Senior Fellows

Dr. Daryl Collins is author of the acclaimed Portfolios of the Poor and a pioneer working at the intersection of finance and human vulnerability.   In the past two decades, Dr. Collins has built up a broad portfolio of work with foundations, bilateral institutions and private financial services providers linking an understanding of household financial management to the provision of supportive financial services to the most vulnerable of the world.   Her work is grounded in a deep understanding of the financial behaviors of low-income and vulnerable communities across the globe, leveraging the experience of executing Financial Diaries studies in over 10 countries, including China.  Dr. Collins spent the last decade as Managing Director and CEO of BFA, a niche consulting practice with offices in Boston, New York, Nairobi, New Delhi and Medellin (see www.bfaglobal.com).  Dr. Collins holds a B.Sc. and an M.Sc. in economics from the London School of Economics and a Ph.D. from New York University.  She is currently on what she terms a “working sabbatical” and is conducting work on a wide breadth of projects from data empowerment, to measuring financial resilience during disasters such as COVID, to tracking child and forced labor in last mile supply chains.

 

Anton George Baaré is a former World Bank social development practitioner and current Partner in Nordic Consulting Group Denmark. He is a human security practitioner at the interface between diplomacy and peace processes and related development programming, reviews, and evaluations. He has worked extensively on gender and masculinities in post-conflict reconstruction, including reintegration of ex-combatants, women, peace and security agendas, and refugee-host relations, with a specific focus on urban refugees. His current assignment focuses on fragility and resilience analysis and programming in sub-Saharan Africa. He is active in the Inner Development Goals initiative and is one of the founders of Leir’s Program in Human Security and Contemplative Practice (PHSCP).

 

Dr. Nahid Bhadelia is the founding director of BU Center for Emerging Infectious Diseases Policy and Research and an associate director of the National Emerging Infectious Diseases Laboratories (NEIDL), a state-of-the-art maximum containment research facility at BU. She is a board-certified infectious diseases physician and an internationally recognized leader in highly communicable and emerging infectious diseases (EIDs) with clinical, field, academic, and policy experience in pandemic preparedness and response.

Over the last decade, Dr. Bhadelia designed and served as the medical director of the Special Pathogens Unit (SPU), a medical unit designed to care for patients with highly communicable diseases, and a state designated Ebola Treatment Center. She has prior and ongoing experience in health system response to pathogens such as H1N1, Zika, Lassa fever, Marburg virus disease, and COVID-19 at the state, national, and global levels, including medical countermeasure evaluation, diagnostic positioning, infection control policy development, and healthcare worker training. Dr. Bhadelia serves on state, national, and interagency groups focused on biodefense priority setting, development of clinical care guidelines, and medical countermeasures research. She has served as a subject matter expert to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Department of Defense (DoD), and World Bank.

Dr. Bhadelia has experience with direct patient care, outbreak response, and medical countermeasures research during multiple Ebola virus disease outbreaks in West and East Africa. During the West African Ebola epidemic, she served as a clinician in several Ebola treatment units, working with the World Health Organization and Partners in Health. She currently serves as medical lead of a DoD-funded viral hemorrhagic fever research group in Uganda, entitled Joint Mobile Emerging Disease Intervention Clinical Capability (JMEDICC) program. Dr. Bhadelia codirects the National Institutes of Health’s Fogarty International Center–funded research training program in Liberia, entitled Boston University and University of Liberia Emerging and Epidemic Virus Research (BULEEVR). Her research focuses on global health security, as well as identification of safe and effective clinical interventions and infection control measures related to viral hemorrhagic fevers and other emerging infectious diseases.

She has publications in Nature, Science, New England Journal of Medicine and other prestigious journals, as well as in press including The Atlantic and Time magazines. Her work has been featured documentaries by National Geographic as well as NOVA. She is an NBC/MSNBC Medical contributor.

