Yaw Nyarko, a native of Ghana, is a Professor of Economics at New York University (NYU) and the founding Director of NYU’s Africa House. He is the Director of the NYU Center for Technology and Economic Development, and also the co-Director of the Development Research Institute. He is the 2009 winner of the BBVA Frontiers in Knowledge Award on Economic Development Cooperation. His research interests are in the area of Economic Development and Theoretical Economics. He has worked on models of human capital as engines of economic growth, as well as on the Brain Drain and skills acquisition in the growth process, and is currently engaged in research on Technology and Economic Development.
He is the author of many published research papers and is the recipient of numerous awards and grants, and has served as Editor/Associate Editor on a number of academic economics journals. He is the current president of the African Econometric Society. He has served as a consultant to many organizations including the World Bank, the United Nations, and the Social Science Research Council. He is the immediate past Vice Provost of New York University with a portfolio which included the oversight and establishment of campuses of NYU in Africa and around the world. Yaw Nyarko received a B.A. from the University of Ghana, and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Economics from Cornell University.
Lakshminarayanan Subramanian, Associate Professor at Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences at NYU
Lakshminarayanan Subramanian is an Associate Professor in the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences at NYU. His research interests are in the areas of networks, distributed systems and computing for development. He leads the Networks and Wide-Area Systems(NeWS) research group, and the CATER Lab at NYU. He is a recipient of the NSF CAREER Award (2009), IBM Faculty Awards (2009, 2010), Google Faculty Award (2013), C.V. Ramamoorthy Award at UC Berkeley and Microsoft Research Challenge Award on “Cellphones for Healthcare” (2008).
Jay Chen is an Assistant Professor at NYU Abu Dhabi and a research scientist at CTED. He received a PhD in Computer Science from New York University (NYU) where his dissertation was awarded the Janet Fabri Prize for Most Outstanding Dissertations in Computer Science. His research interests stem from a background in networking and distributed systems, but in order to solve real world problems of information access in developing regions his work has evolved to be increasingly inter-disciplinary. Most recently Professor Chen has been focusing his research efforts on learning technologies, security and privacy, and human computer interaction.
Eddie Mandhry, Associate Director
Eddie is responsible for managing Africa House’s public engagement programs that spotlight Africa-focused research conducted by members of the NYU academic community. He also manages seminars, conferences and symposiums featuring African heads of state, dignitaries, thought leaders and practitioners. The flagship programs aim to promote critical dialogue and debate on evolving trends linked to economic development in Africa. Eddie also manages the operations of the NYU Center for Technology and Economic Development’s Entrepreneurship Lab.
Prior to joining NYU Africa House, Eddie was the Washington program director at Global Kids Inc. He also served as the Director of the U.S. in the World: International Law and Foreign Policy Program, conducted in collaboration with the Council on Foreign Relations, New York; and the Director of the annual Global Gateways Scholars Program held at Howard University’s Ralph J. Bunche International Affairs Center, leading delegations to Rio de Janeiro, Salvador – Brazil and Port Au Prince, Jacmel – Haiti. He has interned with The Hague Appeal for Peace, and the Aga Khan Development Network in Geneva, Switzerland. He holds a BA in Political Science/African Studies from Hampshire College, a MSc. in International Relations from the London School of Economics, and a certificate in non-profit management from Columbia Business School’s Social Enterprise Program. He is a steering committee member of the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs’ CNL program and was elected a Carnegie New Leader in 2012. Eddie is a Kenyan national, fluent in Kiswahili with basic proficiency in Amharic and French.
Liuba Grechen Shirley, Director of Operations, Economic Development and Africa Programs
Liuba Grechen serves as the Director of Operations, Economic Development and Africa Programs across New York University’s Africa House, Development Research Institute, and NYU Abu Dhabi’s Center for Technology and Economic Development. She works closely with Africa House Director Professor Yaw Nyarko to manage outreach and research activities in the area of smallholder agriculture and the role and potential of technology in economic development in Ghana and throughout Africa.
Previously Liuba served as Director of Membership for the United Nations Association of the USA, where she directed all membership programs and developed national strategies and campaigns to mobilize over 12,000 members to educate their communities about the critical work of the UN and to lobby their Congressional Representatives for strong American leadership at the UN. In 2010 she managed the successful merger of UNA-USA with the UN Foundation, which created the single-largest network of American advocates for the UN.
Liuba’s research on the United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women and the conference’s effect on the prevalence of Female Genital Mutilation greatly contributed to a chapter on Global Citizenship in Thomas Zweifel’sInternational Organizations and Democracy.
