Selene Cueva Madrid
Alexandre Simoes Gomes Junior
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.”
Arthur Baker is an Associate 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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
Guthrie Gray-Lobe is a Postdoctoral Scholar 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.
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.
Mridul Joshi is a Research Professional at DIL. He supports Professor Michael Kremer on a suite of education projects in Kenya and supports Professor Rachel Glennerster on a study on social influence and Covid-19 vaccination in Sierra Leone. He has previously worked at J-PAL South Asia on a large-scale, randomised evaluation of an incentives-for-immunisation programme in India and at the Statistics and Data Directorate of the OECD on a study on perceptions of income inequality in OECD countries. Mridul has a master’s degree in economics from the Paris School of Economics.
Parthu Kalva is a Research Specialist at DIL. In his role, he works on agriculture research projects including the Asset-Collateralized Loans(ACL) Project in Kenya and the Agriculture Commission. He also supports the Weiss Fund and Professor Michael Kremer’s public engagements. Before joining the Lab, Parthu completed a dual Masters from the Fletcher School for Law and Diplomacy and the Friedman School for Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University, where he focused on development economics and agricultural policy. Previously, he worked with the International Food Policy Research Institute(IFPRI), drafting a working paper on child disability in Malawi and conducting a cost analysis with the International Livestock Research Institute(ILRI) in Kenya.
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.
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.
Benjamin Krause is a Director and acting Executive Director at 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.
Selene Cueva Madrid
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.
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.
Jack Marshall is a Research Professional at DIL working on agriculture and health sector research projects in Kenya. Jack recently completed his masters degree at the Harris School of Public Policy at UChicago. Prior to coming to Chicago, Jack worked as a Research Associate at Precision Development, an NGO that develops mobile-advisory services for smallholder farmers in developing countries.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Alexandre Simoes Gomes Junior
Alexandre Simoes Gomes is a Research Professional at DIL. Alexandre provides research assistance to several projects, mainly related to health and education, such as the COVID-19 fractional dosing study and the education projects in Colombia. Before joining the lab, Alexandre worked in Brazil as a data scientist, providing data analytics services to companies in various sectors. Alexandre holds a MS from Stanford’s Management Science and Engineering program, and an Electrical Engineering Bachelor’s degree from Universidade de São Paulo.
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.
Tam Trinh is a Pre-doctoral Research Professional at DIL. In her role, she currently provides research assistance to Professor Rachel Glennerster to support her teaching in Running Randomized Evaluations and developing a research study to evaluate the impact of an RCT program in healthcare in a South Asian country. Before joining the Lab, Tam completed her MA in International and Development Economics at Yale University as a Fulbright scholar and held a BSc in Economics from the LSE. She has previously worked as a Research Assistant to Professor Christopher Udry at the Yale Economic Growth Center to clean and code the Ghana panel survey data for wider research use. Tam has also had significant experience working as a policy economist in her previous positions at Her Majesty’s Treasury in the UK, overseeing employment initiatives for the Ministry of Labor in Saudi Arabia, and providing fiscal policy advice to multiple governments at PwC’s Fiscal Policy practice.
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.
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.