoctoral Research Professional, Development Innovation Lab
  • Scholars /

    Sara Restrepo Tamayo

    Research Professional , Development Innovation Lab
  • Scholars /

    Leah Rosenzweig

    Director, Development Innovation Lab
  • Scholars /

    Olga Rostapshova

    Advisor to the Weiss Fund, Development Innovation Lab
  • Scholars /

    Jessica Rudder

    Postdoctoral Scholar and Lead Researcher, Development Innovation Lab
  • Scholars /

    Heather Rushing

    Operations Associate, Development Innovation Lab
  • Scholars /

    Juan Saavedra

    Consulting Director, Development Innovation Lab
  • Scholars /

    Imara Salas

    Senior Research Professional, Development Innovation Lab
  • Scholars /

    Akanksha Saletore

    Research Manager , Development Innovation Lab
  • Scholars /

    Becky Scurlock

    Research Professional, Development Innovation Lab
  • Scholars /

    Sabarish Shankar

    Research Professional, Development Innovation Lab
  • Scholars /

    Alejandra Shuber

    Grants & Contracts Coordinator, Development Innovation Lab
  • Scholars /

    Rathan Sudheer

    Research Professional, Development Innovation Lab
  • Scholars /

    Santiago Velasquez

    Research Professional, Development Innovation Lab
  • Scholars /

    Astha Vohra

    Research Professional, Development Innovation Lab
  • Scholars /

    Antony Wangari

    Research Coordinator, Development Innovation Lab
  • Scholars /

    Witold Weicek

    Consulting Director, Development Innovation Lab
  • Scholars /

    Wendy Wong

    Postdoctoral Scholar and Lead Researcher, Development Innovation Lab
  • Michael Kremer

    University Professor in Economics and the College and the Harris School of Public Policy, Director of the Development Innovation Lab

    Michael Kremer is University Professor at the University of Chicago, in the Kenneth C. Griffin Department of Economics. Previously he was Gates Professor of Developing Societies in the Department of Economics at Harvard University. He was named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum. His recent research examines education and health in developing countries, immigration, and globalization.

    Professor Kremer is the recipient of the 2019 Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel, awarded jointly with Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo “for their experimental approach to alleviating global poverty.”

    Luiza Andrade

    Data Analytics Lead, Development Innovation Lab

    Luiza Andrade is a Data Analytics Lead at DIL. Her work focuses on incorporating non-traditional data sources into development research, promoting transparency and reproducibility in social sciences, and developing software tools to simplify research data work. Prior to joining DIL, she was a Junior Data Scientist at the World Bank’s Development Impact Evaluation department. Luiza is a Brazilian national and holds a BA and an MSc in economics from the University of Sao Paulo.

    Contact: luizaandrade@uchicago.edu

    Arthur Baker

    Chief of Staff of the Office of the Faculty Director, Development Innovation Lab

    Arthur Baker is the Chief of Staff of the Office of the Faculty Director at DIL. In this role, he works on research, strategy, and policy outreach. He is also a member of the Accelerating Health Technologies team, for which he was awarded an Emergent Ventures prize. Previously, he was a Research Associate at the Centre for Global Development, where he conducted research on climate finance, aid effectiveness, and aid transparency. He was also the Research Coordinator for Innovations for Poverty Action Sierra Leone, where he managed randomized control trials, including on election debates and incentives for childhood immunization.

    Contact: arthurbaker@uchicago.edu

    Kevin Carney

    Postdoctoral Scholar, Development Innovation Lab

    Kevin Carney is a Postdoctoral Scholar at DIL. He is a behavioral economist and works on topics including political economy, household finance, and health. At DIL, Kevin is working on research about improving financial contracts for dairy farmers and increasing COVID-19 vaccination. Most of his work involves field experiments in Kenya and India. Before joining DIL, Kevin completed a PhD in Public Policy at Harvard University.

    Contact: kec@uchicago.edu

    Michelle Cherian

    Research Professional, Development Innovation Lab

    Michelle Cherian is Predoctoral research professional at DIL. In her current position, she will be supporting lead researcher Akito Kamei and professor Elisa M. Maffioli on a scaled-up chlorine coupon program in Kenya, while also supporting efforts to study the feasibility of setting up similar programs in India and Nigeria. She has previously worked as a data research assistant on gender-related projects at Oxford University as well as a policy consultant in the education space at the OECD. She has also led a large-scale RCT in Punjab and Haryana in India as a research associate at J-PAL SA, supervising implementation-monitoring, managing field teams, and working on survey design, data collection and analysis. Michelle completed her master’s degree in Economics and Public policy from the Paris School of Economics and her bachelor’s degree in Economics from St. Stephen’s College, Delhi University.

