Paul E. McNamara, Ph.D.
Founder and Director, AgReach
Paul is passionate about extension and is committed to substantively improving the lives of smallholder farmers in the poorest countries of the world. Paul brings over 20 years of impressive international development experience to AgReach where he oversees a $22 million portfolio of international agricultural extension development activities. Dr. McNamara is well known and well respected in his field among peers, partners and the broader donor community. An accomplished academic, he is well published on rural development, nutrition and health, and extension in leading journals and publications. Under Paul’s leadership, AgReach’s work has spanned 4 continents and reached over 50 countries. With a background in international economics, agriculture and nutrition, Dr. McNamara understands the big picture and what it takes to really move the needle on food security and poverty alleviation. Dr. McNamara founded AgReach in 2016 and it now houses several large multi-country programs funded by USAID.
Ph.D. from University of Minnesota, St. Paul
M.P.P., from John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts
Bachelor of Arts from Wheaton College, Illinois
Languages: English, Spanish
Anna Snider, Ph.D.
International Agricultural Development Specialist, New Business Development Specialist
Anna is a social scientist with twenty years of experience in research, education, outreach, and development projects in North America, Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and Latin America. Her work is focused on smallholder farmers and helping them make their organizations more functional, sustainable, and inclusive. Anna's multi-disciplinary research interests include the construction and destruction of social capital, agricultural systems for improved human nutrition, gender and women's empowerment, and market incentives for sustainable production. Anna's experience working as an extension educator and her background in agricultural production shape her work.
Doctor of Philosophy; Sustainable Management- Montpellier SupAgro, France
Doctor of Philosophy; Planning Rural Development Projects, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Spain
MS in International Horticulture, University of Essex, UK
BS in Horticulture, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Languages: English, French, and Spanish
Jan Henderson, Ph.D.
Senior Capacity Development Specialist
Jan works with AgReach to equip people with sustainable, transferable skills through building up the capacities of agricultural extension workers, implementers, and managers especially in gender and nutrition knowledge. With a doctoral degree in Agricultural and Extension Education and forty years of experience in extension, Jan has worked closely with individuals and organizations at all levels in twelve countries. Most recently, Jan has been designing training materials to be used for incorporating gender and nutrition into capacity development activities, then facilitating training workshops that use those activities in various countries.
Ed.D. in Agricultural and Extension Education from Mississippi State University, Starksville
Master of Education in Agricultural Education from Ohio State University
Languages: English, Spanish
Marie Christelle Calixte, MSc
Gender Extension Strengthening Specialist
Marie is a Visiting Gender Extension Strengthening Specialist for the AREA-SARD Project/USAID in Haiti. She works for the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, as part of the USAID/SARD, trying to reinforce gender parity in all aspects of this project. She is responsible for ensuring adequate gender representation in all workshops to stakeholders such as farmers or officials from the Ministry of Agriculture or faculty members from local agricultural universities, the Graduate Student Assistantship program and the Certificate or Internship programs for students and professionals in the Haitian agricultural sector, the Mini-Grant program to local researchers, and for Monitoring and Evaluation program of the AREA project. She ensures gender parity at every stage from design and planning, to implementation and evaluation. She is also responsible for conducting her own gender-sensitive workshops and researches that aim at better understanding of the gender dynamics in the Haitian agricultural system.
Master of Science in Agricultural Education and Communication from University of Florida
Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Engineering from EARTH University, Costa Rica
Kelsey Schreiber, MS
Research and Project Specialist
Kelsey's interest in international development started when she took engineering courses focused on community collaboration to solve water-related problems. She pursued this interest through graduate school, where her research focused on using phrase mining to analyze stakeholder priorities in international agriculture and water projects. She also co-founded a non-profit that works with communities in Central America and West Africa to improve local water systems. Through her undergraduate, graduate, and non-profit work she has gained experience in data intensive research, technical, and project administration. As part of the Feed the Future Strengthening Agriculture and Nutrition Extension (SANE) project, she works with local stakeholders to strengthen extension efforts through information communication technology (ICT). Within the same project, she is also responsible for evaluating the impact of private sector extension training and its effects on nutrition, gender, and welfare. Kelsey is excited to use her technical and research skills to provide tools and evidence to improve smallholder extension and those it impacts.
Master of Science in Agricultural and Biological Engineering from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Bachelor of Science in Systems Engineering and Design from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Festus O. Amadu
Postdoctoral Research Associate
Festus Amadu works a post-doctoral research associate for AgReach on the Feed the Future Strengthening Agriculture and Nutrition Extension (SANE) project. He has a wealth of experience in international development programs from his previous work in Africa (including Sierra Leone, Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya) and Bangladesh. Festus is equipped with the skills needed for environmental, social and health impact assessments. His prior involvements include project Monitoring and Evaluation in Sierra Leone, his role as a rural finance officer in Ghana, and as a rural development expert with the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food Security in Sierra Leone for over ten years. Festus actively participated in developing Sierra Leone’s National Sustainable Agricultural Development Plans under the Comprehensive African Agriculture Development Program in 2007. He has academic training in agricultural economics, with emphasis on agricultural development, food security, and poverty assessments. His work with AgReach helps SANE to understanding the linkages between agricultural extension, climate smart agriculture, and food security in southern Malawi.
