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Meet our Experts (Abt Britain Team)

At Abt Associates our experts work on projects that require in-depth sectoral knowledge, particularly in the areas of health, governance, economic growth, and climate change.  We marry experience operating in complex environments with tailored methodologies to help clients understand how change happens and, ultimately, how to effect it. Our leaders engage with projects from conceptualisation to final report, developing practical, affordable approaches to address complicated challenges.  From adaptive management to analytics, from open societies to health security, our in-house expertise enables us to adapt and mobilise the right people to meet client’ priorities today and as needs change. Learn more about what we do and where we do it.

Meet the people who can help your organisation achieve your goals:


Sarah Dunn
Managing Director, Abt Britain
Sarah Dunn, an experienced international development leader, is Managing Director of Abt Britain.  She oversees the UK growth strategy and leads and mentors our UK home office and program teams to ensure quality delivery. Sarah’s experience spans nearly two decades as a senior executive with the Department for International Development (now Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office).  At DFID, she worked in Africa, the Middle East, and Caribbean and held several executive and strategic advisory positions, including head of trade policy. Her public sector experience is complemented by a track record as a commercial manager in the energy sector and work in the private foundation and nongovernmental organization sectors.  She led strategy and partnership development for the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation and was part of the inaugural Executive team at The Power of Nutrition.
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Leisa Gibson
Senior Advisor for Gender Equality, Disability and Social Inclusion (GEDSI) and Practice Lead
Leisa Gibson, Abt Australia’s GEDSI senior advisor and practice lead, has more than 18 years of international experience working for governments, the United Nations, and civil society organisations. Her expertise includes strategic and operational planning, program formulation and delivery, change management, coordination and partnerships, quality assurance, and targeted interventions. She works on such issues as disability, development, inclusive leadership, gender and gender-based violence (GBV) in humanitarian action, child marriage, women’s economic empowerment, and organisational capacity development.
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Maia Gogoladze, Ph.D.
Team Leader, Technical Assistance Facility Eastern Partnership Program
Dr. Gogoladze has more than 17 years of management and technical experience in governance, public administration, and civil society. She focuses on political-economic assessment, policy analysis and reform, public procurement, organizational performance improvement, strategic planning, program budgeting, and monitoring and evaluation. As Team Leader for the Technical Assistance Facility Eastern Partnership program, she leads implementation in Ukraine, Georgia, Armenia, and Moldova of support for government reform initiatives to improve institutional performance and quality of service delivery. She has held senior positions managing governance, public administration, and civil society strengthening programs in Georgia, Kyrgyzstan, and Ukraine.
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Mbuso Jama
Senior Monitoring, Evaluation, Research, and Learning (MERL) Specialist
Mbuso Jama, is a Senior MERL specialist at Abt, with more than 17 years of experience . His work has involved humanitarian, rehabilitation, and development efforts in Africa, Asia, and Eastern Partnership countries. His broad spectrum of experience includes impact evaluations and designing MERL and research frameworks for various sectors from health to governance. He has experience designing, monitoring, and evaluating projects funded by the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office, United Nations, US Agency for International Development, Canadian International Development Agency, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, European Union, European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations, and private donors. 
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Peter Levine
Adviser to the Managing Director, Abt Britain
Peter Levine, Adviser to the Managing Director, is a multi-disciplinary economic growth and private-sector development specialist with more than 25 years of experience in program management, new business development, and communications for complex international programs. This includes extensive work in Asia, the Middle East, Latin America, Central/Eastern Europe. He also served as acting head of Abt Britain Limited and oversaw the Foreign and Commonwealth Development Office-funded Good Governance Fund: Eastern Partnership Technical Assistance Facility.
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Fiona Mactaggart
Senior Monitoring, Evaluation, Research and Learning SpecialistFiona Mactaggart is a monitoring and evaluation and public health specialist at Abt, with 10 years of experience assessing health programs. As a senior member of Abt’s monitoring, evaluation, research, and learning (MERL) practice, she contributes to program design and implementation, and institutional strengthening in four key areas: research (e.g., survey design), evaluation methodologies (e.g., contribution analysis), lessons learnt (e.g., peer-reviewed publications), and company capabilities (e.g., adaptive management).
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Matilda Nash
Technical Adviser – Governance and Practice Manager
Matilda Nash is a development professional with seven years of experience in programme management, business development, and technical assistance in governance and health. She currently supports the growth of Abt Associates in the UK and European marketplaces. She has experience in managing Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) proposals and then mobilising and operationalising programmes that require complex stakeholder management.
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Paul Smithson
Senior Adviser for Health
Paul Smithson is Abt’s Senior Adviser for health, with expertise in health strategy, financing, and reform. He has more than 30 years of experience in developing countries spanning a range of roles including: specialist technical adviser; aid strategist and steward; programme manager, and institutional reform lead. Smithson has worked for a variety of national governments, international organisations, and nonprofits institutions. His core area of expertise is health system performance, and he was a pioneer of sector-wide approaches in health. He has worked extensively in Africa, with shorter spells in Asian countries.
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Huw Sparkes
Programme Delivery Lead
Huw Sparkes, Abt Britain’s Programme Delivery Lead, is an operations, management, and finance professional with 17 years’ experience in the management of large, complex Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office programmes in challenging global locations. He has experience overseeing all operational aspects of projects, including finance, risk, compliance, commercial, and human resources. An experienced leader of head office project managers and field-based project finance, he is developing the capacity of Abt Britain’s project management team and its systems to implement large projects with operational excellence.
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Jane Wilkinson
Senior Advisor for Climate Change and Environment
Jane Wilkinson is Abt in Britain’s Senior Advisor for Climate Change, leading a growing team and portfolio of work in climate mitigation and adaptation, climate equity, and nature-based solutions. A published author on the impacts of climate change in Commonwealth countries, she represents Abt in high-level climate change fora and discussions. She has 18 years of experience advising governments and organisations on strategies to implement climate action. Jane served as an Australian diplomat before joining the Australian Department of Climate Change, where she led policy and negotiation teams on climate finance, trade and carbon markets. She played a key role influencing the design of the climate finance framework, including the USD 100 billion climate finance goal and the Green Climate Fund. She led research programmes at the Climate Policy Initiative and co-founded the Global Innovation Lab for Climate Finance.
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Tom Wingfield
Senior Adviser for Governance
Tom Wingfield, Senior Advisor for Governance, has 18 years of experience leading the design and delivery of governance reform projects in Asia and Africa. Alongside Abt’s Global Governance Lead (Graham Teskey), Wingfield leads the governance practice at Abt, with responsibility for developing strategy, nurturing the team and delivering a growing portfolio of projects in different aspects of governance. His technical specialties include subnational governance and decentralisation; democracy, elections, and open societies; governance and service delivery (health, water and sanitation, access to justice); public sector reform; anti-corruption; applied political economy analysis and thinking and working politically; adaptive management; and portfolio and program monitoring, evaluation, and learning.
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Olga Zues
Health Economist
Olga Zues, a health-system and financing specialist, has 20 years of experience in international development. She focuses on the design and implementation of comprehensive reform strategies to strengthen health systems and public finance management. Her expertise includes benefits design to move towards universal health coverage, arrangements to support efficiency gains and service delivery improvements, innovative payment mechanisms, sustainability strategies, and institutional development. She has worked with the World Health Organisation (WHO), World Bank, Global Fund, United Nations, Soros Foundation, U.S. Agency for International Development, the Department for International Development, and numerous ministries of health, finance, justice, and education.
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Learn more about our work in the UK.

 
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