    Contact: cherianm@uchicago.edu

    Nicole Colegrove

    Director, Development Innovation Lab

    Nicole Colegrove is a Director at DIL, overseeing the administration and operations functions across the lab. Prior to her current role, Nicole was the Director of Programs at the Tata Center for Development, a development economics research fund based at the University of Chicago. She has over 13 years of experience in international development and nonprofit management, including 7.5 years managing international programs at UChicago. During her time at UChicago, Nicole has led the start up of several new international programs in India and Brazil. She started her career as a US Peace Corps Volunteer, based in Morocco where she worked with youth development programs. Nicole completed her masters from DePaul University in Chicago.

    Contact: nicolecolegrove@uchicago.edu

    Emily Cupito

    Director, Development Innovation Lab

    Emily Cupito is a Director at DIL, leading the Education Initiative. She is passionate about helping to facilitate the scale up of proven innovations, and she is particularly interested in helping governments to be more effective. Emily spent a decade in Africa, where she most recently led J-PAL Africa’s policy team. In this role, she worked with governments and partners across the continent to explore if and how to scale evidence-based innovations in their contexts. In collaboration with Indian NGO Pratham, her team helped found Teaching at the Right Level Africa, a new team striving to scale an evidence-based literacy and numeracy approach across the continent. Emily has a Master’s in Public Policy from Duke University and a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics and Public Policy from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Emily’s work has spanned over a dozen countries, including Egypt, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Uganda, and Zambia.

    Contact: cupito@uchicago.edu

    Joshua Deutschmann

    Postdoctoral Scholar and Lead Researcher, Development Innovation Lab

    Joshua Deutschmann is a Postdoctoral Scholar and Lead Researcher at DIL. In this role he oversees a portfolio of research projects primarily focused in agriculture. His research spans topics in agriculture, sanitation, energy, and applied econometrics. He previously completed a PhD in Agricultural and Applied Economics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Prior to graduate school, he helped manage the Dakar Urban Sanitation Project with Innovations for Poverty Action (as profiled on Planet Money).

    Contact: jdeutschmann@uchicago.edu

    Guthrie Gray-Lobe

    Research Associate and Lead Researcher, Development Innovation Lab

    Guthrie Gray-Lobe is a Research Associate and Lead Researcher at DIL and a research affiliate at MIT’s Blueprint Labs. His work focuses on labor economics, education, and market design. He received his PhD in Public Policy from Harvard University. He has previously worked at the Clinton Foundation HIV/AIDS Initiative in Liberia and Social Welfare and Innovations for Poverty Action in Bangladesh. He holds an BA from St. John’s College and an MA from Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.

    Contact: graylobe@uchicago.edu

    Siddhartha Haria

    Policy Lead, Development Innovation Lab

    Siddhartha Haria is a Policy Lead at DIL based in Nairobi, Kenya. He currently works on policy outreach and Advance Market Commitments. He was previously an Economic Adviser at the UK Department for International Development and worked in Sierra Leone and Afghanistan. Prior to this, he was an ODI Fellow in Ghana. He holds an MSc in Economics for Development from the University of Oxford.

    Contact: siddharthaharia@uchicago.edu

    Maryiam Haroon

    Postdoctoral Scholar, Development Innovation Lab

    Maryiam Haroon is a Postdoctoral Scholar at DIL. Her work focuses on education, health, and labor economics in low- and middle-income countries. She previously completed a PhD in Economics at the Lahore School of Economics in Pakistan. She has worked as a senior research fellow at the Centre for Research in Economics and Business, Lahore School of Economics.

    Contact: maryiamharoon@uchicago.edu

    Jill Jacobbi

    Associate Director, Development Innovation Lab

    Jill Jacobbi is an Associate Director at DIL, overseeing financial administration and reporting for the DIL and its grant-sponsored projects. Before joining the DIL team, Jill was the Senior Financial Administrator in UChicago’s University Research Administration group. She handled post-award management for the Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering, Chemistry Department, and several other groups across campus. She has over 7 years of experience in financial administration at the university with an expertise in sponsored grants and contracts. She is currently pursuing her M.B.A. in Accounting, Finance, and Strategic Management from Chicago Booth and completed her bachelor’s in psychology from the University of Chicago.

