Board Members

Michael Kremer

Michael Kremer is the Gates Professor of Developing Societies in the Department of Economics at Harvard University and Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship and a Presidential Faculty Fellowship, and was named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum. Kremer’s recent research examines education and health in developing countries, immigration, and globalization.  He and Rachel Glennerster have recently published Strong Medicine: Creating Incentives for Pharmaceutical Research on Neglected Diseases.

Shawn A. Cole

Shawn Cole is the John G. McLean Professor of Business Administration in the Finance Unit at Harvard Business School, where he teaches and conducts research on financial services and social enterprise topics. Much of his research examines corporate and household finance in emerging markets, with a focus on insurance, credit, and savings. He has also done extensive work on financial education in the US and emerging markets. His recent research focuses on designing and delivering advice and education over mobile phones, with an emphasis on agricultural and financial management. He has worked in China, India, Indonesia, South Africa, and Vietnam. He is an affiliate of the National Bureau of Economic Research, and the Bureau for Research and Economic Analysis of Development. He is on the board of the Jameel Poverty Action Lab, as the co-chair for research.

Heiner Baumann

Over the past twenty years, he has helped design, build, and manage outcome-oriented philanthropic and social-change organizations, including: The Barr Foundation (Global Programs), The Children’s Investment Fund Foundation, and New Profit Inc. These focused primarily on sustainable agriculture, community health, education, and climate/environment with programs in Africa, India and North America. Prior to this work, he spent five years with McKinsey & Company, where he supported a range of corporate clients. Heiner’s writings on the topics of innovation and capacity building in the nonprofit sector have appeared in the Harvard Business Review and Alliance magazine, and he has been a speaker in multiple countries on venture philanthropy. He has served on the boards of directors of several international and local nonprofit organizations.

Dan Bjorkegren

Dan Bjorkegren is an Assistant Professor of Economics at Brown University. He has worked extensively on mobile phone systems and individual behavior. Recent work includes working with a telecom to analyze the factors that lead to successful diffusion of network goods in developing countries. He has worked in Rwanda and Kenya.

Global Team

Megan Sheahan, Director of Operations

Megan Sheahan holds an M.S. in Agricultural Economics from Michigan State University and B.A. in Economics and International Relations from Boston University. She has broad experience in development economics research, research management and support, project management, and technical assistance. She previously worked at Cornell University, the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET), and Chemonics International and has consulted for various organizations, including the World Bank and African Development Bank.

Olga Rostapshova, Development Advisor

Olga Rostapshova is a Technical Director at Social Impact and has led a range of impact evaluations in Africa and Asia. She holds a PhD in Public Policy from Harvard University, where she was the recipient of the National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowship and named a Kauffmann Fellow. Olga earned her BS in Engineering and BA in Economics, with minors in Environmental Studies and Public Policy, from Swarthmore College. She previously worked at Ernst & Young’s Quantitative Economics and Statistics group, and consulted for the World Bank, MIT, Harvard and the Weiss Family Program Fund in Development Economics.

Kenya Team

Carolina Corral, Kenya Country Director

Carolina Corral holds a M.Sc. in Economics from Université de Montréal and have more than 10 years of experience in applied economic research and managing large projects in Latin America and Africa for Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA), Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL), and Qué Funciona para el Desarrollo (QFD). Carolina has co-authored research with Aprajit Mahajan (UC Berkeley), Xavier Giné (World Bank Development Research Group), and Enrique Seira (ITAM) as part of a three-year agricultural project financed by FAO, USAID, and World Bank that investigates the impact of financial and knowledge barriers faced by smallholder maize farmers in Mexico on their technology adoption decisions.

Carolyne Nekesa Khagondi, Associate Director

Carolyne Nekesa Khagondi holds a Master in Public Administration from the J.F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University and BSc. in management from Africa Nazarene University. She has broad experience in partner relationships, project management, and public policy advocacy. She previously worked for Innovations for Poverty Action and has consulted for Nadel University, Evidence Action, and Programme for Agriculture and Livelihoods in Western Communities.

