Yaw Nyarko, Director
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 has also 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 around the world. Yaw Nyarko received a B.A. the University of Ghana, and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Economics from Cornell University.
Eddie joined NYU Africa House in November 2012. As the Associate Director, he 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 local and international dignitaries, thought leaders and practitioners. The flagship programs aim to promote critical dialogue and debate on evolving social, economic, and political trends linked to development in Africa.
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 annual Global Gateways Scholars Program held at Howard University’s Ralph J. Bunche International Affairs Center, leading delegations to Brazil and Haiti. He has interned with The Hague Appeal for Peace, and the Aga Khan Foundation in Geneva. 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 management from Columbia Business School’s Social Enterprise Exc. Ed. Program. He is an active member of the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs 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.
Madonna Kendona, Lead Consultant on Ghana projects
email@example.comMadonna Kendona 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.
Rodney Jehu-Appiah, Program Assistant
Rodney began work at Africa House in September of 2012. He is a citizen of Ghana and is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Politics with a concentration in International Politics and Business at New York University. After receiving a Bachelor’s degree in Russian Studies from Colgate University, Rodney held a six-month fellowship at the United Nations University in New York. He has also interned at the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning of Ghana. Rodney plans to gain experience in the consulting industry and in international organizations. He is passionate about poetry and finding common ground in everyday encounters.
Lauren Bishop, Online Projects Assistant (Joint with DRI)
Lauren began work at DRI and Africa House in January of 2012. She is currently pursuing a Master’s in Politics with a concentration in International Relations from New York University. She discovered an interest in political economy and economic development as she earned her B.A., also from NYU’s Politics department. In addition to DRI and Africa House, she has interned for the American Swiss Foundation, has held several posts as a journalist, and has presented her research on non-governmental organizations at Notre Dame University’s Student Peace Conference.
Liron Lerman, Webmaster (Joint with NYU Center of Technology and Economic Development)
Liron began work at DRI and Africa House in September of 2012. He is currently pursuing an MFA in Game Design at NYU Tisch School of the Arts. Liron discovered an interest in game theory as he earned his B.A. at Columbia University concentrating in Economics and Political Science. While studying at Columbia, Liron interned with the Deutsche Bank and a Hedge Fund company, and after graduation secured a position with a technology-consulting firm working with pharmaceutical firms, banks, insurance companies and state governments. Between work and study, Liron plans to implement game theory principles used in development economics in MMO (Massive Multiplayer Online) games.