    Contact: jacobbijj@uchicago.edu

    Akito Kamei

    Postdoctoral Scholar and Lead Researcher, Development Innovation Lab

    Akito Kamei is a Postdoctoral Scholar and Lead Researcher at DIL. He oversees a portfolio of research projects primarily focused on water and sanitation. Akito’s research focuses on applied microeconomics specializing in human capital investment and global health in developing countries. Before joining the Development Innovation Lab, Akito worked at the UNICEF Office of Research – Innocenti conducting education research. He also worked at the Inter-American Development Bank to evaluate a large-scale government early childhood development program. With the World Bank, he conducted research on urban poverty and labor market outcomes in Ethiopia. He completed a Ph.D. in Agricultural and Applied Economics at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

    Contact: akamei@uchicago.edu

    Jessica Kong

    Associate Director, Development Innovation Lab

    Jessica Kong is an Associate Director at DIL, where she oversees grant proposals, research agreements, IRB protocols, and University compliance. Prior to DIL, her work spanned across policy, research, and financial innovations at organizations including the New York Fed, Chicago Fed, and Georgetown University. She’s held two White House internships under the Obama Administration for the Council of Economic Advisers and the Office of Presidential Correspondence. Jessica received a BA in Economics and Accounting from Illinois Wesleyan University and a Master of Public Policy from the University of Chicago. She is a licensed CPA in the state of Illinois and serves on the governance board for a decentralized autonomous organization. She loves crypto and the great outdoors.

    Contact: jessicakong@uchicago.edu

    Benjamin Krause

    Executive Director, Development Innovation Lab

    Benjamin Krause is the Executive Director of DIL. Ben’s work in academia, development and nonprofit management spans more than two decades and nearly three-dozen countries. Most recently he was at UC Berkeley’s Agricultural and Resource Economics Department for his PhD studying development economics and political economy. His research focuses on government management and state formation in weak states and ungoverned spaces. Ben has built several different organizations in the social sector, and he continues to serve on several nonprofit boards. He has successfully designed, fundraised for, and implemented development programs and research in a variety of sectors including safe water, agricultural extension, public health, urban engineering, and education. He has advised several heads of state, prime ministers, and other elected and government officials on development policy and has helped facilitate negotiations between recipient and donor governments. A native English speaker, he also works in Haitian Kreyol, French and Spanish. Ben also holds a BA in Philosophy and Spanish from Xavier University, an MA from Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), and an MS in Agricultural and Resource Economics from UC Berkeley. See his personal website for more.

    Contact: benjaminkrause@uchicago.edu

    Alexander Lehner

    Postdoctoral Researcher, Development Innovation Lab

    Alexander Lehner is a Postdoctoral Researcher at DIL. He is an applied economist with a passion for statistical programming. His research lies at the intersection of spatial economics and economic development. Prior to moving to Chicago, he obtained his PhD in Economics in Bologna, Italy, at the oldest university in the Western world. During his studies, he was a guest scholar at the University of Chicago (Center for Spatial Data Science), Brown University, and Seoul National University.

    Contact: lehner@uchicago.edu

    Toniann Liotta

    Executive Assistant to the Faculty Director, Development Innovation Lab

    Contact: tliotta@uchicago.edu

    Selene Cueva Madrid

    Research Professional, Development Innovation Lab

    Selene Cueva Madrid is a Research Professional at DIL working on the scaling-up of a chlorine coupon program in Kenya. Before joining the Lab, she completed her M.A. in Economics at Boston University. Previously, she worked at J-PAL LAC in the evaluation of multiple programs of labor markets, disabilities, education and gender in different countries of Latin America and the Caribbean. Before that, she worked as a research assistant at the Group for the Analysis of Development (GRADE) in Peru. She holds a B.A. in Economics from the Pontificia Universidad Catolica del Peru.

    Contact: cueva@uchicago.edu

    Private: Elisa Maffioli

    Visiting Scholar and Director, Development Innovation Lab

    Elisa M Maffioli is a Visiting Scholar and Director at DIL, leading the Water and Health Initiative. She is an Assistant Professor at the University of Michigan School of Public Health and a Visiting Scholar at the Becker Friedman Institute (BFI) at the University of Chicago. Her research is in development economics, health economics and political economy. She has years of experience conducting field data collections and running RCTs in lower and middle income countries. She currently has projects in Liberia, Kenya, Mozambique, Nigeria, Somaliland, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Additionally, she has conducted research in Lesotho, Brazil, Myanmar and India. She holds a PhD and MA in Economics from Duke University and a MSc and BA in Economics and Social Sciences from Bocconi University in Italy. She worked as a consultant for the World Bank, UNICEF, Save the Children, the International Growth Center, HelpAge and the Malaria Consortium.

    Contact: elisamaf@umich.edu

    Grace Makana Barasa

    Kenya Country Director, Development Innovation Lab

    Grace Makana Barasa joined DIL in September 2022 as the Kenya Country Director. She supports project and initiative operations, stakeholder engagement, and overall county office administration and operations functions for Kenya.

