Staff, researchers & visiting fellows at the Firoz Lalji Institute for Africa

 Professional services staff


Professor Tim Allen | Director

Ask me about: Institute affiliation, philanthropy and prospective research collaborations




Melissa Anderson | Research Grants Officer

Ask me about: research project finance and reporting, research grant project management and research opportunities




Fadil Elobeid Africa Engagement Programme Manager

Ask me about: external engagement, strategic partnerships, alumni relations and donor strewardship




Martha Geiger Mwenitete | Institute Manager

Ask me about: Institute strategy, HR, finance and research grant applications



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Daniela Gutiérrez-Torres | Africa Engagement Programme Graduate Intern

Ask me about: African partnerships, alumni events, internships and student and alumni career journeys


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Stephen Johnson | PfAL Programme Manager

Ask me about: Skills development, leadership development, student networking, EDI and decolonisation initiatives




Imran Khan | Communications and Events Officer

Ask me about: media, content management, public events and digital engagement




Laurence Radford | Communications Manager and Editor of Africa at LSE

Ask me about: communications strategy, research communications, policy, web management and media enquiries



Anna Williams | Institute Administrator

Ask me about: research grant project coordination and administration, general Institute queries and administration


Affiliated faculty

Laura Mann

Laura Mann | Assistant Professor

Dr Laura Mann is an Assistant Professor in the LSE Department of International Development and focusses on the political economy of African development. Before joining LSE, Laura was a postdoctoral researcher at the Oxford Internet Institute and the African Studies Centre in Leiden.

Research interests: political economy, knowledge production, communication technologies and data
Region of focus: Kenya



Catherine Boone | Professor of African Political Economy

Professor Catherine Boone is Programme Director in African Development at the LSE Department of International Development. Her work focusses on industrial, commercial, and land tenure policies in West Africa, which has been funded by the SSRC, Fulbright and the World Bank.

Research interests: political economy, political development, property rights, land
Regions: Kenya, Côte d'Ivoire

Twitter: @cboone2023

Laura Bear

Laura Bear | Head of Department of Anthropology

Professor Laura Bear specialises in the anthropology of the economy, infrastructures and time. Bear has assumed positions as a board member in the Economy and Society editorial collective, the LSE International Inequalities Institute and ESRC Rebuilding Macroeconomics Research Network.

Research interests: anthropologies of the economy, state, infrastructures, time
Regions: South Asia

Twitter: @BearLauraLSE

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Teddy Brett | CPAID Consultant

Professor Teddy Brett has been involved in research, teaching and practice in development since the 1960s and joined the LSE Development Studies Institute in 1993. He is currently a consultant for the LSE Centre for Public Authority and International Development at the FLIA.

Research interests: political economy, institutional reform, reconstruction
Regions of focus: Uganda, Zimbabwe


Research Staff


Patrycia Stys | Research Officer

Dr Patrycja Stys received her DPhil in Politics from the University of Oxford. She is a Visiting Fellow at Swinburne University of Technology (Melbourne) and the University of Edinburgh, and manages research projects in the FLIA's Centre for Public Authority and International Development.

Research interests: governance, cyclic violent and non-violent mobilisation
Region of focus: DRC

Twitter: @pat_stys

Constanza Torre

Costanza Torre | Research Assistant

Costanza Torre is a PhD Candidate at the LSE Department for International Development. Her research employs ethnographic methods to investigate mental health and psychosocial humanitarian interventions in refugee settlements in northern Uganda. 

Research interests: post-conflict reconstruction, mental health interventions
Region of focus: Uganda

Twitter: @costi_torre


Claire Elder | Research Officer

Dr Claire Elder completed her DPhil in Politics at Oxford University after working for the International Crisis Group and years of experience in north-eastern Africa. Her research focuses on public authority and the political economy of state-building in weak states.

Research interests: political economy, diaspora, statebuilding, weak states
Region of focus: Somalia

Twitter: @celder_m


Jonah Lipton | Researcher Officer

Dr Jonah Lipton is an anthropologist at LSE where he attained his PhD examining family life, work and coming of age among young men in Freetown, Sierra Leone. Jonah gained a BA in Archaeology and Anthropology at the University of Oxford.

Research interests: political economy, urban neighbourhood life, crisis and humanitarianism
Region of focus: Sierra Leone

Twitter: @Jonah_Lipton

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Ryan Joseph O’Byrne | Research Officer

Dr Ryan O’Byrne researches the migration experiences of South Sudanese in Uganda and the international diaspora. He holds a PhD in Social Anthropology from University College London based on ethnographic fieldwork in South Sudan.

