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Meet Our International Technical Practice Experts
Abt Associates’ International Technical Practice is a cutting-edge, in-house technical team that focuses on innovation to deliver quality services for our partners across the US, Australian, UK, and European markets. Our team of technical experts develops, tests, and applies interdisciplinary approaches to complex development problems. Our approach focuses on inclusion, power and politics, evidence and adaptation, and sustainable, locally led solutions. The team’s expertise covers a broad spectrum of critical issues: economic growth; governance; health; monitoring, evaluation, research, and learning; and gender equality, disability, and social inclusion.
Meet the people who can help your organisation achieve your goals:
Lavinia Tyrrel Head of Technical Practices and Strategy Lavinia Tyrrel heads Abt’s 11-person International Technical Practice team, which helps solve the hard, complex, and messy social and economic problems in international development. The team tests new and interdisciplinary approaches to delivering aid and helps our clients use evidence and learning to design and deliver more effective and efficient development programs. Tyrrel has more than 15 years of experience in senior advisory and leadership roles in foreign policy, development, and national security. Her team helps partners solve problems such as increasing women’s representation in health care in rural Papua New Guinea, helping employers respond to the impacts of COVID-19 on worker productivity in Southeast Asia, and understanding why politics prevents stronger action on tropical diseases in Africa. Visit Lavinia’s full bio.
Alexandra Nastase Head of the Technical Practices and Senior Adviser, Abt Associates, United Kingdom Alexandra Nastase brings more than 15 years of experience to lead a technical team that covers health, equity, climate change, governance, economic growth, and monitoring, evaluation, reporting, and learning. She has experience in design, implementation, and evaluation of large reform and technical assistance programs to improve government performance. She has worked on five continents with leaders at all government levels. Nastase has held leadership and senior advisory roles for multi-million technical assistance programs funded by such organizations as the World Bank, European Commission, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Department for Foreign Affairs and Trade, United Nations Development Program, and Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office. Visit Alexandra’s full bio.
Climate and Environment
Jane Wilkinson Senior Adviser for Climate Change and Environment
Jane Wilkinson is Abt in Britain’s Senior Adviser 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. Visit Jane’s full bio.
Rosa Amboage Senior Advisor for Climate Change and Environment
Rosa Amboage is senior advisor of climate & environment for Abt in Britain. She is an environmental economist with multisectoral expertise in nature-based solutions (NbS), land use policy, environmental markets, green finance, and natural resource management. Amboage leads Abt programme design and delivery in NbS, climate adaptation and resilience. She contributed to the UK’s post-Brexit agri-environmental policies and designed its first national scheme promoting a natural capital approach to economic and climate goals. Previously, she was the lead economist of the £640M GBP ($740M USD) Nature for Climate Fund, helping UK industries and communities realize net-zero ambitions. Visit Rosa’s full bio.
Kelly Wyett Senior Adviser for Economic Growth and Practice Lead Kelly Wyett is Abt’s Senior Adviser for Economic Growth and Practice Lead, with 15 years of experience in international development and economic policy. Her work has focused on economic growth, fiscal policy, macroeconomics, economic governance, infrastructure policy, private sector development, and trade and investment policy. She has extensive experience delivering technical assistance, training, and capacity building activities, evaluating aid investments, facilitating workshops, writing and editing, analyzing data, forecasting economic variables, and designing surveys. Wyett has worked in Indonesia, the Philippines, other Southeast Asian countries, the Pacific, and Sub-Saharan Africa. Visit Kelly’s full bio.
Ian Lomas Head of the Economic Development Practice, Abt Britain Ian Lomas serves as Head of the Economic Development Practice within the Technical Practice. He is developing and delivering a corporate strategy for economic growth and governance and expanding our portfolio of economic growth-related projects. Lomas also will deliver on key economic growth project or consulting tasks. He has more than 25 years of professional experience, including in more than 20 years in the public policy and international development assistance field. He worked on numerous development programs around the world for organizations ranging from the Department for International Development to the U.S. Agency for International Development. View Ian’s full bio.