    Grace previously served as an Associate Research Manager at Innovations for Poverty Action, Kenya (IPA-K) and oversaw a portfolio of about four impact evaluation projects at a time. Her areas of support ranged from public health, agriculture, education, and small and medium-sized enterprises. Most of the projects she managed employed the methodology of Randomized Controlled Trials (RCTs).

    She received her bachelor’s degree in Anthropology in 2002 from Moi University, Uasin Gishu, Kenya and is currently pursuing her Master’s in Public Policy and Management from Strathmore University, Nairobi, Kenya. Grace is passionate about environmental sanitation and hygiene with focus on managing solid waste, human excreta control, clean water, clean air, safe use of chemicals, sound agricultural practices, healthy and safe workplaces, health-supportive cities and built environments, and a preserved nature.

    Contact: gmbarasa@uchicago.edu

    Henrique Mota

    Research Professional, Development Innovation Lab

    Henrique Mota is a Research Professional at DIL. He is currently supporting scholar Akito Kamei and professor Elisa M Maffioli on a scaled-up chlorine coupon program in Kenya. He also assists scholar Joshua Deutchsmann on a project focused on asset collateralized loans. Previously, he has worked as a research assistant (RA) for professors Gabriel Ulyssea and Clément Imbert in a research project on climate and internal migration. Prior to this experience, during graduate and undergraduate school, he worked as an RA for professors Claudio Ferraz, Gustavo Gonzaga, and Juliano Assunção. He holds a Master in Economics degree from Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio de Janeiro, and completed his bachelor’s in Economics from the same institution.

    Contact: hrmota@uchicago.edu

    Peris Musitia

    Research Coordinator, Development Innovation Lab

    Peris Musitia is a Research Coordinator at DIL. She currently supports the scale up of a Water Coupon project in Kenya. Her work focuses on water and sanitation, maternal and child health, and stakeholder engagement in low- and middle-income countries. She previously worked as a Research Officer for Kenya Medical Research Institute in the Health System Unit and as a Lead Social Scientist for Aga Khan University Hospital in Kenya, Gambia, and Mozambique for maternal and child health research. Peris holds a Master’s degree in Development Studies from the Department of Social Sciences and Development Studies, The Catholic University of Eastern Africa and Bachelor’s degree in Disaster Management and International Diplomacy from Centre of Disaster Management and Humanitarian Assistance, Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology in Kenya.

    Contact: pmusitia@uchicago.edu

    Shubhalakshmi Nag

    Research Professional, Development Innovation Lab

    Shubhalakshmi Nag is a Researcher Professional at DIL. She supports Vesall Nourani on projects in the agriculture and education space. She also provides research assistance for a meta-analysis on water treatment. She has previously worked as a Research Assistant for Professor Fiona Burlig at the University of Chicago. She holds a Masters in Public Policy, with a Certificate in Research Methods from the Harris School of Public Policy.

    Contact: shubhalakshmi@uchicago.edu

    Jiya Nair

    Special Projects Coordinator, Development Innovation Lab

    Jiya Nair is Special Projects Coordinator to Dr. Michael Kremer and Executive Assistant to Dr. Rachel Glennerster, supporting the administration and dissemination of their research, policy, and academic portfolios. Prior, Jiya worked on Michelle Wu’s Boston mayoral campaign, following policy fellowship in Wu’s City Council office, focusing on research, policy advocacy, and outreach to Boston’s immigrant and refugee communities. As a Fulbright Scholar in India, Jiya conducted independent ethnographic research and resource mapping on capacity-building as well as housing rights in Mumbai slum-dwelling communities. Jiya holds a Bachelors of Arts in Political Science and Bachelors of Business Administration in Operations and Information Management (OIM) from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

    Contact: jiyanair@uchicago.edu

    Vesall Nourani

    Senior Research Associate and Director, Development Innovation Lab

    Vesall Nourani is a Director and Lead Researcher at DIL and a Senior Research Associate in the Kenneth Kenneth C. Griffin Department of Economics at the University of Chicago. Vesall is currently based in Uganda where he is also a visiting lecturer at Makerere University’s School of Economics. Vesall’s research to date explores the roles of knowledge and learning in economic activity across sub-Saharan Africa. Prior to joining DIL/UChicago, Vesall completed a post-doctoral fellowship at MIT and earned his PhD from Cornell University.