Lillian Alexander, Implementation Associate

Lillian Alexander is an Implementation Associate at Innovations for Poverty Action in Kenya. Lillian holds a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Science and Public Policy from Harvard University. She most recently returned from teaching English on a Fulbright grant in Malaysian Borneo. Lillian previously worked for DAI and participated in research on agriculture, nutrition, and ecological change in Uganda and Ethiopia. 

Raissa Fabregas, Research Advisor

Raissa Fabregas is a doctoral candidate at Harvard University. She has experience working on impact evaluation of agricultural interventions in Africa and has engaged with donors, governments, and researchers to design and implement randomized control trials. She is currently investigating how much farmers learn from different extension approaches in Kenya.

Giulia Zane, Research Advisor

Giulia Zane is a postdoctoral associate at Harvard University. She holds a PhD from the London School of Economics and Political Science. She has experience working with international organizations and country governments on agricultural projects in East Africa. Her dissertation focused on the interaction between labor and development economics. 

India Team

Madhur Jain, India Country Director

Madhur Jain is a management graduate from the Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Admedabad, and holds a B.Tech. in Agricultural Engineering from G.B. Pant University, Pantnagar, India. He has experience in operations, supply chains, and sourcing. He previously worked at Godrej Agrovet, where he was a Godrej Fellow, and completed short stints with Omnivore Partners and Centre for Innovation Incubation and Entrepreneurship (CIIE), IIM Ahmedabad. 

Tarun Pokiya, Lead Agronomist

Tarun Pokiya is a post-graduate in agriculture science with 8+ years of experience in agricultural research projects. He previously worked as a Agronomist at the Centre for Microfinance, IFMR LEAD in Gujarat, India. He also led field management for the “Avaaj Otalo” project; a mobile based agriculture extension impact evaluation study and has experience in studying ICT based interventions for agriculture in India with Indian Council of Agriculture Research (ICAR).

Navendu Saxena, Director of Product

Navendu Saxena is a computer graduate from Delhi College of Engineering. He worked at Bank of America as Senior Tech. Associate before starting his entrepreneurial journey with his startups ‘LetMeDrive’ and ‘Suggest Me on Call’ as Product Head and Chief Architect of Technology respectively. He has a strong background in product strategy, product design, marketing, analytics, and technology.

Ofir Reich, Data Scientist

Ofir Reich is a data scientist with 10 years of experience in applied mathematical research. He was a mathematical research team leader in an elite technological unit of the Israeli army and then chief Data Scientist and Machine Learning expert for a Tel-Aviv based start-up. He is the Data Scientist of the Center for Effective Global Action at UC Berkeley where he conducts data-intensive development research. He holds a Mathematics & Physics B.Sc. from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

Garima Sharma, Research Associate

Garima Sharma is a Research Associate at J-PAL South Asia at IFMR. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Stanford University. Previously, Garima worked as a Research Assistant in the Development Impact Evaluation unit of the World Bank. 

Veethi Vyas, Research Associate

Veethi Vyas is a Research Associate at J-PAL South Asia at IFMR. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Grinnell College in Iowa. 

Jaagruti Didwania, Research Associate

Jaagruti Didwania is a Research Associate at J-PAL South Asia. She holds a BA in economics from St. Xavier's College, Mumbai. She previously worked as a research assistant in the Economics department of Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur and as an associate at Citizens Alliance, a non-profit organization working for skill development in India.

Nilesh Fernando, Research Advisor

Nilesh Fernando is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Economics at the University of Notre Dame. He received a Ph.D. in Public Policy from Harvard University in 2015 and previously worked as a Post-Doctoral Research Scholar at Harvard University, Research Associate at Harvard Business School, and the Centre for Microfinance in Gujarat, India. His dissertation research included understanding the effects of providing mobile phone-based agricultural extension to farmers in Gujarat.