Research interests: migration, displacement, resilience, public authority
Region of focus: Uganda, South Sudan



Tom Kirk | Research Officer

Dr Thomas Kirk is a researcher and consultant based at LSE. His research interests include the provision of security and justice in conflict-affected regions, exploring how power works from top to bottom in ongoing development programmes.

Research interests: security, authoritaniasm, power, water governance
Region of focus: DRC



Dr Mebratu Kelecha | Research Officer

Mebratu Kelecha holds a PhD in Politics from the University of Westminster. Mebratu has a background in youth activism for positive social change on the African continent and publishes political commentary on Ethiopia's democratisation, protest movements and peacebuilding.

Research interests: conflict, peace studies, authoritaniasm
Region of focus: Ethopia



Kara Blackmore | Research Officer

Kara Blackmore is an anthropologist, curator and writer working at the intersection of arts, culture and social repair after conflict. For more than a decade she worked with NGOs, governments, corporate entities, cultural institutions and local communities across East and Southern Africa.

Research interests: post-conflict reconstruction, arts, curation, local governance
Region of focus: Uganda



Elizabeth Ngutuku | Research Officer

Dr Elizabeth Ngutuku holds a PhD (Cum laude) in Development Studies and a Master of Arts degree specialising in women, gender, and development from the International Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University Rotterdam.

Research interests: child poverty, social protection, youth activism, sexual health
Region of focus: Kenya, East Africa



Liz Storer | Research Officer

Dr Liz Storer researches health and well-being in East Africa. Her PhD research explored social healing in the West Nile sub-region of Uganda. She is currently working on projects exploring epidemic preparedness and protection in Uganda/ South Sudan.

Research interests: religion, health
Region of focus: Uganda

Twitter: @lizziestorer


Jamie MacLeod | Research Assistant

Jamie MacLeod has six years’ experience as a Trade Policy Expert at the Africa Trade Policy Centre at the UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and he is co-editor of the first book-length publication on the AfCFTA, Inclusive Trade in Africa (Routledge).

Research interests: trade policy, economics for development
Region of focus: Africa



Colette van der Ven: Research Consultant

Colette van der Ven is an international lawyer with expertise in trade and sustainable development. She is Founder and Director of TULIP – a Geneva-based consulting firm focussed on promoting inclusive and green development – and a visiting professor in international economic law at the Graduate Institute.

Research interests: trade, sustainable development
Region of focus: Africa

Twitter: @ColettevdVen


Geoffroy Guepie: Research Consultant

Geoffroy Guepie is an economist at the African Trade Policy Center of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), where he provides research support for the effective implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement. He is also a published Research Associate at the mixed research unit Transitions Energétiques et Environnementales (TREE) and was formerly a lecturer at the University of Pau where he obtained a PhD.

Research interests: trade policy, economics
Region of focus: Africa



Jonathan Bashi | Research Officer

Jonathan Bashi is a legal scholar whose work and research interests focus on the correlation between international law, trade and development. His work experience spreads across various sectors, with roles assumed in higher education, in the private sector, as well as in international development, including more recently as business associations lead for a UKaid private sector development programme in D.R. Congo, focusing on capacity building of cross-border traders’ associations in Eastern DRC.

Research interests: international law, development, trade
Region of focus: Africa

Twitter: @JonBashi


Jonathan Terrefe | Research Assistant

Jonathan Terrefe is a research assistant at the Firoz Lalji Institute for Africa. He’s one of the convenors for the research collaboration with Imperial’s Grantham Institute, bringing together researchers and experts on African environmental and climate change issues. He recently completed his MSc in Environment and Development at LSE’s Department of Geography and Environment.

Research interests: political ecology, green gentrification
Region of focus: Africa

Twitter: @TerrefeJ

Centennial and visiting professors

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Professor Alcinda Honwana | Visiting Professor

Alcinda Honwana is former Strategic Director at the Firoz Lalji Institute for Africa and Centennial Professor at the LSE Department of International Development. She is also Visiting Professor of Anthropology and International Development at the Open University and a UN adviser.

Research interests: youth movements, youth activism, social networks, datafication
Region of focus: North Africa, Mozambique



Professor Kenneth Amaeshi | Visiting Professor

Kenneth Amaeshi is a leading scholar on sustainable business and finance in the global South. He is Chair in Business and Sustainable Development and Director Scaling Business in Africa at the University of Edinburgh. 

Research interests: sustainable finance, organisational transformation, governance, business
Region of focus: Nigeria

Twitter: @kenamaeshi

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Professor Leonard Wantchekon | Centennial Professor

Professor Leonard Wantchekon is a Centennial Professor at LSE for 2018/2019 academic year. He is a Professor of Politics and International Affairs and associated faculty in the Economics Department at Princeton University.

