Meet our staff



Professor Tim Allen

Tim Allen is the Director of the Firoz Lalji Centre for Africa. He is also a Professor of Development Anthropology and Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences.  Tim has training as a historian and development economist.

He works at the intersections of accountability, criminal justice, social healing, health care, international development and humanitarian assistance. He has conducted research on the Uganda / South Sudan border since the 1980s; and has also researched in many other African countries, including Botswana, Tanzania, Kenya, and Ghana. Much of his work has focussed on issues of humanitarian crisis, including mass forced displacement, armed conflict and the ways in which populations manage in extreme circumstances

Tim joined the LSE in 1997.




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Natasha Koverola Commissiong
Grants Programme Officer

 Natasha Koverola Commissiong is the Grants Programme Officer at the Firoz Lalji Centre for Africa. She holds an MSc in Anthropology and International Development from the London School of Economics.

Before joining FLCA, Natasha worked at Harvard University Center for African Studies and as a researcher on projects in Lesotho, Uganda, Trinidad and Tobago, Haiti and Brazil. Her expertise includes race, ethnicity and gender in Africa and the diaspora. She has also worked with high-risk youth in inner-city schools in Los Angeles. Natasha is fluent in Portuguese and is also an artist.

She joined LSE In October 2017.





Martha Geiger
Manager, Centre for Public Authority and International Development

Martha Geiger is the CPAID Centre Manager at the Firoz Lalji Centre for Africa in the Institute of Global Affairs (IGA) at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). Martha holds an MA in Geography and International Development from the University of Guelph in Canada.

Martha gained valuable research, project management, and leadership experience in Canada, UK, Ethiopia, South Africa, and Botswana. Prior to joining LSE, she worked as a senior research associate at the University of Bristol where she led a study in Ethiopia investigating socio-economic factors affecting animal owning communities. Martha has also held research-focused roles at the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) and the World Wildlife Fund. 

Martha joined LSE in the summer of 2016. 




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Stephen Johnson
Programme Officer, Programme for African Leadership

Stephen Johnson is the Programme Officer for The Programme for African Leadership at the Firoz Lalji Centre for Africa, a networking and skills development initiative for LSE post graduate students from Africa.

He has previously worked as a research coordinator in Johannesburg, South Africa for a civil society organisation focused on researching and assessing government performance and governance quality across the continent. His research focused on defence, security and political instability. He has also worked for higher education institutions in South Africa and the United Kingdom including the University of Cape Town, King’s College and Birkbeck College.

Stephen joined LSE in November 2017.




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Yovanka Paquete Perdigao
Communications and Events Officer

Yovanka Paquete Perdigao is the Communications and Events Officer at the Firoz Lalji Centre for Africa. She holds an Msc  in Violence, Conflict and Development from SOAS, University of London.

Prior to joining the FLCA, Yovanka worked in programming, fundraising and communications at the Africa Centre, Africa Research Institute and the Royal African Society.  Interested in lusophone literature, migration issues and politics of memory, Yovanka has written a number of fiction and non-fiction pieces, which have been featured on the Guardian, Brittle Paper, AFREADA, etc. She regularly edits and translates literary works as a freelancer. Yovanka speaks French and Portuguese fluently.

Yovanka joined LSE in November 2017.





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Gerald Purcell
Manager, Programme for African Leadership 

Gerald Purcell is the Programme Manager for The Programme for African Leadership at the Firoz Lalji Centre for Africa, a networking and skills development initiative for LSE post graduate students from Africa.  He leads on the programme’s curriculum design & delivery, operational management and strategic development. 

He has over 10 years’ experience within the UK Higher Education sector, with an in-depth knowledge of student recruitment, marketing, events and programme management.  He completed an Executive MSc in Behavioural Science at LSE in 2015 and also holds an MBA Business Administration and BA (Hons) Broadcast Journalism from the University of Gloucestershire.  Prior to moving to the UK in 2003, Gerald spent several years working in the financial services sector in Dublin. 

Gerald joined LSE in December 2011.





Syerramia Willoughby
Communications and Events Manager
Editor, Africa at LSE blog

Syerramia Willoughby is the Editor of the Africa at LSE blog and Communications and Events Manager at the Firoz Lalji Centre for Africa.

Prior to working at the FLCA, Syerramia worked for nine years as a radio journalist for BBC Africa and BBC Radio. 

Syerramia joined LSE in May 2011.





LSE Visiting Fellow, Michael Amoah

Dr Michael Amoah
Visiting Fellow

Dr Michael Amoah specializes in African Politics, International Politics of Africa, Foreign Policy, Conflict and Security. He also has interests in International Political Economy, Development Studies and International Development. 

His publications include ‘Nationalism Globalization, and Africa’ (Palgrave Macmillan 2011) and 'A Decade of Ghana: Politics, Economy and Society 2004-2013' (Brill 2015). His forthcoming research monograph is entitled ‘The New Pan-Africanism: Globalisation and the Nation-State in Africa’ (I B Tauris 2018).






Dr Rochelle Burgess
Visiting Fellow

Dr Rochelle Burgess is a community health psychologist who specialises in community mobilisation in global health, with an emphasis on gender, ethnicity and power dynamics. Over the past 10 years her projects have focused community participation, gender and mental health in South Africa. Previous projects include work on HIV in Kenya, South Africa and Swaziland. Her current research interests include: the role of health systems in supporting community mobilisation; Structural violence and mental health in post-conflict settings; and transformative research methods in global health.




Profile photo of Rebecca Tapscott

Dr Rebecca Tapscott
Visiting Fellow

Dr Rebecca Tapscott is a post-doctoral research fellow at the Albert Hirschman Centre on Democracy at the Graduate Institute in Geneva, focusing on the relationship between violence and governance in illiberal democratic regimes.

Her current project examines strategic unpredictability as a non-traditional mode of state governance in Uganda through a study of citizens’ lived experiences of (in)security. Rebecca also has extensive field experience, having worked since 2010 on projects in Benin, Cameroon, Ghana, Senegal, Niger, and Nepal, for several development non-government organizations and research projects.

Rebecca holds a PhD from the Fletcher School at Tufts University and previously worked as a researcher for the Justice and Security Research Programme at the LSE.





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RT @LSEnews: It's the start of #Davos 2018 today. Read the LSE Director's plan to overcome social divisions in this article for the @WEF #L

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Very sad to hear the news of Hugh Masekela's death. We have very fond memories of him here @AfricaAtLSE, particular……

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Firoz Lalji Centre for Africa, Tower 2, 10th floor, London School of Economics and Political Science, London, WC2A 2AE

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