 

Dr. Radha Rajkotia is the Chief Research and Policy Officer at Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA). She is an experienced humanitarian and economic development professional, who combines expertise in strategy, operations, management, research, policy, and partnership development. She has worked in over 20 countries in Africa, Asia and the Middle East. She previously spent eleven years working at the International Rescue Committee, where she led the Economic Recovery and Development sector. At IPA, Dr. Rajkotia focuses on building a policy-relevant global research agenda and in turn, promoting the use of evidence in policies that aim to reduce poverty.  She sits on the board of the Cash Learning Partnership (CALP) and the Center for Economic Opportunity, a US-based community development financial institution that specializes in loan products for refugees and low-income migrants. She also sits on the Board of Trustees for Asphaleia, a UK-based charity focused on the care and advancement of refugee and migrant youth. Dr. Rajkotia completed her postgraduate education at the University of Sussex, with a PhD in Refugee Studies (Geography), an MA in Migration Studies, and an MSc in Social Research Methods. She completed her Bachelor of Social Science in Political Science from the University of Birmingham.

 

Dr. Kimberly Howe is a researcher concerned with the well-being of war-affected populations from a gendered perspective. She has been researching the Syrian civil war since 2013, including the development of Syrian civil society, and how war-affected civilians rely on social connection to adapt and cope with protracted conflict. She has explored the impact of external democracy promotion initiatives on the lives of Syrians, as well as the factors that support the rise of credible rebel governance. Most recently, Dr. Howe is studying the challenges and opportunities faced by adolescent girls in displacement in South Sudan and Northern Iraq, including the practice of early marriage. Her work has also focused on patterns of violence after the cessation of hostilities and peacebuilding initiatives, as well as the localization of aid in a variety of countries. Dr. Howe has received fellowships and awards from the United States Institute of Peace, Harvard Medical and Law Schools, and the Marie-Curie Sklodowska Action of the European Union. She is also a trained psychotherapist in trauma and brings this perspective to research design and engagement with participants. Dr. Howe is currently an Assistant Research Professor at the Friedman School and a Research Director on Conflict and Governance at the Feinstein International Center at Tufts University.

Cheyanne Scharbatke-Church is a scholar-practitioner with a lifelong interest in governance processes that have run amuck. She has significant experience working on issues related to peacebuilding, governance, accountability and learning across the Balkans and West and East Africa. For fifteen years, Cheyanne taught program design, monitoring and evaluation in fragile contexts at the Fletcher School. Prior to that she was the Director of Evaluation for Search for Common Ground and Director of Policy at INCORE.  As part of her consulting practice, she has had the privilege of working in an advisory capacity with a range of organizations such as ABA/ROLI, CDA, ICRC, IDRC, UN Peacebuilding Fund and the US State Department. She can be commonly found in the Canadian Rockies with her fierce daughters and gem of a husband.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is image.pngJayshree Venkatesan is a financial sector specialist, with over 15 years of experience in financial inclusion spanning investments and consulting. Her geographical expertise spans India, East and West Africa, South East Asia and the Balkans, with immersive experience in India, Cambodia and Albania. The focus of her work during this time has been on building institutional systems and processes to cater to the financial needs of vulnerable customers while placing customers at the heart of this change. She was one of the founding members of IFMR Mezzanine Finance in 2009, a company within IFMR Trust (now called Dvara Trust), which provided mezzanine funding as an instrument for responsible growth of small and not for profit microfinance institutions. In 2014, she was awarded the Chevening Fellowship for Leadership and Excellence by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. In 2015, she published a policy report on the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana program based on primary research, supported by a fellowship awarded by the Hindu Center for Politics and Public Policy, India. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, UK. Between 2018 and 2020, she was an independent director on the board of Centrum Microfinance Private Limited, guiding the organization through a period of growth and acquisition. She originally started her career in banking at ICICI Bank and HDFC Bank in India in 2005.

Besides her master’s degree in international affairs from the Fletcher School, she has an MBA from Management Development Institute, Gurgaon and an undergraduate degree in mathematics from Mumbai University.

