The EPAR model brings talented Graduate Research Assistants with diverse technical and professional skills together with faculty oversight, expert advising from a wide network of scholars and practitioners, and the supporting infrastructure of the University of Washington to provide research and analysis that meets high standards of academic rigor while still being accessible to a broad, non-technical audience. EPAR’s mentorship model, where second-year Research Assistants train and support first-year Research Assistants, helps to ensure the continuity and quality of our research, leverages diverse skill sets, and allows EPAR to take on longer-term research initiatives.
Leigh Anderson received her PhD in Economics from the University of Washington in 1989 and joined the Evans School faculty in 1997. Her primary research interest is in how individuals living in poverty make financial, environmental, health, and other livelihood decisions, especially when outcomes are highly risky or spread over time. Her current research focuses on rural poverty and agriculture, and market and policy institutions. Professor Anderson founded EPAR in 2008, and continues to directs its research as EPAR's Principal Investigator. In addition to directing EPAR, Anderson serves as the Marc Lindenberg Professor for Humanitarian Action, International Development, and Global Citizenship and as Associate Dean of Innovation, and teaches courses in economics, statistics, and international development.
Travis Reynolds is an Associate Professor of Environmental Studies at Colby College in Maine, and joined EPAR as co-Principal Investigator in 2015. Reynolds received a PhD in Public Policy and Management from the Evans School in 2011, and worked on several EPAR research projects during his studies at the the Evans School. His current research focuses on international environmental policy, including community-based forest management, global food policy, carbon forestry, and payments for ecosystems services. In addition to his work with EPAR, Reynolds also leads a research project studing church forests in rural Ethiopia, and teaches courses in international environmental policy, global food policy, and rural livelihoods.
Carlos E. Cuevas joined the Evans School in Winter 2013. He lectures on development finance, development practice and program evaluation. Before joining the Evans school, Cuevas was Deputy Director of the Financial Services for the Poor initiative at the Bill & Melinda Gates foundation. The initiative supports the provision of financial services to low-income clients with a strong emphasis on safe savings and payments. Prior to joining the foundation in March 2009, Dr. Cuevas was Financial Sector Policy Advisory Consultant at the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP) and The World Bank Group (since February 2008), and before that a Financial Sector Development Adviser at the World Bank between March 1995 and January 2008. A specialist in rural finance and microfinance, Cuevas has worked on cooperative finance, development banking, and regulatory and supervisory issues. He managed or participated in World Bank lending operations, sector work and technical assistance worldwide during his 13 years as regular staff. Before joining the World Bank, he was a Senior Microenterprise Specialist at the Inter-American Development Bank (1993-1995), and prior to that an Assistant Professor of Agricultural Economics and Finance at The Ohio State University (1984-1993). Dr. Cuevas holds a Master of Science degree in agricultural economics from the Catholic University of Chile and a Ph.D. in agricultural economics from The Ohio State University.
Alison Cullen joined the Evans School faculty at University of Washington in 1995. Her research involves the analysis of risks to human health and the environment, decision making in the face of risks which are uncertain or vary spatially, temporally and across populations, and the application of value of information and distributional techniques. At University of Washington she is also an adjunct professor in the School of Public Health and in the College of the Environment, and serves on the Boards of the Program on Climate Change and the Environmental Management Certificate. Cullen holds a Sc.D. in Environmental Health Management and a M.S. in Environmental Health Science, Exposure Assessment, and Engineering from Harvard University School of Public Health. She also holds a B.S. in Civil/Environmental Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
Marieka M. Klawitter joined the Evans School faculty in 1990. Her research focuses on public policies that affect work and income, including studies of the effects of asset-building policies, welfare policies, intra-household bargaining, and anti-discrimination policies for sexual orientation. Klawitter teaches courses on public policy analysis, quantitative methods, program evaluation, asset-building for low income families, and sexual orientation and public policy. Klawitter holds a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Wisconsin, and a MPP and AB in Economics from the University of Michigan.
Dr. Carol Levin is an expert in costing health technologies and interventions delivered in public health delivery systems. Currently, she is the director for the Global Health Cost Consortium to strengthen access to, and the use of, high quality cost data for HIV and TB. Previously, she led the systematic review of costs of global health interventions as part of the Disease Control Priorities Project. Her interests are in conducting research on the costs and cost-effectiveness of introducing and scaling up public health interventions related to maternal, reproductive and child health, and HIV. She has also recently conducted research on the costs of domestic programs in the US, recently completing work with colleagues at UW Department of Psychiatry to estimate the cost of initiatives in the Washington State mental health program. In addition to health economics, she is also an expert in the area of food security and nutrition policy, where most recently she focused on implementing and evaluating an integrated agriculture and health project to maximize health and nutrition outcomes. She was also a contributing author to the 2015 Global Nutrition Report on defining healthy food systems.
Didier Alia joined EPAR as a Research Associate in September 2017. His research interests are in International Development with a particular focus on Input Intensification and the Transformation of African Agriculture and Rural Spaces. He also has keen interests in Urbanization, Health, and Trade and their implications for development. He received his PhD in Agricultural Economics from the University of Kentucky, and also holds a BSc and a MSc in Mathematics from the University of Abomey-Calavi in Benin and a Statistician-Economist Engineer Diploma (MSc) from the Sub-Regional Institute of Statistics and Applied Economics in Cameroon.