Ph.D. in Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Master of Science in Agricultural and Applied Economics, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Master of Science in Agricultural Economics from Njala University, Sierra Leone
Bachelor of Science Honors in Agricultural Economics at Njala University, Sierra Leone
Certificate in Microfinance, School of Applied Microfinance, Mombasa, Kenya
Languages: Mende, Sierra Leonean Krio, English
Leon has worked with farmers on many agricultural development challenges such as crop infestation, inefficient use of pesticides, postharvest loss, food shortages due to lack of crop storage systems, and insufficient support from government during five years’ work experience as a research assistant at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), as a professional trainee at the Netherlands Organization of Development (SNV) and as an agricultural advisor at Entreprises Developpement et Territoires (ETD). He has experience working with smallholder farmers in rural areas in Benin, helping them adopt newly developed technologies and assessing the economic impact of these technologies on their living conditions. Leon also has expertise in agricultural value chain analysis and economic modelling for climate change using the Soil and Water Assessment Tools (SWAT). His research interests on the Strengthening Agricultural and Nutrition Services project are survival analysis, economic impact evaluation and spatial econometrics.
PhD student in Agricultural and Consumer Economics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Master of Science in Agricultural Economics from Oklahoma State University
BSc in Agricultural engineering from the University of Parakou, Benin
Languages: French, English, Adja, Mina, Fon, Goun
Field Coordinator, SPHEIR
Amber, based in Sierra Leone, is a former Peace Corp volunteer who has a broad range of experience in conducting trainings on conservation farming, environmental stewardship and food security in Zambia. She also held the position of provincial coordinator for Feed The Future projects in the Eastern Province in Zambia, where she spent time coordinating a wide variety of stakeholders. Amber has a diverse background in Political Science, Criminal Justice, Sociology and Anthropology, and International Relations. For AgReach, Amber directly engages with our stakeholders and supports Farmer Based Organizations in their effort to integrate gender and nutrition into their programming.
Master of Arts in Political Science from University of Illinois, Springfield, Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice from University of Illinois, Springfield, Bachelor of Arts, Political Science from University of Illinois, Springfield, Bachelor of Arts, Sociology/Anthropology from University of Illinois, Springfield
Languages: Nyanja, Chewa, English
Clodina C. Chowa, Ph.D.
Chief of Party, SANE
Clodina is a consistent leader in agricultural extension services with over 34 years of experience, providing oversight and capacity building for state and non-state agricultural extension providers for AgReach. She contributes knowledge to policy themes related to agricultural nutrition, extension, and advisory services, provides oversight on capacity building for state and non-state agricultural extension providers to understand the systems approach to agricultural extension, and provides coaching and mentoring to national and district extension staff. Clodina brings her skills in planning and management of agricultural extension and advisory services, policy development and review, project and strategic management, partnership and coalition building, facilitation and development communication, and organization and coordination at the local and international level to the AgReach team. Having worked in the district, regional, and national levels, Clodina’s responsibilities include gender participation in agriculture, food and nutrition and agricultural training, as well as contribution to policy development and implementation, and governance of extension services in Malawi.
Ph.D. in Livelihoods, International and Rural Development from University of Reading, UK
Master of Science in Communication for Development from University of Reading, UK
Postgraduate Diploma in Agricultural Education from University of Reading, UK
Diploma in Agriculture from University of Malawi, Bunda College, Malawi
Languages: Chichewa, Tumbuka, English
Nutrition Education Specialist
With 20 years of experience in international agriculture, food, nutrition and HIV within Malawi, Stacia leads and oversees activities and the technical direction related to nutrition extension for an extension strengthening project in Malawi. Stacia’s knowledge and connections with actors throughout the agricultural extension system in Malawi and beyond allows for greater relationship and network building among key nutrition policy and education platforms. Her 30 years of experience in food and nutrition has strengthened her ability to effectively educate, facilitate, and advocate within the realm of food, nutrition, and health security and collaborate effectively with stakeholders at the organizational and individual levels. Building upon her understanding of sustainable food systems, nutrition, and indigenous resources, Stacia also provides coaching, mentoring, and technical direction of the nutrition education capacity building components in both public and non-state nutrition education service providers.
Bachelor of Science in Medical Dietetics from Ohio State University
Languages: English, Chichewa
Madison is a senior at the University of Illinois, studying Interdisciplinary Health Sciences (I-Health). She is currently working with AgReach on creating nutrition curriculum for primary school children in Northern Cameroon. Her interest in agricultural extension was sparked when she did some research on the impact of agriculture on nutrition outcomes in Sierra Leone. She is looking forward to learning more about the impact of agriculture improvements in developing countries on nutrition outcomes.
Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Health Sciences, in progress
Lizzy is a senior in Earth, Society, and Environmental Sustainability with a minor in International Development Economics. She is currently working on a review of extension programs that focus on climate smart agriculture. Her interests in international development and extension when she heard about AgReach in a class. She is excited to learn more about the combination of extension and sustainability and the different ways smallholder farmers are adapting to climate change.
Bachelor of Science in Earth, Society, and Environmental Sustainability, in progress