I am an Agricultural Economist with a focus on Africa that began as a Peace Corps Volunteer in The Gambia, where I served from 2001 to 2003. I earned Masters and Doctoral degrees from Michigan State University in 2009 and 2012 respectively. In early 2010 I returned to Africa to begin a long-term overseas assignment in Lusaka, Zambia, where my work focused on several aspects of the heavily subsidized maize and fertilizer sectors. In addition to carrying out fieldwork as a doctoral candidate, my time in Zambia was spent providing research, outreach and capacity building services for the USAID and SIDA funded Food Security Research Project. After completing my PhD, I remained in Zambia as an Assistant Professor, International Development, until joining Stanford University’s Center on Food Security and the Environment in September of 2012. In September of 2016 I incorporated Agricultural and Food Policy Consulting and have several projects continuing in Southern Africa. In early 2020 I was hired as a consultant for the MwAPATA Institute in Malawi, and asked to fill the role of Acting Research Director during the search for a long-term candidate for that position. In December of 2017 I was elected to the Food Tank Board of Directors, and in 2020 I became a member of the Editorial Board of The African Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics. I have guest lectured at many universities in the US and throughout Africa, and taught graduate courses on multivariate statistics and survey design at The University of Zambia and Stanford University.
My research has covered a range of topics including poverty dynamics, market participation, land ownership, fertilizer subsidies, farm productivity, value chain analysis, cost/benefit analysis, structural transformation, and the disparate distribution of productive assets between men and women. Recently I have been focusing on new ways to study farm management in Malawi, specifically the interactions between farmers and the characteristics of their soils. This has allowed me to develop unique experience combining site-specific soil property measurements, remote sensing, and farm survey data to understand the adoption and impacts of regenerative farm management practices. I have also contributed to the broader literature on multivariate statistics and I am the author of the "craggit" package in Stata, which is used across a wide range of disciplines to estimate double-hurdle models.
In my work as an economist I've been honored to receive the 2009 Best Thesis Award from Michigan State University's Agricultural Economics Department; the 2009 award for best article in Agricultural Economics, the flagship journal of the International Association of Agricultural Economists; The 2013 Horizon Ribbon Award, from Washington College (my alma mater); the 2017 Bruce Gardner Memorial Prize for Applied Policy Analysis awarded by the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association; and in 2019 I was named an "Outstanding Reviewer" for The American Journal of Agricultural Economics.