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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.

Economic Growth

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kelly wyett

Kelly Wyett
Senior Economist
Kelly Wyett is Abt’s Senior Advisor for Economic Growth, 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.

Gender, Equity, Disability, and Social Inclusion (GEDSI)

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leisa gibsonLeisa 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. Visit Leisa’s full bio.


priya chattierPriya Chattier
Technical Advisor for Gender Equality & Social Inclusion (GESI) and Monitoring, Evaluation, Research & Learning (MERL)
Dr. Priya Chattier is a GESI and MERL specialist at Abt, with more than 17 years of experience in international development, research consulting, and academia. She has worked across the Pacific and Australia as a gender studies academic/fellow, GESI specialist, and a monitoring and evaluation expert. A sociologist by training, her clients have included Asian Development Bank, Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, The Australian Army, Australian Department of Defence, Australian Federal Police, International Institute of Democracy and Electoral Assistance, International Monetary Fund, United Nations Fund for Children, and the World Bank. Visit Priya’s full bio.

Governance

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graham teskeyGraham 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 wingfieldTom 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. Visit Tom’s full bio.


matilda nashMatilda 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.

Health

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paul smithsonPaul 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 zuesOlga 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)

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mbuso jamaMbuso 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-marxUlla Keech-Marx
Technical Advisor for Monitoring, Evaluation, Research, and Learning (MERL) and Gender Equality, Disability, and Social Inclusion (GEDSI)
Ulla Keech-Marx is Technical Advisor 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 mactaggartFiona 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.

 
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