Ayala Wineman joined EPAR as a Research Associate in September 2017. She earned a MSc and PhD in Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics from Michigan State University in 2017. Her research relates broadly to poverty and rural development in sub-Saharan Africa. Specifically, her past research has emphasized food security measurement and the effects of climate variability and climate change in East and Southern Africa. More recently, she has focused on the topics of land access, land markets, and migration in East Africa. Prior to graduate school, she worked as a math and English teacher in Guyana and Ethiopia.
David Coomes (MPA ‘18) is a graduate of the UW where he earned degrees in Biology and Anthropology. His academic and professional interests include international development, health, and environmental management. Before joining the Evans School he was involved in a research project that explored the resettlement process for Somali refugees living in Ethiopia. Prior to that David worked for the U.S. Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Elan Ebeling (MPA ’19) is interested in environmental policy, social policy, and international development. Prior to joining the Evans School, Elan served as an AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer helping to establish a teen center for at-risk youth in rural Washington. She also worked for the Center for Environmental Law & Policy, researching water policy and endangered rivers in Washington State. Elan graduated from the University of Oregon in 2011 with a BA in U.S. and African History.
Terry Fletcher (MPA ’19) works in international development, with a particular focus in education, youth development, and ethics. He comes to the Evans School directly from serving three years as a U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer in The Gambia working to improve teaching methods at The Gambia Teacher’s College and throughout the country. Prior to that, he served for two years as an AmeriCorps Volunteer, teaching sixth grade math in Harlem. He holds undergraduate degrees in Philosophy and Theatre from Lewis & Clark College.
Nina Forbes (MPA ’20) is interested in examining which strategies and allocation of resources are most effective in achieving development goals, especially in relation to women’s socioeconomic empowerment. Her academic emphases at the Evans School are policy analysis and international development. Prior to the Evans School, Nina worked as a research associate at a private equity company focused on impact investing. Nina graduated from the University of Puget Sound in 2014 with a BA in International Political Economy.
Rohit Gupta (MS Data Science '19) is focused on discovering insights through the use of quantitative analysis, and primarily intrigued with social mobility, sustainable energy use, and microfinance. Before pursuing the Master's at UW, he worked as a business consultant and analyst, leveraging data to create predictive models for various organizations. He graduated from Indraprastha University, India, with a Bachelor of Technology in Electronics Engineering.
Melissa Howlett (MPA ’19) is particularly interested in evaluation, policy analysis, and data visualization. Prior to attending the Evans School, Melissa worked in evaluation consulting at ORS Impact for seven years. Her work is driven by a strong sense of social justice and a belief in evaluation’s potential to promote learning and facilitate social change. Melissa earned dual degrees from Seattle University in International Studies/Spanish and Business Economics.
Samuel Kiel (MPA '20) received their Bachelor of Arts from The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington. Before receiving their degree they worked in Information Technology for the YWCA of Seattle, King County, and Snohomish County where they specialized in automating IT workflows. Their current academic interests include tax policy and public sector financial management.
Namrata Kolla (MPA '19) is interested in issues of access to technology and government resources by underrepresented communities. Prior to Evans, Namrata worked in business development and marketing for a green start-up, as well as project management and communications for The Nature Conservancy. Namrata graduated from Georgia Tech with a BS in Public Policy and a BS in Earth Sciences where she researched ocean acidification in the California Current System.
Josh Merfeld joined the Ph.D. in Public Policy and Management program in 2013. His main fields of interest are the microeconomics of development, labor in developing countries, applied microeconometrics, and survey methodology. Josh works in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. Prior to the Evans School, Josh earned a MPP from Georgia State University and a BA in Spanish from the University of Georgia.
Vedavati Patwardhan’s (PhD ’21) research interests are in international development and policy analysis, especially in the fields of agriculture, water and sanitation, and women’s health. Prior to attending the Evans School, Vedavati worked at academic publishing house Springer Nature (Crest Premedia) in India where she worked as a Project Manager and Team Leader for research publications across disciplines. Vedavati holds an M.A. in Global and International Studies from the University of California at Santa Barbara and a B.A. in Economics from the University of Pune, India.
Anu Sidhu (MPA ’20) is interested in policy analysis and evaluation. Before joining Evans, Anu worked in different facets of the criminal justice system, most recently working as the program coordinator at Snohomish County Mental Health Court, and having served as an AmeriCorps volunteer with Seattle Community Court. She has worked as an English teacher in Japan and has conducted research on the impact of arranged marriages on females in Punjab, India. She holds an undergraduate degree in Law & Justice and Economics from the University of Washington.
Isabella Sun (MPA ’19) graduated in 2015 with a joint bachelor’s degree in Economics from both the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the National University of Singapore. Currently, her academic interests include policy analysis and evaluation as well as international development. Prior to attending the Evans School, Isabella worked as a research associate at a market research firm in her hometown, Raleigh, North Carolina.Emma Weaver
Emma Weaver (MPA ’19) is a graduate of the University of Maryland where she received a BS and MS in Civil Engineering. Her academic and professional interests include environmental policy and international development. She previously worked in construction management for The Whiting-Turner Contracting Company in the Washington, DC area.