Research interests: democratisation, clientelism, redistributive politics
Region of focus: Africa

Twitter: @lwantchekon


Professor Karin Barber | Centennial Professor

Karin Barber is a Centennial Professor in Anthropology. Her research focuses on Yoruba oral literature, popular theatre and print culture, with wider comparative work on popular culture and the anthropology of texts.

Research interests: anthropology of texts, oral performance, popular culture and religion
Region of focus: Western Nigeria



Professor Tony Barnett | Visiting Professor

Tony Barnett is an interdisciplinary social scientist based at the Royal Veterinary College where he is Professor of Social Sciences. He is currently co-investigator on the One Heath Poultry Hub, funded by the Global Challenges Research Fund.

Research interests: zoonotic diseases, qualitative data, infectious disease models
Region of focus: Uganda, South Africa



Professor Gibril Faal | Visiting Professor in Practice

Prof. Gibril Faal is a multi-disciplinary business and development executive. He is the co-founder and director of GK Partners, specialising in socially responsible business models, sustainable development and programme implementation. 

Research interests: development, migration and diaspora
Region of focus: Africa, Europe

Contact: LinkedIn


Dr Piroska Nagy Mohácsi | Visiting Professor in Practice

Piroska Nagy Mohácsi is an Academic Partner of Macroeconomic Advisory Group (MAG), New York. Previously Piroska was Interim Director and Programme Director of the LSE Institute for Global Affairs (2015-2021) leading and managing the institute and its academic programme.

Research interests: monetary and fiscal Policy, financial resilience, digital currencies
Region of focus: Europe


Visiting senior fellows

LSE Visiting Fellow, Michael Amoah

Michael Amoah | Visiting Senior Fellow

Dr Michael Amoah specialises in African politics, the international politics of Africa, foreign policy, conflict and security. He also published books on pan-Africanism and has an interest in international political economy, and international development. 

Research interests: politics, international relations, international development
Region of focus: Ghana, West Africa



Fatima el Issawi | Visiting Senior Fellow

Dr Fatima el Issawi is a Senior Lecturer in Journalism at the University of Essex, focussing on the intersection between media, politics and conflict in North Africa. She is the Principal Investigator for project Arab Media and Transitions to Democracy.

Research interests: journalism, media, politics, conflict, media policy
Region of focus: North Africa



Vanessa Iwowo | Visiting Senior Fellow

Dr Vanessa Iwowo is Lecturer in Organisational Psychology. She is an award-winning management scholar whose research focuses on ways of enhancing leadership development in international contexts.

Research interests: management, leadership development, organisational psychology,
Region of focus: Africa

Twitter: @DrVanessaIwowo

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Anna Macdonald | Visiting Senior Fellow

Dr Anna Macdonald works at the LSE Centre for Public Authority and International Development and the Conflict Research Programme, where she researches ideas of public authority and legal pluralism in the Horn of Africa.

Research interests: law, justice, statehood and social order
Region of focus: Uganda



Bronwen Manby | Visitng Senior Fellow

Dr Bronwen Manby researches and writes on statelessness, comparative nationality law, legal identity and the history of nationality laws in Africa. Dr Manby also guest teaches on LSE’s MSc in Human Rights.

Research interests: nationality laws, identity, citizenship
Region of focus: Nigeria, South Africa

Twitter: @BronwenManby

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Holly Porter | Visiting Senior Fellow

Dr Holly Porter is a Lecturer in Gender Studies in the Department of Politics and International Studies at Oxford University. Her work centres on issues of gender, sexualities and violence after war, particularly in northern Uganda.

Research interests: politics, sexual violence, displacement
Region of focus: Uganda



Shirley Yu | Visiting Senior Fellow

Dr Shirley Ze Yu is a leading voice on China’s political economy, an Asia Fellow with the Ash Center of Harvard Kennedy School, an adjunct professor with the IE Business School and a member of the Davos Expert Network on 5G, geopolitics and geoeconomics

Research interests: political economy, business, trade
Region of focus: China, Africa

Twitter: @shirleyzeyu

Visiting fellows


Naomi Pendle | Visiting fellow

Dr Naomi Pendle has carried out ethnographic and qualitative research in South Sudan since 2009, with a particular focus on Nuer and Dinka communities. Naomi has advised the UK and US governments and researched for the ICRC.

Research interests: public authority, patterns of violence, local governance, political marketplace
Region of focus: South Sudan



Juliet Bedford | Visiting Fellow

Dr Juliet Bedford is a leader in the application of anthropology to global health and has extensive experience managing complex qualitative and mixed-methods research and evaluations. Juliet founded the organisation Anthrologica in 2008.