Liuba has also worked for the Carpathian Foundation, where she co-founded a groundbreaking initiative to increase cooperation and promote greater synergies among the public, private, and non-profit sectors to attract funds to local development efforts in Eastern Europe. Liuba holds a BA in Politics and Russian from New York University and is pursuing her MBA with a specialization in Social Innovation and Impact at NYU Stern School of Business.
Marian Tes, Grants Manager (Joint with DRI and CTED)
Marian joined Africa House in May 2012. In 2011, she earned her M.A. in International Education at NYU Steinhardt School of Education, Culture and Human Development. She received her B.A. in History and Peace & Conflict Studies from Colgate University. Prior to joining Africa House, she was the project coordinator for a research project that sought to improve low-income children’s chances for success in school by targeting their socioemotional behavior through a comprehensive, classroom-based intervention at Head Start. She’s also worked at various non-profits and volunteered on projects including Opportunities for Equitable Access to Quality Education, the Council of State Governments’ Justice Center, Generation Rwanda, and AIDS Walk in different capacities including development, communications, event planning, grant management, and preliminary data analysis.
Her own research interests include international development, early childhood education, education in emergencies, and refugees & mental health. In part, Marian’s research interests derive from her family’s background as Cambodian refugees in the early 1980s. She has traveled to Brazil, Cambodia, and Italy and is proficient in Khmer and Spanish.
Flora May Alipio, Administrative Assistant
Flora is the Administrative Assistant for the NYU Center for Technology and Economic Development. She joined the team in May 2013. Flora has a Bachelor of Science in Management Accounting from the University of San Carlos, Philippines. She has lived and worked in the UAE for more than seven years. Prior to joining CTED, Flora was the Project Coordinator for the Zayed National Museum in Abu Dhabi.
Madonna Kendona-Sowah, Lead Consultant on Ghana projects
Madonna Kendona-Sowah is the Lead Consultant on Ghana projects for New York University’s Center for Technology and Economic Development. Prior to this she worked as a Program Associate at the New York Women’s Foundation and as a junior officer at Ghana’s Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and French from the University of Ghana and a Master of Public Administration from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs.
Saijad Dhuka, Website Administrator (Joint with Development Research Institute and NYU CTED)
Saijad joined the Africa House/DRI/CTED team in November 2013. He is a Master’s candidate at NYU-poly pursuing computer science. He completed his undergraduate studies in computer engineering from Mumbai University where he undertook many academic software development projects. He also holds strong interest in developing mobile application on android platform.
Marina Kosyachenko, Grant Assistant (Joint with DRI and NYU CTED)
Marina joined DRI, Africa House and CTED in June 2013. She is a Fulbright scholar pursuing a Master’s degree in Economics at New York University. A native of Russia, she earned an undergraduate degree in international economics from Omsk State University in Siberia, where she coordinated local orphanage grants and interned at an oil giant Gazprom. She also holds a B.S. in Business Administration from State University of New York Empire State College and has assisted with teaching a behavioral economics course at University of New York in Prague. Her current research interests lie in the intersection of behavioral economics and public policy.
Young Hyun Kim, Program Assistant
Young joined the Africa House/DRI/CTED team in September 2013. She is an MA student in the Economics Department at NYU. Having grown up in Australia, France, and Korea, Young has keen interests in international and development economics, particularly relating to economic liberalization policies of developing countries. She received her BA in international studies from Ewha Women’s University in Seoul, South Korea, where she further pursued her academic interests by founding the first undergraduate student-run Economics journal written in English in South Korea. Before coming to New York, Young interned at the United Nations Division in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade in South Korea.
Benjamin Ersing, Program Assistant
In 2012, Benjamin completed his B.A. in International Political Economy at Washington & Lee University, and thereafter came to New York University where he is currently pursuing a M.A. in International Business Diplomacy at the Gallatin School of Individualized Study. His self-designed field of study draws from multiple NYU schools including the Stern Business School, the School of Law, the Wagner School of Public Policy and GSAS, to provide training in both research and management skills focusing on the intersection of international law, business, and economic development.
Prior to joining us in New York, Benjamin spent time as an intern with a law firm in Ecuador, and with a human rights NGO on the U.S. – Mexican border. While an undergraduate student, he worked extensively with the General Development Initiative, Inc., an educational not-for-profit impact investing and SME consulting organization which he co-founded in 2010, and with which he continues to work closely as a member of the Board of Directors.
To date, Benjamin’s research interests have focused primarily on the rights of clandestine migrants and the international legality of the present U.S. – Mexican border control policy, as well as on regional integration efforts in Latin America. He is currently looking at the proliferation of non-state private law centers, on their relationship with the State, and on their potential impact on local and regional economic development efforts.