Gender, Equity, Disability, and Social Inclusion (GEDSI)
Leisa Gibson Senior Adviser for Equity and Localisation Leisa Gibson, Abt Britain's Senior Adviser for Equity and Localisation, 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. Visit Leisa’s full bio.
Rebecca Devitt Technical Adviser, Gender Equality, Disability, and Social Inclusion Practice Dr. Rebecca Devitt is an international specialist in gender equality, disability, and social inclusion (GEDSI). Dr. Devitt brings 15-plus years of experience in policy development, corporate strategy, and program design and implementation of large-scale, technically complex development programs across Southeast Asia and the Pacific. She has achieved development outcomes by engaging with governments, civil society, research, multilateral, and donor partners. Dr. Devitt’s expertise extends toAboriginal and Torres Strait Islander equality, inclusive governance, and civil society-led reform.
Dr. Annemarie Reerink Senior Adviser Equity and Localisation
Dr. Reerink has 25 years of experience promoting gender equality in the Asia-Pacific region. Prior to joining Abt, she worked for U.N. agencies in Asia and, more recently, spent eight years as the senior gender advisor for Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. In the latter role, she was responsible for setting the department’s technical direction, capability development, and quality and reporting of gender equality results across Australia’s aid program. As a senior member of our International Technical Practice, Dr. Reerink leads Abt Australia’s equity and localization work. She holds a Ph.D. in International Relations from the Australian National University. Visit Annemarie's full bio.
Graham Teskey Principal Global Lead, Governance Graham Teskey, based in Canberra, Australia, is Abt’s Principal Global Lead for governance. With 35 years of governance experience, he leads Abt’s governance portfolio and cadre, serving as the chief governance advisor on international development projects and shaping global debates—such as on thinking and working politically—through his thought leadership work. He began his career as an economist with appointments in Fiji, Vanuatu, and Tanzania. He joined the UK Government’s Overseas Development Administration in 1993 and served in Fiji, Kenya, and London, where he was Head of Governance and Social Development. Teskey left the Department for International Development—now the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office—in 2009 to join the World Bank in Washington as Senior Governance Adviser. In 2012 he moved to Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, where he was Principal Governance Specialist. In 2013 he established the international ‘Community of Practice’ on Thinking and Working Politically, which he co-chairs. Teskey has degrees in economics, urban and regional planning, and business administration. Visit Graham’s full bio.
Tom Wingfield Senior Adviser for Governance Tom Wingfield, Senior Adviser 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. Visit Tom’s full bio.
Matilda Nash Technical Adviser for 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. Visit Matilda’s full bio.
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. Visit Paul’s full bio.
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. Visit Olga’s full bio.
Monitoring, Evaluation, Research, and Learning (MERL)
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. Visit Mbuso’s full bio.
Ulla Keech-Marx Technical Adviser for Monitoring, Evaluation, Research, and Learning (MERL) and Gender Equality, Disability, and Social Inclusion (GEDSI) Ulla Keech-Marx is Technical Adviser for MERL and GEDSI in Abt’s International Technical Practice. She has more than 15 years of experience in international development, specializing in monitoring, evaluation and learning, gender, governance, and adaptive management in complex contexts, including in fragile and conflict-affected regions. She currently works with local teams to develop and implement inclusive strategic learning and adaptive management systems – supporting local change makers to bring about positive change in their communities and societies. Her countries of expertise include Indonesia, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Timor Leste. She is based in Canberra, Australia. Visit Ulla’s full bio.
Fiona Mactaggart Senior Monitoring, Evaluation, Research and Learning (MERL) Specialist Fiona Mactaggart is a MERL Specialist at Abt, with 10 years of experience assessing health programs. As a senior member of Abt’s 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). Visit Fiona’s full bio.
Didar Ali Didar Technical Adviser – Monitoring, Evaluation, Research and Learning (MERL) Didar Ali Didar is Technical Adviser for MERL in Abt’s International Technical Practice. He has more than 10 years of experience in MERL, project design, and management in the areas of agriculture, food security, economic inclusion, civil society, governance, health, and education. Didar has a master’s in sociology and experience in women’s rights advocacy, including designing and implementing advocacy plans and organizing national and international events. Visit Didar’s full bio.Visit Didar’s full bio.