    Contact: vnourani@uchicago.edu

    Mauricio Ortiz-Riomalo

    Research Professional, Development Innovation Lab

    Mauricio Ortiz-Riomalo is a Research Professional at DIL. He supports Vesall Nourani in a rural education program in Colombia and is working with Leah Rosenzweig in a COVID-19 vaccine acceptance study. Before joining DIL, he completed a Master in Public Policy at the Harris School of Public Policy at the University of Chicago. He has previously worked in the National Planning Department at the Government of Colombia, designing and supervising evaluations of public housing projects and resocialization programs in prison. He also assisted in the discussions and design of public policy documents on topics such as health, criminal policy, national security, productive development policies, and social infrastructure. He holds a Master in Political Science and was a research assistant in a think tank (Observatorio de la Democracia, Universidad de Los Andes) where he contributed to the design of public opinion surveys and the analysis of democratic attitudes and behavior.

    Contact: ortizriomalo@uchicago.edu

    Shardul Oza

    Education Research Manager, Development Innovation Lab

    Contact: sharduloza@uchicago.edu

    Shashank Patil

    Predoctoral Research Professional, Development Innovation Lab

    Shashank Patil is a Predoctoral Research Professional at DIL. At DIL, he works on economics of education and assists in research projects associated with the Global Educational Evidence Advisory Panel (GEEAP). Prior to joining DIL, Shashank interned at the Good Business Lab working on evaluating interventions in labor well-being and productivity. His interests include development policy, political economy of development, and governance. Shashank completed his Bachelor’s degree in Economics from the Gokhale Institute of Politics and Economics, India.

    Contact: shashankp@uchicago.edu

    Pablo Pena

    Assistant Instructional Professor and Director, Development Innovation Lab

    Pablo Peña is a Director at DIL and an Assistant Instructional Professor at the Kenneth C. Griffin Department of Economics at UChicago. His areas of interest include human capital, applied price theory, and business economics. Previously, he conducted impact evaluations at Microanalitica. He was Chief Economist at Mexico’s National Banking Commission, consulted on antitrust legal conflicts at Chicago Partners, and was a tax policy analyst at Mexico’s treasury. Pablo holds a BA in economics from ITAM (Mexico) and a PhD in economics from the University of Chicago.

    Contact: pablo@uchicago.edu

    Matheus Proença

    Predoctoral Research Professional, Development Innovation Lab

    Matheus Proença is a Predoctoral Research Professional at DIL. He supports Prof. Michael Kremer and co-authors on education projects in Kenya and Prof. Rachel Glennerster on Advance Market Commitment (AMC) initiatives. Previously, he worked as a Field Coordinator on a large-scale RCT at the World Bank’s Africa Gender Innovation Lab and as a Research Assistant at the World Inequality Lab. Matheus holds a Master’s degree in Applied Economics from the Paris School of Economics.

    Contact: matproenca@uchicago.edu

    Sara Restrepo Tamayo

    Research Professional , Development Innovation Lab

    Sara Restrepo Tamayo is a Research Professional at DIL. She holds an MPP and MA in Economics from Universidad del Rosario, from Bogotá, Colombia. She has previously worked at the InterAmerican Development Bank, Innovations for Poverty Action, and the Central Bank of Colombia. She has worked on RCTs looking to reduce the gap in STEM between K-12 girls and boys, the RECOVR project, and measuring the impact of VAT devolution to the poorest in expenditure outcomes.

    Leah Rosenzweig

    Director, Development Innovation Lab

    Leah Rosenzweig is a Director at DIL. In addition to coordinating research activities across the lab, Leah leads several projects related to COVID-19. Using behavioral and social science tools, Leah is testing interventions to increase COVID-19 vaccine uptake and online experiments to reduce the spread of COVID-19 misinformation online in Kenya and Nigeria. Leah also manages the lab’s policy work related to fractional doses of COVID-19 vaccines. Prior to joining DIL, Leah held positions at Stanford University, the Institute for Advanced Study in Toulouse, and was a consultant for the Nigerian government. Leah received her PhD in Political Science from MIT. She is currently writing a book about social norms of voting in autocracies.

    Contact: lrosenzweig@uchicago.edu

    Olga Rostapshova

    Advisor to the Weiss Fund, Development Innovation Lab

    Contact: oro@uchicago.edu

    Jessica Rudder

    Postdoctoral Scholar and Lead Researcher, Development Innovation Lab

    Jess Rudder is a Postdoctoral Scholar and Lead Researcher at DIL. She is an applied microeconomist with a PhD in Agricultural and Resource Economics from the University of California Davis. Her research draws from development, agriculture, information technology, and industrial organization. She works on projects to learn about how digital platforms reduce information frictions for small-scale farmers and rural businesses. Prior to her PhD, Jess received a Master’s in Public Administration from the University of Washington and was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Panama.