She currently consults with global think tanks and international organizations including the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP), the Center for Financial Inclusion at Accion and JICA. She has taught at the Boulder Institute of Microfinance, and is faculty at Fletcher’s GBA program, where she teaches “Decision Analysis for Business”.

 

 


Past Senior Policy Fellows

 

Matt Waldman specializes in high-level diplomacy and mediation in armed conflict. He is Special Advisor to the United Nations Special Envoy for Yemen, Director of the Center for Empathy in International Affairs, and an Associate Fellow of Chatham House – The Royal Institute of International Affairs. He has previously served as an advisor to: the UN Special Representative for Somalia (2016-2018), the UN Special Envoy for Syria (2014-2015) and the UN Special Representative for Afghanistan (2011-2012). He has also undertaken mediation work in the Middle East and Africa as a Senior Advisor at the European Institute of Peace and Special Advisor to Inter Mediate. Matt worked in Afghanistan between 2006 and 2012, and was based in Beirut between 2014 and 2018 to work on the Syria conflict.

Matt was previously a Research Fellow at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs in Harvard University’s Kennedy School (2012-2014), which involved research on empathy and foreign policymaking, delivering lectures and publishing articles. He was also a Fellow at Harvard’s Carr Center for Human Rights and a Visiting Fellow at Clare College, Cambridge University.

Matt was Oxfam International’s Head of Policy in Afghanistan (2006-2009) and Co-Director of the Chatham House Opportunity in Crisis initiative on Afghanistan. He has also held senior foreign affairs positions in the UK and European parliaments. Originally, Matt trained as a UK lawyer with Norton Rose Fulbright and holds a master’s degree in human rights from the London School of Economics.

Matt’s latest publication is War and Peace in Somalia, involving numerous conflict specialists and endorsed by UN Secretary-General António Guterres.

Abdul Mohammed serves as Chief of Staff and Senior Political Advisor of the African Union High Level Implementation Panel (AUHIP) for Sudan and South Sudan, chaired by former President of South Africa, Thabo Mbeki. He was previously the Acting Director of UNAMID’s Political Department and Chairperson of the Darfur-Darfur Dialogue and Consultation. He also served as UNICEF’s Representative to the African Union.

Abdul was the founder and Executive Director of the Inter-Africa Group, a centre for dialogue on humanitarian, peace, and development issues in the Horn of Africa. Abdul has worked in various capacities for the World Council of Churches/Church World Service and served as Director of Relief and Emergencies for the Sudan Council of Churches. He has also been an advisor to the Prime Minister of Ethiopia on peace and reconciliation issues in the Horn of Africa. Over the last twenty-five years Abdul has worked in Ethiopia, Sudan and Kenya.

While at Fletcher, Abdul Mohammed assisted faculty involved in the Building State Legitimacy project, and gave a public lecture to Fletcher students on mediation practices and current conflicts in Africa.

 

Dr. Vladimir Zhagora is a retired senior officer from the UN Department of Political Affairs. He has an extensive background in mediation, having participated in the negotiations on the settlement of crises in South Africa, Somalia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Darfur, between Eritrea and Ethiopia, and in Sudan, including within Eastern Sudan and between Northern and Southern Sudan. From 2002‐2003, he served as Senior Political Affairs Officer with the United Nations Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea (UNMEE), and from 2004‐2005 as the Regional Coordinator, Chief of Staff, and Senior Political Adviser for the United Nations Advance Mission/United Nations Mission in the Sudan (UNAMIS and UNMIS). Dr. Zhagora holds a BA degree in the Humanities from Minsk State Pedagogical Institute of Foreign Languages and a PhD in Political Science/Philosophy from Belarusian State University in Minsk.

Dr. Zhagora worked with faculty on the Building State Legitimacy project, and gave a public lecture to students on the changing patterns of mediation practices in Africa.