Research interests: humanitarianism, anthropology, global health
Region of focus: Africa, Southeast Asia

Twitter: @bedford_juliet


Paroma Bhattacharya | Visiting Fellow

Dr Paroma Bhattacharya is a Research Fellow at the LSE’s Department of Management, the Firoz Lalji Institute for Africa and the Social Innovation Lab. She currently works on her doctoral project ‘Leadership Development in Startup Social Enterprise Teams’.

Research interests: humanitarianism, anthropology, global health
Region of focus: Africa, Southeast Asia

Twitter: @Paroma


Ponsiano Bimeny | Visiting Fellow

Dr Ponsiano Bimeny specialises in state formation from the perspective of violence, conflict and displacement with a focus on South Sudan and northern Uganda. He has previously worked for more than six years as a development professional in northern Uganda, where he grew up.

Research interests: development, humanitarian development, violence, conflict
Region of focus: South Sudan



Gianluca Iazzolino | Visiting Fellow

Dr Gianluca Iazzolino is a post-doctoral research fellow at the FLIA. His main research interests are ICTs, digital finance and informal economy with a focus on the relationship between technological innovation and power dynamics.

Research interests: ICTs, digital finance, informal economy
Region of focus: Horn of Africa, Kenya, Somalia

Uche Igwe

Uche Igwe | Visiting Fellow

Dr Uche Igwe is a political economy analyst, legislative scholar and communications expert with twenty years of practical experience working with parliament, government agencies, local and international NGOs, the media, research think tanks and the private sector.

Research interests: legislative ethics, anti-corruption, open government partnerships
Region of focus: Nigeria

Twitter: @uche_igwe


Theresa Jones | Visiting Fellow

Dr Theresa Jones is a mental health specialist, currently leading the mental health and psychosocial support unit at Anthrologica, where she works across emergency response and humanitarian preparedness.

Research interests: clinical psychology, Mental health, Humanitarianism
Region of focus: Liberia, DRC

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Tonny Raymond Kirabira | Visiting Fellow

Tonny Kirabira is a PhD law researcher at the University of Portsmouth, focusing on transitional justice and international criminal prosecution. He was admitted to the Ugandan Bar in 2014 and practices as an advocate in the High Court of Uganda.

Research interests: human rights law
Region of focus: Uganda

Contact: LinkedIn


Bathsheba Okwenje | Visiting Fellow

Bathsheba Okwenje is a Ugandan artist currently living in Rwanda. Her work is based at the intersection of information practices and aesthetics, investigating hidden histories, the interior lives of people and the interactions between them.

Research interests: information practices, aesthetic justice, archives, social practice art
Region of focus: Uganda



Georgina Pearson | Visiting Fellow

Dr Georgina is a research fellow on the LEAD Project at the FLIA and is a Clinical Lecturer in Public Health in the Population Health Research Institute at St George’s University of London. She holds a PhD from LSE's Department of International Development.

Research interests: ethics in health research, public health
Region of focus: Uganda

Contact: LinkedIn


Maria del Pilar Lopez-Uribe | Visiting Fellow

Dr Maria works at the intersection of Development Economics, Economic History and Political Economy, interested land, conflict, gender and social movements. She is Assistant Professor in at the Universidad de los Andes in Bogotá.

Research interests: development economics, political economy, applied microeconomics
Region of focus: Latin America

Contac: LinkedIn

Dr Keren Weitzberg

Keren Weitzberg | Visiting Fellow

Dr Keren Weitzberg is an interdisciplinary historian who works at the intersection of migration studies, critical race studies and science and technology studies. Her current project investigates biometric registration in Kenya.

Research interests: history and contemporary politics of East Africa, refugees and migration
Region of focus: Kenya, East Africa

Twitter: @KerenWeitzberg

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Lars Hedegaard Williams | Visiting Fellow

Dr Lars Williams is a Visiting Fellow at the FLIA and a former PhD student in the School of Culture and Society at Aarhus University, Denmark. He has published on the experience of trauma in the aftermath of war in northern Uganda.

Research interests: medical anthropology, cultural psychiatry, anthropology of religion
Region of focus: northern Uganda


PhD candidates


Alice Robinson | PhD Candidate

Alice Robinson is a PhD student at the Department of International Development at LSE. Her doctoral research focuses on the histories and everyday practices of local NGOs in South Sudan and their role in humanitarian response.

Research interests: humanitarianism, NGOs, anthropology
Region of focus: South Sudan

Twitter: @alice_miranda1


Cristin Alexis Fergus | PhD Candidate

Cristin Alexis Fergus is Lead Investigator for the LEAD Project and PhD researcher in the LSE Department of International Development, where she examines aspects of evidence for decision-making within global health. 

Research interests: public health, global health interventions
Region of focus: Uganda