    Contact: jrudder@uchicago.edu

    Heather Rushing

    Operations Associate, Development Innovation Lab

    Heather Rushing is an Operations Associate at DIL.  In this role, she assists with the overall operations of the department, overseeing equipment purchases, office supplies, financial assistance, and reimbursements.  Her ongoing work at DIL will be to provide efficient procedures to streamline processes for all DIL staff.  Her most recent role was an Administrative Assistant within the Office of International Affairs where she worked for several years.  In her role at OIA, she assisted with GEMS reimbursements, H-1B, J-1 and F-1 processing and triaging the front desk operations.  Heather holds an MBA in HR Management from Keller School of Management.

    Contact: hvelasquez@uchicago.edu

    Juan Saavedra

    Consulting Director, Development Innovation Lab

    Contact: juan.e.saavedra@gmail.com

    Imara Salas

    Senior Research Professional, Development Innovation Lab

    Imara Salas is a Senior Research Professional at DIL. In her role, she provides strategy and research support to the Commission on Innovation for Agriculture, Food Security, and Climate Change, a high-level and independent Commission led by Professor Michael Kremer. Prior to joining DIL, Imara worked as a Applied Researcher with the Center for Public Policy in Chile, where she evaluated government programs focused on innovation, public-private partnerships, and agriculture. She has also worked as an agriculture and digital development Consultant with the World Bank and the IDB. Imara holds an MPP from the Harvard Kennedy School and a BSFS from Georgetown University.

    Contact: imara@uchicago.edu

    Akanksha Saletore

    Research Manager , Development Innovation Lab

    Akanksha Saletore is a Research Manager at DIL. Previously, she was a Research Manager with J-PAL South Asia, at the Payments and Governance Research Program. In her role there, she worked on randomized controlled trials in public service delivery, health, and education. Akanksha has an MSc in Economics from the London School of Economics.

    Contact: asaletore@uchicago.edu

    Becky Scurlock

    Research Professional, Development Innovation Lab

    Becky Scurlock is a Research Professional at DIL. She recently completed her studies at the University of Chicago with a B.A. in Economics, a B.S. in Statistics, and a M.S. in Statistics. Her current work focuses on education and Bayesian statistics, though she is also interested in political economy. Before coming to DIL, Becky worked with Dr. Ishan Nath at the Energy Policy Institute (EPIC) and Professor Oeindrila Dube at the Harris School of Public Policy.

    Contact: rscurlock@uchicago.edu

    Sabarish Shankar

    Research Professional, Development Innovation Lab

    Sabarish Shankar is a Research Professional at DIL. In his role, he has worked on looking at the impact of the Weiss Fund, contributed to a chapter handbook on Conditional Cash Transfer and currently works on health based interventions in Kenya. Before joining the Lab, Sabarish completed his Masters in Public Policy from the Harris school at University of Chicago with certificates in Survey Research Methodology and Data Analytics as a JN Tata Scholar. Sabarish holds a Bachelor in Technology from Shiv Nadar University and a micromasters in Data, Economics and Development Policy from MIT. Previously, he served as a Teach for India fellow, teaching Math and English to middle school students in a government school in Tamil Nadu, India.

    Contact: sabarish@uchicago.edu

    Alejandra Shuber

    Grants & Contracts Coordinator, Development Innovation Lab

    Alejandra Shuber is a Grants & Contracts Coordinator at DIL. Before her current role, Alejandra was a Financial & Contracts Specialist at the University of Colorado. She has over six years of experience in the financial industry and operations support for Fortune 100 companies. Alejandra has a degree in Performing Arts and is a certified Business Specialist in Marketing.

    Contact: alexshuber@uchicago.edu

    Rathan Sudheer

    Research Professional, Development Innovation Lab

    Rathan Sudheer is a Research Professional at DIL. He is currently working to support the agriculture projects in Kenya. He previously worked with EPIC India as a Senior Research Associate for three years where he supported multiple research projects at the intersection of energy and climate change. Rathan holds a masters degree in Public Policy and Governance from Azim Premji University, India.

    Contact: rsudheer@uchicago.edu

    Santiago Velasquez

    Research Professional, Development Innovation Lab

    Santiago Velasquez is a Research Professional at DIL in educational research projects in South America and Africa. Prior to coming to Chicago, Santiago worked as a Research Assistant for UC Berkeley Ph.D. Student Arlen Guarin and UCLA Professor Juliana Londoño-Velez assessing the impact of the Colombian reparation program for victims of the armed conflict. He has also previously worked as RA for Professor Jorge Tamayo and as an intern in the Colombian Central Bank. Santiago is completing his master’s degree at EAFIT University in Colombia and holds a bachelor’s in Economics from the same institution.

    Contact: svelasquez1@uchicago.edu

    Astha Vohra

    Research Professional, Development Innovation Lab

    Contact: asthav29@uchicago.edu

    Antony Wangari

    Research Coordinator, Development Innovation Lab

    Antony Wangari is a Research Coordinator at DIL working on the scaling-up of Asset Collateralized Loan (ACL) projects in Kenya. Before joining the Lab, he worked at Georgetown University’s Initiative on Innovation and Development (Gui2de) in the evaluation of multiple programs in digital financial inclusion, agriculture, road safety, gender, and education in different countries in East Africa. Before that, he worked as a Research Associate at Innovations for Poverty Action in Kenya managing a climate change program. He holds a B.A. in Economics from the University of Nairobi.

    Contact: awainaina@uchicago.edu

    Witold Weicek

    Consulting Director, Development Innovation Lab

    Contact: witold.wiecek@gmail.com

    Wendy Wong

    Postdoctoral Scholar and Lead Researcher, Development Innovation Lab

    Wendy Wong is a Postdoctoral Scholar and Lead Researcher at DIL. She oversees a portfolio of research projects focused on education technology and building state capacity in India. She is an applied microeconomist interested in studying the role of public institutions in addressing poverty and inequality. Her research focuses on the causes and consequences of inefficiencies in the allocation of public services; and how institutions can be designed to minimize these inefficiencies. Wendy recently completed her PhD in Public Policy at the University of Chicago.

    Contact: wendywong@uchicago.edu

  • Scholars /

    Colin Aitken

    Research Assistant, Development Innovation Lab
  • Scholars /

    Rachel Bolte

    Research Assistant, Development Innovation Lab
  • Scholars /

    Colley Buwana

    Research Assistant, Development Innovation Lab
  • Scholars /

    Grant Castle

    Research Assistant, Development Innovation Lab
  • Scholars /

    Alec Chavez

    Research Assistant, Development Innovation Lab
  • Scholars /

    Deniz Dutz

    Research Assistant, Development Innovation Lab
  • Scholars /

    Jack Glaser

    Research Assistant, Development Innovation Lab
  • Scholars /

    Yiyuan He

    Research Assistant, Development Innovation Lab
  • Scholars /

    Meghan Hendrix

    Research Assistant, Development Innovation Lab
  • Scholars /

    Sindhika Jai

    Research Assistant, Development Innovation Lab
  • Scholars /

    Ed Jee

    Research Assistant, Development Innovation Lab
  • Scholars /

    Yuxin Ji

    Research Assistant, Development Innovation Lab
  • Scholars /

    Riddhi Kankaria

    Research Assistant, Development Innovation Lab
  • Scholars /

    Anthony Khaiat

    Research Assistant, Development Innovation Lab
  • Scholars /

    Zachary Kuloszewski

    Research Assistant, Development Innovation Lab
  • Scholars /

    Devang Laddha

    Research Assistant, Development Innovation Lab
  • Scholars /

    Yuhang Li

    Research Assistant, Development Innovation Lab
  • Scholars /

    Diego Mendoza-Martinez

    Research Assistant, Development Innovation Lab
  • Scholars /

    Andreas Petrou-Zeniou

    Research Assistant, Development Innovation Lab
  • Scholars /

    Jimena Salinas Valdespino

    Research Assistant, Development Innovation Lab
  • Scholars /

    Konstantin Shmarko

    Research Assistant, Development Innovation Lab
  • Scholars /

    Natalie Spaulding

    Research Assistant, Development Innovation Lab
  • Scholars /

    Parth Vaitha

    Research Assistant, Development Innovation Lab
  • Scholars /

    Jose Velarde Morales

    Research Assistant, Development Innovation Lab
  • Scholars /

    Mexico Vergara Bahena

    Research Assistant, Development Innovation Lab
  • Scholars /

    Emma Zhang

    Research Assistant, Development Innovation Lab
  • Scholars /

    Shengning Zhang

    Research Assistant, Development Innovation Lab
  • Scholars /

    Xiaoyang Zhang

    Research Assistant, Development Innovation Lab
  • Scholars /

    Zhi Zhang

    Research Assistant, Development Innovation Lab
  • Colin Aitken

    Research Assistant, Development Innovation Lab

    Academic Program: PhD, Mathematics

    Contact: caitken@uchicago.edu

    Rachel Bolte

    Research Assistant, Development Innovation Lab

    Academic Program: College, 2026

    Contact: rachelbolte@uchicago.edu

    Colley Buwana

    Research Assistant, Development Innovation Lab

    Academic Program: Master of Public Policy (MPP), 2024

    Contact: colleybuwana@uchicago.edu

    Grant Castle

    Research Assistant, Development Innovation Lab

    Academic Program: Master of Public Policy (MPP), 2024

    Contact: gcastle@uchicago.edu

    Alec Chavez

    Research Assistant, Development Innovation Lab

    Academic Program: Master of Arts in Social Work (AM), 2025

    Contact: amc13@uchicago.edu

    Deniz Dutz

    Research Assistant, Development Innovation Lab

    Academic Program: PhD, Economics

    Contact: ddutz@uchicago.edu

    Jack Glaser

    Research Assistant, Development Innovation Lab

    Academic Program: PhD, Economics

    Contact: glaserj@uchicago.edu

    Yiyuan He

    Research Assistant, Development Innovation Lab

    Academic Program: College, 2023

    Contact: yiyuanh@uchicago.edu

    Meghan Hendrix

    Research Assistant, Development Innovation Lab

    Academic Program: College, 2023

    Contact: meghanhendrix@uchicago.edu

    Sindhika Jai

    Research Assistant, Development Innovation Lab

    Academic Program: Master of Public Policy (MPP), 2023

    Contact: sindhika@uchicago.edu

    Ed Jee

    Research Assistant, Development Innovation Lab

    Academic Program: PhD, Economics

    Contact: edjee@uchicago.edu

    Yuxin Ji

    Research Assistant, Development Innovation Lab

    Academic Program: Master of Science in Computational Analysis and Public Policy (MSCAPP), 2024

    Contact: yxji@uchicago.edu

    Riddhi Kankaria

    Research Assistant, Development Innovation Lab

    Academic Program: Master of Public Policy (MPP), 2023

    Contact: riddhik@uchicago.edu

    Anthony Khaiat

    Research Assistant, Development Innovation Lab

    Academic Program: College, 2023

    Contact: akhaiat@uchicago.edu

    Zachary Kuloszewski

    Research Assistant, Development Innovation Lab

    Academic Program: PhD, Economics

    Contact: kuloszewski@uchicago.edu

    Devang Laddha

    Research Assistant, Development Innovation Lab

    Academic Program: College, 2023

    Contact: devang@uchicago.edu

    Yuhang Li

    Research Assistant, Development Innovation Lab

    Academic Program: College, 2024

    Contact: yuhangli@uchicago.edu

    Diego Mendoza-Martinez

    Research Assistant, Development Innovation Lab

    Academic Program: Master of Science in Computational Analysis and Public Policy (MSCAPP), 2024

    Contact: diegomendozamz@uchicago.edu

    Andreas Petrou-Zeniou

    Research Assistant, Development Innovation Lab

    Academic Program: College, 2024

    Contact: apetrouzeniou@uchicago.edu

    Jimena Salinas Valdespino

    Research Assistant, Development Innovation Lab

    Academic Program: Master of Science in Computational Analysis and Public Policy (MSCAPP), 2024

    Contact: jimenas@uchicago.edu

    Konstantin Shmarko

    Research Assistant, Development Innovation Lab

    Academic Program: College, 2024

    Contact: kkshmarko@uchicago.edu

    Natalie Spaulding

    Research Assistant, Development Innovation Lab

    Academic Program: Master of Public Policy (MPP), 2025 & Master of Business Administration (MBA), 2025

    Contact: nspauldi@uchicago.edu

    Parth Vaitha

    Research Assistant, Development Innovation Lab

    Academic Program: College, 2024

    Contact: parthvaitha@uchicago.edu

    Jose Velarde Morales

    Research Assistant, Development Innovation Lab

    Academic Program: PhD, Operations Management

    Contact: jvelarde@chicagobooth.edu

    Mexico Vergara Bahena

    Research Assistant, Development Innovation Lab

    Academic Program: Master of Arts in Public Policy (MA), 2023

    Contact: mexico@uchicago.edu

    Emma Zhang

    Research Assistant, Development Innovation Lab

    Academic Program: PhD, Economics

    Contact: emma.zhang@chicagobooth.edu

    Shengning Zhang

    Research Assistant, Development Innovation Lab

    Academic Program: Master of Arts in Public Policy with Certificate in Research Methods (MACRM), 2023

    Contact: shengningz@uchicago.edu

    Xiaoyang Zhang

    Research Assistant, Development Innovation Lab

    Academic Program: Master of Arts Program in the Social Sciences (MAPSS), 2023

    Contact: xiaoyangzhang@uchicago.edu

    Zhi Zhang

    Research Assistant, Development Innovation Lab

    Academic Program: College, 2023 & Master of Arts Program in the Social Sciences (MAPSS), 2023

    Contact: zhangzhi@uchicago.edu